The term “U.S. Black Metal” is not taken very seriously, and rightfully so because of the weak bands that have spawned from the States. However, after a lengthy eight year hiatus, these occult veterans from Texas show that there is at least one USBM band that steps up to the plate.
ABSU simply shines on this release, as they bring the black metal/thrash attack to the forefront. Proscriptor returns to form with a whole new lineup, but the result will not disappoint ABSU fans. Production wise, the album is extremely clean, and the melodies are stronger than ever. This glossy new version of ABSU is perfected with the opening track, “Between the Absu of Eridu & Erich” - a simply fantastic, and catchy track, and a clear indication of what’s to come. There is a MELECHESH feel throughout Absu, and elements of thrash, black metal, and experimental ambiance are all prevalent. Some interesting chords and timing are displayed in “Night Fire Canonization,” thanks to a guest spot by ex-MAYHEM guitarist Blasphemer. “Amy” and “13 Globes” are the most straightforward songs with beautiful guitar work which lead to “…of the Dead Who Never Rest in Their Tombs…” - a magical track which entices the listener to some fancy keyboard wankery towards the end of the track. A dark and unique approach with these keyboard spots is what separates ABSU from a typical boring DIMMU BORGIR clone. Tons of riffs fly throughout Absu with no letdown in sight. A bizarre, ambient, experimental and interesting keyboard break is inserted in “Those of the Void Will Re-Enter” before breaking into climactic guitar shredding chaos. “Twix Yesterday, the Day & the Morrow” closes the chapter on Absu with a fitting keyboard outro, reminiscent of the instrumentals featured on MORBID ANGEL’s Domination.
As a whole, Absu takes elements from old ABSU or MELECHESH and the end result is a fantastic 53 minute gem that makes sense of a mesh of different metal genres into one cohesive brilliant mess. This effort definitely gives you the best bang for your buck and should result in countless plays for quite a long time. (Candlelight Records)