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Review: Absu - Absu

Label: Candlelight Records
Year released: 2009
Duration: 53:47
Tracks: 13
Genre: Black/Thrash

Rating: 4/5

Review online: February 12, 2009
Reviewed by: Sargon the Terrible
Readers Rating

Rated 4.52/5 (90.38%) (52 Votes)

It's hard to believe that eight long years have passed since the release of the masterful Tara. In that time Absu have given us nothing but a best-of compilation and a live EP while Proscriptor worked with Melechesh and the other original members Shatftiel and Equitant drifted away and lost the desire to make metal altogether. When I heard rumors that McGovern was finally going to reassemble the band and get another album out I was a bit skeptical. Why do it at all? Why not just let Absu die and start another project? But here we finally have their long-awaited follow-up to Tara.

No album is going to do well in comparison to a masterwork, and so expectations for this album are probably impossibly high, but this is a good, solid album nonetheless. I must confess my first question on hearing this was to wonder why Proscriptor bothered to leave Melechesh if he was only going to make Absu sound just like them. Now that's not quite fair, but the mideast sounds and lyrical concepts all over this recording do scream "Melechesh" pretty loudly. That said, this does have its own identity, and it is far more chaotic than Melechesh usually are. Some of the old Absu magic pops up on tracks like "Night Fire Canonization" and "13 Globes" with a harder, thrashier edge and some of that great slaytanic riffing. The one weird spot on here is the track "....and Of The Dead Who blah blah blah" which starts out well, sounding almost like Destroyer666, but then halfway in breaks out these trippy hammond sounds and turns into something like Therion. It doesn't suck that bad, but it does stand out from the hard-assed black/thrash attack of the rest of the album.

So if this is not as good as the hallowed Tara, this is still a good album of thrashing black mayhem. It's a bit uneven, and it does sound a bit more like Melechesh than perhaps it ought to, but it does kick some pretty serious ass, and is overall a worthy addition to the Absu canon.

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