Monday, 8 February 2016

Alphabetical Discovery - Week A, Day Three: Absu

Absu - Photo

According to drummer and vocalist Sir Proscriptor McGovern, in an interview with in 2008, there are three particular characteristics that a new 'prospect' (bandmember) must possess:

  1. They must be of Scotch, Irish, or Germanic descent
  2. Grasps a magic(k)al mind
  3. Thinks they can play faster, sufficiently better than King or Hanneman.
These qualties three encapsulate Absu's eccentric and intense music. Formed in Plano, Texas in 1991, 'with all the admiration and adoration for occult/alchemic(k)al sciences and Sumerian mythology', under the watchful eye of maniacal drum magician and vocal goblin Sir Proscriptor McGovern, Absu play a black-thrash at  a beyond break-neck speed. To not talk of Tara (2008) - Absu's fourth full-length and possibly one the greatest black-thrash albums  - would be a travesty. It's a relentlessly furious album that casts it's spellbinding ferocity from the opening drum roll and refuses to let up; the speed of the drums, the amount of memorable riffs and the speed of their progressions is staggering. It's the sound of a band possessed and consumed by ancient and mystical spells, a hyperactive, almost inhuman, group of individuals converting some ancient pagan madness into the extreme metal form. Moments of psychedelia (think The Grateful Dead playing at the speed of light) and jazz fusion (think Bill Cobham bewitched by the Courtly witches west of County Meath) lurk beneath the barrage of shill riffs and octopus-armed drumming. The band fittingly call their music 'Mythological Occult Metal', an eccentric label for an eccentric band. Thematically it's all rather bizarre with its niche choice subject; I've shamefully taken  McGovern's quote from Wikipedia, but it aptly summarises the album's niche concept: 

"The album is presented in a chronicled assembly dividing it into two phases: 'Ioldánach's            Pedagogy' and 'The Cythrául Klan's Scrutiny'. Certain goals and objectives were finally                    accomplished with 'Tara', through exploration of our ancestral attributes and channeling                   divisions of pure magic within our minds and souls"

Also, King Diamond features on the penultimate track of the album, what more could one want? 

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