Sunday, July 29, 2012

Abzu - Absu (#6, 2011)

First off, Absu opened the #1 Live Show of 2011. I know, I can't stop talking about it because... AAAOOOOORRRUUUUUGGGHHHH!!!

"Earth Ripper/Swords & Leather/Abraxas Connexus" - live NYC, 11/11/2011

O fine, here's the studio version of album opener "Earth Ripper" - I was just excited to find a such good quality live video footage, and so relevant to my purposes!

Nice "Iron Face"-style scream intro, some old-school splintering riff-shards, lots of rapid-fire blast-beats, plenty of song segments & changes. So far, so good...

I had steeled myself to be disappointed by the new Absu record Abzu. My enjoyment of the triumphant-return-from-2001, Absu (#2 Metal, Next Ten 2009), just grew & grew over time. But apparently, Proscriptor (drums-vocals-lyrics) had lost all the new members that made that album. It's one thing to rebuild a band over 8 years, but just two? Hmmm...

This new one is the 2nd in a planned trilogy of albums, all with similar pseudo-eponymous titles. Read the story so far post to learn all that's led up to now.

"Abraxas Connexus" from Abzu (2011)

Then they released that one as a preview track (still available for download on the SPIN Best of Metal mixtape), and things were looking up already. Slightly different guitar style, but still thrashy Blackened fun - with a bit of seriousness.

"Circles of the Oath" from Abzu (2011)
[7/30, post-vacation edit: video added 1 day ago!]

Hold up - why has "Circles of the Oath" been removed from YouTube and the rest of the internet? [click link to search later] Okay, let me describe it.
Pummelling thrash, with some vocal delay at the end of each verse, then very speedy unison break, unleash the velocity, staccato tremolo-picking after 4-bar riff, then a chromatic single-notes (scale) riff, with a slower syncopated drumbeat, stop., some grindage that breaks open a bit, then back to the chromatic-syncopated part, back to pummelling thrash, velocity, some other fast playing, there's a scream, the unison break happens like 4 or 6 times, solo!, it's kinda spindly, AAAAAARGH!, demon chanting, repeat, pummelling-vocal delay section, unison break, then acoustic guitar and Mellotron outro.

Got it! Just as good as streaming audio...

"Skrying in the Spirit Vision" - live Arnhem, Netherlands, 10/29/2011

"Skrying" has some pretty meaty riffing, almost like the old-school Norwegian originators.

The next track is actually named "Ontologically, It Became Time & Space" - and it has some amazing bass drumwork from Proscriptor, as well as a really memorable guitar break/drum fill part. Unfortunately, a lot of these songs have disappeared from the web. Since I have no music to play, here's some Lyrical Magick Glossary insight:
This song [lyrics] is an argument concerning the relationship between metaphysical nihilism and the 'physical' origin of one abstract occult concept. In other words, how did time and space inaugurate? Ontology. It is the philosophical study of the nature of being, existence or reality as such, as well as the basic categories of being and their relations. Traditionally listed as a part of the major branch of philosophy known as metaphysics, ontology deals with questions concerning what entities (or planets) exist or can be said to exist, and how such entities can be grouped, related within a hierarchy, and subdivided according to similarities and differences.

"A Song for Ea" from Abzu (2011)

When I first heard about this, it concerned me most of all. A 14½-minute Absu song? Well, at least it had sections: (a) E-A, (b) A Myriad of Portals, (c) Third Tablet, (d) Warren Of Imhullu, (e) The Waters - The Denizens, (f) E-A (reprise).

But this whole suite rocks consistently. My concerns were all unfounded! Just set aside a quarter-hour and listen. (With lyrics if you like.) Maybe a little harsh & insane, but isn't that what you've been looking for in your life? Isn't it?! Anyway, it's not like they just do the same thing the whole time - it has some of the most clearly distinct contrasts and distinctions of all Absu. The tempo shifts, the keyboard towards the end of section (a), the way he sings "a myriad of portals," the military rhythm break, the third movement (tablet) sometimes approaching doom-sludge-djent and maybe a few other subgenres, and so on...

Surprisingly one of my favorites on the album, and a surprisingly great album overall. Sometimes I'm glad to be wrong!


Genre - Mythological Occult Metal
Official -
Myspace -
Location - Plano, TX

Review - Pitchfork
Download - Amazon, iTunes
Purchase - Candlelight [CD / LP]

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