Friday, December 4, 2009

Absu - Absu (#2 of Next Ten, 2009 Metal)

I haven't finished the #9 post-up, and I'd better take the opportunity to turn this into a mini Blackened Fest. So, going back to one of the first posts, on ridicvlous Black Metal song titles, of which the real winner was Absu's "The Cognate House Of Courtly Witches Lies West Of County Meath" from Tara (2001).

Absu vinyl
So, now I'm going to go through #12 (Metalloid division) album Absu's song titles, rank them on a BM song title scale, with brief commentary. Song titles link to a video for reference, where available. Link provided to full lyrics, courtesy of Dark Lyrics. Or follow along on the album's lyric page, and/or listen to almost the whole thing. Off to Sumeria!!

01. "Between the Absu of Eridu and Erech" 7/10 [full lyrics]
Sample lyric:
An empty void will always enlarge itself
It stretches from the nether waters inside
As the chaos lives again: vapors condense
Ushum-Gal allots the beasts to the chantry
Points for having band name in the song title (and album's!). Sure, Mayhem and Immortal will regularly namecheck themselves, but more difficult when your name comes from a water elemental in the Sumerian creation story. Also the syntax is unclear or incorrect: what two distinct things is whatever between? Excellent kick-off lyrics, I'm already confused!

02. "Night Fire Canonization" 6/10 [full lyrics]
Sample lyric:
The headmaster of magicians is
The serpent-king and the slayer
The possessor of the torches speaks
To the night with desire
Suitably vague... "Night" and "Fire" are strong BM words, and canonization can imply lots of religio-ceremonial events of import. The lyrics provide a glimpse into the hierarchy of magicians, which is informative and useful. We will need to learn more of these torches.

03. "Amy" 0/10 [full lyrics]
Sample lyric:
He practiced his knacks and skills of trickery
Most malicious, he became revolting
Spirits were locked inside the mirrored vestibule
The Circle was ambushed by cornered, lined frontiers
Worst BM title ever! Good song though. Trickery and ambush, mirrored vestibules... always the same topics in songs these days.

04. "Nunbarshegunu" 7/10 [full lyrics]
Sample lyric:
The old woman of Nippur
Instructs Ninlil to walk the banks of Idnunbirdu
She thrusts the magic(k)
To harvest the mind of the great
mountain-lord Enlil
A little generic, but I definitely want to know more: a great hero, an evil demon, a suburb of Catalhuyuk? Perhaps the cosmos dies when you learn the truth.

05. "13 Globes" 4/10 [full lyrics]
Sample lyric:
On momentous days
I teach validities
Of the sea and the secrets
The crux: "The Primeval Source"
In the planes of the shining lodes
Za-ab: return to the source
I know you have to throw in some Mesopotamian numerology for the Entertainment Weekly crowd, but this one feels a little tossed-off. C'mon, the shining lodes? 22!!

06. "...of the Dead Who Never Rest in Their Tombs Are the Attendance of Familiar Spirits" 10/10 [full lyrics]
Sample lyric:
Serpentine lamias and ravage-clawed harpies
Liquefy and eat into the gifts of decay
Every dream of man and woman coils by the worm
As the ghouls race to the world of the living
Bam! There you go!! An unnecessary ellipsis starts things off right, anti-grammatical construction, nested prepositional phrases going nowhere, Dead, Tombs, Spirits!!! (By the way, those lyrics are basically the chorus of the song.)

07. "Magic(k) Square Cipher" 8/10 [full lyrics]
Sample lyric:
There is not a square to close the system
Five breaks silence
The stabilization
The lamp courier
Yes, parenthetical single letters! Haven't seen one of those since Aborym's "Me(n)tal Striken Terror Action 2" (also a Top 10 Ridicvlous winner). Cipher works here like canonization and globes, hinting at esoteric wisdom and rituals, not yet ready for the Material Plane.

08. "In the Name of Auebothiabaithobeuee" (live) 10/10 [full lyrics]
Sample lyric:
The great scimitar of Barzai
Alabaster statuette of Yebsu
The representation of Koth
Cobalt flames light the blaze of Laurel
There ya go, perfect... It's not just that the name is ridiculously unreasonable, it's that the song is "In the Name of" such a name. The mind boggles at the practicality of such nominal application.

09. "Girra's Temple" 5/10 [full lyrics]
Sample lyric:
Here stands the mighty chantry
Inlaid with black-blue lapis
You're seized by the Ushum-Gal
Meh. Some temple... I'm sure it's overflowing with evil energies and marauding undead, but insufficient for a song title.

10. "Those of the Void Will Re-Enter" 6/10 [full lyrics]
Sample lyric:
Clad in robes imprinted with spells
Regress time - degenerate
Founders of mankind,
Come lay your claim
Revert - Annunaki
Everyone knows this already. Declarative statement titles should inform - like, do Those of the Void have razor-lined tentacles? Do their souls shatter the resonance of The Primeval Source?

11. "Sceptre Command" 3/10 [full lyrics]
Sample lyric:
We shall not climb to the origin of elements
We must examine the base of Gudua
In order to harvest a benthos existence
I call upon the backing of Gugalanna
No surprise the video is lacking. This kind of childish double-entendre has no place in mythological occult metal.

12. "Ye Uttuku Spells" 9/10 [full lyrics]
Sample lyric:
A frenzied rupture opens the stone
Out pours the beam and the shaft of light
Point it straight to the mountain's zenith
Ye Utukku awake, Utukku
Part of an ongoing Spells series of songs, I suppose. Ye Uttuku is certainly a worthy candidate for such an honor.

13. "Twix Yesterday, the Day and the Morrow" 5/10 [instrumental]

Twix doesn't make up for the step down from Absu of Eridu and Erech to yesterday, today, etc...

Official -
Myspace -
Purchase - Candlelight [CD / LP]
iTunes - Absu

Genre - Sumerian Thrashened Black Metal
Location - Plano, TX
Review - Pitchfork

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