Monday, October 31, 2011

Absu: Abzu (2011)


Absu is a Texas blackened thrash metal band that began back in 1990. Lyrically and thematically, their albums are grouped together in distinct cycles based on myth and magic. Abzu is the second album in a planned trilogy.

This is my first experience with the band, but I don't feel like I've missed anything by jumping in midstream. The music is something I can immediately grasp. It sounds like a combination of Skeletonwitch and Melechesh, although to be fair Absu has been around longer than either of them.

The riffs are tight and fast, and have a distinct Middle Eastern flavor. The band is unusual in that their drummer is also their lead vocalist, but neither element suffers one bit from the demanding dual roles. The vocals tend toward blackened rasping, but there are a few King Diamond style falsetto shrieks to spice things up. I can't say the bass stood out to me at any point.

The album comes on very strong. It moves at a frantic pace and demands your attention. Even the acoustic outro of "Circles of the Oath" seems aggressive. It is dynamic, though, with the slightly slower "Abraxus Connexus" changing things up, along with the highly varied six-part suite that closes things out.

The Verdict: Abzu is recommended for fans of Skeletonwitch and Melechesh. In fact, it outshines the most recent records from either of those bands. I give it 4.5 out of 5 stars.

1 comment:

  1. You have missed something. Check out their back catalog, the album Tara, specifically. But yeah, Abzu is a great album