The great Absu moving from ideal to actual. The ideal lineup we all know, the actual lineup is now on display. The question is is the comparative equivalent Candlemass with just Leif, or Gorgoroth with no founders? Take one member from an acclaimed lineup and give him the band name and the reigns, disaster awaits. Then the new album simply called Absu? Could not think of a title? I don’t really get the trend of a self titled release long after the band is established. The main concern I had, along with most everyone else, who do you replace Equitant and Shaftiel with that can come anywhere close to their skill and presence. With the promo I got the Candlelight press release with the following sentence, “…but with more of a ’70’s progressive/psychedelic texture within it.”

I was ready to pitch the disc in the toilet and write off another great band. Instead I put on Blut Aus Nord for a few days. Thirteen tracks, fifty four minutes. Fifty five minutes in I hit play again, and again. I’ll start at the end. “Twix Yesterday, the Day & the Morrow” is a simplified ominous interlude that pales in comparison to “Reliquiae Celticae,” and lacks the graceful elegance of “Intelligence Towards the Crown.” “Yrp Lluyddawc” is a synthesized oddity in true Celtic Frost tradition, here we just get synthesized obnoxiousity on the ending of “…of the Dead Who Never Rest in Their Tombs Are the Attendance of Familiar Spirits Including: A.) Diversified Signs Inscribed/B.) Our Earth of Black/C.) Voor.” And The Voice, where are the shrieks? Proscriptor is in top form, a bit lower register, in his main vocals, but where are the shrieks? Enough with the negatives.

Drum patterns are in place, tightly controlled, not as crazed, fast paced guitar leads, check, just not as fast, but technically proficient if not quite as stimulating. Oops, I was supposed to be done with the negatives. Everything on this disc is more controlled, the edge of your seat intensity is missing, this is a technically proficient performance but the cutting edge is dull. They are not taking enough chances. This is ABSU after all, they answer to a higher standard, or at least they used to. On a positive note the production is great, guitars stand out and drums are loud and clear without overpowering everyone else. I think the drums could be more dominant but certainly a powerful presence they way it is mixed. One song in particular needs to be singled out, and not for the name, but for the flashy leads, “In The Name Of Auebothiabathabaithobeuee.” Other songs winning me over are the above mentioned “Of The Dead…”,  “Amy”, with its addictive riff, and “Ye Uttuku Spells.” In the end my recommendation is to buy this disc, great album, definitely Absu, just not a great Absu album. Come year end it just may find its way onto my list.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Grimulfr
February 23rd, 2009


  1. Commented by: Vance

    Hmmm, this is very interesting. I thought Tara was totally badass, my only complaint with these guys was the low mixes on all their releases. I will check this out immediately. Thanks again for the awesome review.

  2. Commented by: Staylow

    I dig this. It’s just thrashy enough to keep me coming back. My only complaint is the length – chop about 20 minutes off and it would be perfect.

  3. Commented by: SludgeHammer

    I really, really like this album. However I completely agree, great album, just not a great ABSU album.

  4. Commented by: Dimaension X

    I like it way better than “Tara”, but I’m probably in the minority.

    I just couldn’t stand the drums being so loud on “Tara”, and the guitars mixed so low you couldn’t hear the riffs. Similar to Nile’s “Black Seeds of Vengence”, another almost great album ruined by the drums being the loudest thing on the album.

    I think Absu have really struck on a good combination of black metal and thrash on this new album.

  5. Commented by: gabaghoul

    really enjoy this too, sounds like Malevolent Creation + Dissection (when they were good).

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