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ABSU Forced To Cancel Chaos In Tejas Performance by orlandooom407

Breaking news. Absu was forced to cancel their upcoming Chaos in Tejas performance. Here’s the skinny /via Earsplit:

“Mythological occult metal artisans ABSU regretfully announce the cancellation of their set at this weekend’s Chaos In Tejas festivities, where they were confirmed to headline the show at Red 7 this Saturday with support from Terrorism, Loss, Morbosidad, Ares Kingdom and Black Witchery.

Immediately following their bludgeoning performance at the opening night of this year’s sweltering installment of Maryland Deathfest this past Thursday night, ABSU drummer/vocalist Proscriptor had to rush back to Texas due to a knee infection. Following two instantaneous surgeries, Proscriptor will be in good health and back to 110% efficiency by the mid portion of June, but not in time to perform as scheduled on Saturday night.

This cancellation is disheartening to the band for the moment, as they were fully planning on leveling all in earshot at the performance this weekend; however, this procedure will now ensure that the band will be fully operational for the previously mentioned forthcoming ABSU live assaults throughout North and South America, which are being confirmed now to be announced in the weeks just ahead. Stay tuned to be inundated with new information on said events.”

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ABSU Prepare For Maryland Deathfest & Chaos In Tejas by orlandooom407

Maryland Death Fest sits on the horizon less than two days from now. Scott Branbar (Fire in the Cave) and I are attending the festival, and I cannot express how excited I am for the entire lineup. For those who are attending check out this metal festival survival guide compiled and written by the lovely Pitgoddess of The Scrapyard blog. With the likes of Godflesh, Napalm Death, and Winter, among many others, all the expenses and planning will soon wash away as an afterthought.

Absu has plans to hit not one but two huge summer festival events. Here’s the press release:

ABSU will be joined on stage that night by a plethora of other extreme acts including Rorschach, Dying Fetus, Eyehategod, Agalloch and headliners for the evening, Autopsy. A full running order for the fest and all other MDF info can be found HERE.

A week after MDF, ABSU will slay this year’s Chaos In Tejas in Austin, Texas on Saturday, June 2nd, headlining the indoor stage at Red 7, with support from Terrorism, Loss, Morbosidad, Ares Kingdom and Black Witchery. Full CIT info and schedules can be found HERE.

ABSU Confirmed Tour Dates:
5/24/2012 Sonar – Baltimore, MD @ Maryland Deathfest
6/02/2012 Red 7 – Austin, TX @ Chaos In Tejas

Further live assaults throughout North and South America are being devised now for disbursement in the coming weeks.”

There you have it black metal hessians. See you all in Baltimore!

http://absu.us
https://www.facebook.com/officialabsu
http://absu.bandcamp.com
http:/www.candlelightrecordsusa.com
https://www.facebook.com/CandlelightRecordsUSA

Source via Earsplit PR



Absu – Abzu by orlandooom407

It’s been a good year for metal already, and I was definitely looking forward to this release, the newest album from Texas mythological occult masters Absu. To anyone unfamiliar with their work, they describe themselves as “Mythological Occult Metal,” and play a pretty brutal brand on blackened death. They definitely do not play a straight version of BM, which might be refreshing to anyone who’s been listening to nothing but the frozen lake of sound that is “trve kvlt metal” these days. As for their overall theme, Absu is obsessed with esoteric and occult themes, moreso than most bands; while many bands might have a shitload of semi-Satanic or Hermetic imagery on their albums, Absu lyrically focuses on historic pagan traditions, stemming mainly from Celtic/Druidic mythology and tradition, as well as the Sumerian pantheon and creation tales. “Absu” (as well as Abzu and Apsu) is a name for the Sumerian concept of “holy water,” the belief that all sacred underground water stems from one holy source, an underground sea where the god Ea resides. These Sumerian legends inform a great deal of the conceptual framework for the new album.

Don’t get me wrong, before I looked anything up, I figured these guys had gone tongue-in-cheek, just switching out the “s” in their name to make their new album title sound like some weird fitness center for pets. This initial impression was reinforced by the awesome way the first track opens; Proscriptor opens “Earth Ripper” with a classic thrash riff and a vocal that sounds like he rented King Diamond’s “Instant Satanic Castrato” ball clamp. This will probably seem completely out of place for anybody insisting that their BM be pure (PURE I SAY), but it’s an excellent send-up to bands like Mercyful Fate and Slayer, both of whom have their fingerprints all over this album. “Earth Ripper” is a great opener to this album, wearing Absu’s love of thrash on their sleeves and sending any nonbelievers running for the hills.

“Circles of the Oath” sounds more like the material from the previous album, and is still completely punishing, showing Absu’s ability to incorporate the usual “whirlwind of tremolo picking” with rapid dynamic shifts. Proscriptor is still an absolute beast on drums, and has always had one of my favorite voices for black/death/whatever metal. He achieves that nasty “imp gargling curdled milk” sound that tends to shred less capable larynges in minutes. “Abraxas Connexus” has portions that remind me of a faster Cobalt (another great USBM band) interspersed with more Slayer love.

