Review Summary: Fast, heavy, and intense, Absu's sixth full-length is a fun listen, but, more importantly, an excellent album.
For those who don't know, Absu is a black metal band from Texas who play some of the fastest music around, and their sixth full-length "Abzu
" is no exception. It's fast as hell. This album is only thirty-six minutes long, but it blazes by in a swirling cacophony of breakneck riffing, hypersonic drumming, and harsh vocals. From the opening banshee call of "Earth Ripper," to the closing riff of the fourteen-minute epic "A Song for Ea," this record hits you like a bat out of Hell, and before you know it is over.
The second album in their planned 'self-titled trilogy,' "Abzu
" is also the band's shortest since their debut, at only thirty-six minutes. While such a short running time may seem like a downside to some, it actually benefits this record, because it doesn't allow the speedy material to overstay its welcome, and instead of leaving you tired, or causing you to lose interest halfway through, it makes you want more; it makes you want to listen to it repeatedly. More than anything, this record is a very fun listen. All the instrumentation is dead-on, even at the extreme speeds present on here, and the vocals are excellent. There are also a couple of acoustic interludes on this record which work extremely well. Lyrically, the album seems to deal with matters of the mythological and the occult.
The recording quality is also superb on "Abzu
." The mix is excellent; the drums are heavy without being overbearing, and the vocals sit at the just the right place in the ensemble. Really, the only somewhat disappointment on here would the last song, the aforementioned fourteen-minute "A Song for Ea." Don't get me wrong, it has great moments, but it isn't really as cohesive as it should be, instead sounding, at times, like a bunch of shorter songs jammed together. It's still definitely worth a listen, though.
Absu have crafted an excellent album with "Abzu
." It is a great combination of supersonic instrumentation and good songwriting, and is all supported by an outstanding mix. This is a very solid black/thrash metal album, which fans of the genre would be amiss to not check out.