5 of 6 thought this review was well written
In my pursuit of all things grim and kvlt, I stumbled across Absu, a relatively well known US Black Metal band. However, within the black metal scene they are fairly unique, not only in terms of lyrical content but also in musical style, playing a maelstrom of epic blackened thrash which the band has coined ‘Mythological Occult Metal’. Their second album, The Sun Of Tiphareth
, is often unjustly overlooked in favour of their breakthrough album Tara, but rest assured this album is well worth picking up for anyone interested in thrash or black metal. This was my first Absu album, and is a good place to start if you want to get into the genre.
Proscriptor - Drums, Flute, Vocals
Shaftiel (Lord Of Shadows) - Guitar, Bass, Vocals
Equitant Ifernain Dal Gais - Guitar, Bass
The first thing one will notice about The Sun Of Tiphareth
is the production; lucid and free from fuzz, it gives each and every instrument the opportunity to shine. The guitar and bass riffs are appropriately crushing, and greatly influenced by 80’s extreme thrash acts such as Sodom
. The drumming is at the forefront of the mix, and is certainly one of the highlights of the album; Proscriptor rams technical and mesmerising drum fills into ever last musical nook and cranny he can find without disturbing the flow of the album, keeping the songs fresh and the listener interested, waiting to see what he will do next. The vocals are standard black metal affair, utilising both shrieks and croaks. The lyrics are generally comprehensible too, which is a blessing as they are well written and poetic, being about Celtic and Sumerian mythology.
The album opens with the 11-minute epic Apzu
, a risky move on Absu’s part, but fortunately their impressive song writing engages the listener from the start. The relentless, thrashy riffs and pounding drum fills are enhanced greatly by the different elements which are fused into the music; keyboards are utilised to create a dark, swirling atmosphere without becoming overbearing, and the song even has a few bars of acoustic guitar work and a brief appearance of some fantastic female vocals.
The remaining songs on The Sun Of Tiphareth
continue in more or less the same manner but are of a more palatable length, between 5 and 8 minutes, excluding the short keyboard-only interlude Our Lust For Lunar Plains (Nox Luna Inlustris)
. This serves as an introduction to the following highlight track, The Coming Of War
, but some people will find the keyboards annoying and cheesy, and this is not helped by the fact that they do essentially the same thing throughout the song.
The final song is the excellent title track, and Absu go all out to end the album with an epic finale. Chock full of heavy riffs perfect for head banging, stunning use of double bass drums and even a couple of drum solos, it is surely a highlight and a fitting end to the album.
With their second album, Absu have succeeded in fusing intense, riff-heavy 80’s thrash with the atmosphere and harsh, screeching vocals of black metal. While the album is not particularly ground-breaking or unique, everybody, whether they prefer black metal, thrash, or just want to rock out to some good metal, will find something to like on this release, and I wholeheartedly recommend it.
The Coming Of War
The Sun Of Tiphareth