While formed as a mythical death metal band by Gary and Danny, the band turned to the tutelage of Emperor (the Texas dude, not the band although who knows?) McGovern who veered the band into a mystical direction complete with his personal quest to satisfy a Highlander addiction and discover a Scottish heritage. Side project Equimanthorn's membership is restricted to magical minds with a Scottish, Irish or German background. Strange given the member's Native Indian heritage! Armed with manager Roberta Evans working the phones full time at IBM, Absu unleashes vitriol upon mankind in 1993 first through Gothic Records and subsequently by Osmose Production. The bands first official release, however; was 1991's Temple Of Offal. The band has played Europe and garnered a cult following even amidst uncertain existence and massive line up trauma. USA has been treated to one tour in 1995 alongside Incantation and Enslaved. As of late more sleek and newer bands have overshadowed the band’s fortunes. However, Tara is licensed by Olympic Records for the USA. 2002 saw McGovern unsuccessfully audition for Slayer and the departure of Equitant.
In 2005 Osmose Productions announced the release of Mythological Occult Metal: 1991-2001, a double CD and LP anthology of Absu which was due out in September. The collection of songs, compiled by Equitant and re-mastered by Proscriptor, featured rare or unreleased tracks recorded by the band. The group reappeared in 2007 with a new line-up. The band was comprised of Proscriptor McGovern - percussion, mellotron, vocals, Vastator Terrarum - guitars, bass guitar, analogue synthesizers & backing voices, Aethyris MacKay - guitars, bass guitar, analogue synthesizers & backing voices. A self-titled album is expected through Osmose Productions in June of 2008. Candlelight however signed Absu in late 2007. The band was expected to enter the studio in February to begin recording of a new album. Guitarist Vastator ended up leaving Absu in March of 2008 and was swiftly replaced by a Zawicizuz. The band would record its Candlelight Records debut, which was now expected in October. Absu next recruited bassist/co-singer Ezezu (ex-Panzram) and was completing its self-titled album now for a 2009 release through Candlelight Records. The label announced its third label-packaged tour for North America in 2009. Set to kick off on June 6th, CIII were to feature Absu with support coming from France’s Glorior Belli, Austin-based Averse Sefira and Los Angeles-based Sothis. The tour was to pass through 22 cities in the USA and Canada. Glorior Belli could not obtain a US visa and soon cancelled. Absu recruited live lead guitarist Vis Crom in place of Zawicizuz in September, 2009. The latter man was fired due to “irreconcilable differences.” The band was booked for Party.San 2011 which ran from August 11 - 13, 2011 at Flugplatz Obermehler in Schlotheim, Germany.
Absu would join Immortal on its return to the US for six shows in early 2011. The mini tour was scheduled for late February. Norway’s Pantheon I had announced the addition of former Absu guitarist Aethyris McKay. The band had initially intended to have singer Andre Kvebek focus on the guitar. Candlelight Records announced October 4th as the North American release date for Absu’s 2011 album, Abzu. The album was part two of a planned trilogy of recordings from the Dallas-based band. Absu had recently returned from Finland where they had performed a complete and unabridged version of Absu’s second album, The Sun of Tiphareth, at the Hammer Open Air Festival. The band now featured Vis Crom and Ezezu. Absu was playing four shows in East Coast USA this November and would also take part in Montreal's Messe Des Morts festival right after, performing as one of the event's main acts which also included Inquisition, Glorior Belli, Forteresse and more. Aethyris was filling in for Melechesh's Moloch while he worked on and completed his university work during the Lux Mundi European tour with Samael and Keep Of Kalessin in 2011. Following Absu’s North American and European shows, January 2012 would see the group performing on Australian soil for the first time, headlining the Connexus Conjuration Tour. Absu had to postpone its Brazilian tour to October. The band noted that it was unable to obtain visas in time to make the original dates. Absu regretfully announced the cancellation of its set at Chaos In Tejas in June of 2012 where they were being supported by Terrorism, Loss, Morbosidad, Ares Kingdom and Black Witchery. Immediately following a show at Maryland Deathfest Absu drummer and vocalist Proscriptor had to rush back to Texas due to a knee infection and had to have surgery. Absu Was undertaking a 2013 tour called North American Connexus Conjuration. The 26-city tour would see the band perform two full sets with music spanning its 20-year recording career. It was the first full tour by the Texas-based trio since the release of Abzu, the second of a planned trilogy of recordings.
“In honor (sic) of their 20th anniversary second album,” The Sun Of Tiphareth, Denver, Colorado's Trve Brewing Company customed four beers inspired by Absu in 2013!