Of course, the elephant in the room on this album is the six-part “A Song for Ea” that closes everything out. The longest song Absu’s ever recorded, this journey through the black temple shifts and turns throughout its 14-minute length, taking us through peaks of vicious black thrash rites and valleys of acoustic reprieve. The entire work refers to the creation story of Sumer, better known as the Epic of Gilgamesh. Ea is one of the gods of the Sumerian pantheon, and “E-A,” the first section of the piece, refers to the “house of water,” Ea’s temple. “The Third Tablet” appears to refer to the section of the Epic where Gilgamesh takes counsel from his mother, Queen Ninsun before making his journey. Overall this whole thing thrashes harder than anything else on the album.  I’m also a sucker for ponderous, multi-segmented works, and even moreso when a non-wank band takes them up. This whole piece is easily my favorite work since they released Tara ten years ago. Perfect way to close the album.

So, metalheads and kvltists alike, check out this album to satisfy your cravings in this dark year 2011. I still prefer Tara over this album or the previous self-titled release, but “Earth Ripper,” “Abraxas Connexus” and the closing track are alone worth the price of admission. With any luck these guys will actually do an extensive tour of their own country this year, and we’ll get to hear Proscriptor’s Arroyo/Diamond-infused fury up close and personal.

Click here to order Abzu, available on Candlelight Records!

– Chris Nunez



Black Muddle; or Why “Transcendental Black Metal” Doesn’t Really Exist by orlandooom407

I hate music journalism, and if you’re anything like me, you do too. To paraphrase an old maxim: “Those who can’t make music, write about it.” Gone are the days of Lester Bangs, and a whole generation of critics are trying desperately to “do” something new or different, and by “do” I mean “find”. Everyone wants to unearth that obscure gem that everyone else ignored and elevate it to a cosmic plane removed from the music consuming public whom they usually despise.

So why this rant? What point am I trying to get at?

Liturgy. For a long while now, this “transcendental black metal” band (their words, not mine)have been receiving coverage from indie publications and even a few larger ones. But why Liturgy? Why all the attention focused on a band, who by all accounts have only existed for a short period of time – one which is completely disproportionate to the amount of attention (both positive and negative) directed their way? Maybe it’s the presence of a frontman, who despite a name so eerily close to a certain professional wrestler, seems to have weighty musical and (apparently) philosophical ambitions.

It is, and has been, my opinion that the attention devoted to Liturgy in music press (and by some weekend-warrior fans of heavy music) is directly related to the band’s purposeful distancing from the style of music they purport to play. Black metal is a genre which has always attracted a lot of outside attention, due mostly to the crimes associated with the Norwegian black metal scene of the early 1990s. Almost every feature on black metal in a mainstream or “independent” publication uselessly mentions the scene’s association with Satanism, murder, or corpsepaint insisting somehow that black metal is solely a Scandinavian import – ignoring American contributions to black metal entirely (Profanatica anyone?). Take for example this quote from a recent New Yorker piece:

“But now American bands such as Liturgy, Krallice, Absu, Leviathan, Wolves in the Throne Room, and Inquisition have left a fair amount of the pageantry behind—not to mention the violence—and helped to create a community, as well as a musical moment that is rife with activity.

Let’s break this trash heap down: pageantry left behind? Inquisition and Absu still use the corpse paint that so many mock; Wrest of Leviathan is currently embroiled in a legal battle; none of the above bands are worried about “creating a community” – Absu and Inquisition are known for the limited number of shows they play on American soil, Wolves in the Throne Room are recluses who have openly declared that they have accomplished their project and are moving on to new ones, and Leviathan is a one man-band that has NEVER played live.

Going further: this sentence is the article’s last mention of Absu, Krallice, Leviathan, and Inquisition. It goes on to mention only Liturgy and Wolves in the Throne Room. Is Liturgy even black metal?

No, the style of music Liturgy plays is obviously INFLUENCED by black metal while remaining outside of the genre in most senses of the word. Both WITTR and Krallice play a style of black metal descending not from Norway, but from the United States. They have been referred to as the direct lineage of the legendary USBM band Weakling, with WITTR simplifying the sound into ambient territory, and Krallice complicating it into more technical territory.

Liturgy, in comparison to the above bands, sound like a sad imitation of the style. More than a few people have remarked on the quality Liturgy has to sound muddled – almost like two bands playing at the same time. This cacophony of sounds in and of itself doesn’t make black metal, and neither do “burst beats” which the band proclaim to play. Call it experimental, call it noise, but it isn’t black metal.

A genre is, if nothing else, a discrete and conscious stylistic limitation. If you want to transcend a genre, perhaps the last thing you should be concerned with is maintaining that genre’s name.

In a sense, the spirit of black metal is one which understands that it is not trying to transcend the bounds of the genre – it is the worship of the elder gods, the tribute to those past, a reverence for musical tradition. The darkness in the music IS the genre, not a limitation as Liturgy seem to think.

What Liturgy do represents a negation of the idea of black metal, which exists as a conscious limitation of style. When you try to place yourself both inside and outside of a particular style, don’t complain that you aren’t being accepted and instead say you are transcending it. In fact, abandoning is a better word for what the band does. Hunter Hunt-Hendrix is a man who wants to have his cake and eat it too, and I’m here to tell him for the first time in his life that he can’t have whatever he wants.

Keep making music, but don’t piss on our music and tell us a hard rain is coming.

– Sean McDonnell