Absu play an incredibly technical (well, fast) yet incredibly fun & thrashy version of Black Metal. Their lead singer-songwriter doubles as their amazing drummer, and is the only consistent member over 20 years. He calls himself "Proscriptor McGovern." Subject matter covers everything from Celtic military legends to Sumerian occult numerology. And they hail from Plano, TX!!
I haven't really listened to the earliest couple of Death Metal releases from Absu. First there were apparently some seriously-DM 1991 demo's, later released on 7" as The Temples of Offal EP (1992).
"Fantasizing to the Third of the Pagan Vision (Quoth the Sky, Nevermore Act II)" from Barathrum: V.I.T.R.I.O.L. (1993)
Knowledge reigns supreme over nearly everyone, but especially Adam seems to internet explore.
These posts do me so much good - official Absu video from 1993?!?! This is their debut full-length, and the Death Metal's pretty much gone. That's already close enough to thrashy Blackish US extreme metal, not too far from later Absu. (Maybe I'm missing some other early DM material?) Ahhhh, I was forgetting Dolmen, the pre-name-change Absu!
"The Coming of War" from The Sun Of Tiphareth (1995)
This one's the earliest release I actually have - it's really good, although with regional studio production values. Fortunately the drums came out sounding real good! Here's the full album - nice acoustics in the opener (yet another spelling of the eponymous water elemental).
Note the link to Dark Lyrics at YouTube. There's good reasons for that!
"Swords and Leather" from The Third Storm Of Cythrául (1997)
I've heard legend of a 7" single with two of these songs from 1995, but I cannot vouch for that. Nor much really, as I've never owned this record (with shame). True story: I was planning to buy this & one other at the Immortal show, but the previous 5 audiences apparently tore through all the merch for both bands - and ours was the last of the entire tour.
Once again, the entire album is available to stream. The two long-time mainstays are above and "Highland Tyrant Attack."
"Never Blow Out the Eastern Candle" from In The Eyes Of Ioldánach EP (1998)
Awesomest song!! I definitely associate this EP with Tara, because it added to later CD's, and "Manannán" would re-appear as an album cut.
O Tara, who are you?
Tara – Temuir and Temair in Old Irish. In County Meath, this main royal hill of the High Kings was regarded as the Irish capital. The name derived from the goddess Tea, wife of Eremon, the first High King Of Ireland. The ancient sites dates back to 2000 BC and included an intricate complex of fortifications. Five roads anciently led to those provinces, three of which are still discernable. Tara was finally abandoned as the seat of the High Kings in 560 AD, neither cursed nor neglected.
Lemme tell ya, that's the short entry in the Glossary of Lyrical Magick. The long version is under The Third Storm Of Cythrául section.
"A Shield with an Iron Face" from Tara (2001)
Would you like some Black Metal Classics post? Best record! And here is your full-album stream.
After Tara, Absu kinda went to ground, Proscriptor auditioned with Slayer, and everything got quiet.
"The Gold Torques Of Uláid " from Mythological Occult Metal 1991-2001 (2005)
This collection includes rarities like that one, the opening track on the Gummo soundtrack (1998), a handful of live tracks... A little of that early DM material, like "Disembodied," if you're into that kinda stuff. And some covers of bands like Mayhem, Possessed, and Iron Maiden's "Transylvania."
This comp was the other album that I was hoping to buy in San Antonio. I need to get a move on, just order over the internet, etc.
"To the Gallows" from Speeds 'N Spikes, Vol. II (2008)
That there's a Morbid Scream cover from Absu's split 7" with Rumpelstiltskin Grinder. I learned about fellow Planonians Morbid Scream through Encyclopædia Metallum - and the fact that Absu covered them a number of times. "The Coming of War," embedded above for Tiphareth (1995), "Morbid Scream" from Cythrául (1997), and then that newest one. Yet another Morbid Scream song was included on an advance tracklisting for Tara (2001) as well.
The other Absu track was a 'new' original called "Thrashstorms."
After all this time, around here's where I come in - much closer to Absu in 2009, than even to Tara in 2001, much less The Sun of Tiphareth in 1995.
"Amy" from Absu (2009)
With just a split-7", who could be sure if they were truly back? Or maybe just clearing out some archives... But no! Soon came the triumphant return via the awesome self-titled full-length (#2 Metal Next 10, 2009).
Other than Proscriptor, it's an all-new band that sounds rejuvenated. And this record just blasts it out, relentlessly, but like a major raging party of good times. One more? Why not: "Girra's Temple" for ya!
The 2009 s/t record was the first of the trilogy, last year's new one was the 2nd, and we're due a final chapter sometime over the next year or so (Apsu?). Hopefully....
"Night Fire Canonization (live)" from WFMU/Aquarius SXSW 2009 Showcase
Show audio available for download at Free Music Archive!
Keep up with the Absu blog and their official website for stuff like 25 Minute High Quality Live Performance Video (Paris, France - April 2012).
Top 10 post coming soon!