ABSU - TARA - OSMOSE/OLYMPIC
It is no secret to my readers that Absu and the Metallian Towers have had a rocky relationship. The band's genealogically-inclined metal shenanigans and mythologically-pretentious yapping has always been deemed strictly for Jester Fridays. Interviews invoking this Scottish bloodline and that Necronomicon sex goddess are ridiculous when the act is on a Dwell Records tribute CD or when the drummer is auditioning for Slayer. There is more, but in the interest of focusing on the current album we will move on. Tara is actually the best album the band has ever released. It probably is not something that will make an appearance again in the main halls of the towers, yet sound and presentation-wise Absu has improved upon its past 'efforts.' The album is the continuation and conclusion of the saga presented by the band over the course of three albums and, in order to help the listener/reader, the band has provided a rich explanation and reference page within the expansive booklet of the album. Musically, the articulate sound helps bring Proscriptor's drumming to the front and it is indeed an impressive whirlwind. The bagpipes and most of the guest vocals are partly pathetic and partly pompous, but the instruments compensate by casting a good mixture of Slayer, eighties speed metal and more modern riffs. Tara is clearly Absu's best album and shows the band on the right track. Although having now lost Equitant (again) the band's future sound is clearly open to examination. Now were the band to ditch the bagpipes and, er, bag the pretensions to the throne of the Highlands, Absu may become good enough for repeat listens an album or two down the line.
ABSU - MYTHOLOGICAL OCCULT METAL 1991 - 2001 - OSMOSE/THE END
As much as one has to appreciate the presence of a "mythological occult metal" act in the sub-third world dump that is Texas, it is an unescapable fact that the band's imagery and concession to sword and sorcery is probably a cover for the severe lack of listenable songs or ability to pen a single memorable tune. Absu's later work, like the album Tara, had me slowly coming around and hoping that the band can eventually become something of a serious contender on the metal scene, but the release of what is essentially a jumble of discarded tracks and recordings previously deemed unfit for public consumption, even by the band, is at best an attempt to make some unearned money by the band, label or both off the back of a deluded public. Who wants to hear a lousy rehearsal track from 1993 with the muffled sound to go with it? And the music industry constantly cries foul and fails to hold up a mirror when the population shuns its product!
This compilation of rarities and oddities features a couple of rehearsal tracks, live songs, rare 7" items and the usual 'fill-er-up' motley crew of cover versions. Why issue rare and limited edition material when everyone knows the songs will appear sooner or later elsewhere? Why turn around and place tracks originally deemed sub-par on a CD a couple of years later? Why would anyone want to pay to listen to a band pay tribute to its influences when the originators' work is out there?
Mythological Occult Metal 1991 - 2001 is the audio world's equivalent of the straight-to-video release. The few hoodwinked fans who buy this will soon be visiting the used record store no doubt; in the meanwhile, a word to the wise: the usual array of publicist-pleasing web and magazine outlets will assign this their standard-issue eight and nine out of ten marks. Don't be fooled. They don't have to pay for their music. You do. - Ali "The Metallian"
ABSU - Same - CANDLELIGHT
Sometimes bands reunite for no good reason aside from a quick payday and, at other moments, collectives return because they still have something valid and important to say. Absu, the group from the wholly un-black metal locale of Dallas, Texas, falls into the latter category based on this excellent self-titled comeback record and, man, has the band ever made sure to write and record what will go down as one of its strongest works. Not merely content to resuscitate the Absu name, the group is instead seemingly intent on achieving another goal: black metal album of the year. Only time will tell if Absu reaches such a summit (and the new Beherit will pose a significant challenge for the crown), but these Texans can be proud of their creation as this album flawlessly integrates second wave black metal with wide swaths of thrash, in the process creating an energetic, invigorating listen. Absu has outdone itself here, and if this is a sign to come then let’s hope these guys are signed to a deal with many option records. - James Tape
ABSU - Same - CANDLELIGHT
The fact that Absu has chosen to self-title this album might indicate that the new members/Proscriptor think of the 2009 album as the group’s definitive work. It is rather similar to its predecessor Tara, which amazingly appeared eight years ago, but adds a twist. Firstly, this is Absu doing its tumultuous evil metal as though its 1991 (and good for them and the listeners). Unfortunately, though, typical Absu, the material is not top-notch and nearly any Swedish black metal band has one leg up on the Texans. The first half of the album is particularly weak and the paint a by-the-numbers picture of how it delivers extreme music. It just isn’t that interesting or mind-blowing. Things pick up on the second half, although this is where the aforementioned twist kicks in. The song (hope you have high-speed access to load and read this...) ...Of The Dead Who Never Rest In Their Tombs Are the Attendance Of Familiar Spirits Including: A.) Diversified Signs Inscribed B.) Our Earth of Black C.) Voor not only sports a vintage death metal riff, but also features a progressive rock segment. Magic(k) Square Cipher is better and goes for the jugular. The oddly titled In the Name of Auebothiabathabaithobeuee is the pinnacle of the group’s delivery and kicks butt. These last two songs feature speed, power and a great guitar solo. Oddly enough, even the production sounds better here. The album’s cover artwork is also a treat.
The focus apparently has shifted from men in Kilts to bearded men from Sumeria and Persia, which has positively affected the music. Too bad about the synthesizers and the progressive twists. After all, it makes for less of a definitive statement in the grand scheme of things. - Ali “The Metallian”