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


Skeletonwitch – Forever Abomination by orlandooom407

I am writing this review as a public service announcement to all those of you who are concerned about the negative effects of ‘heavy music’ on yourselves, your loved ones, and most importantly, your children.  The vile band of heathens that call themselves ‘Skeletonwitch‘ are the perfect poster-children for the sort of amoral depravity I’m talking about here.  Now, I don’t have a problem with their actual name, as everyone knows that the only good witch is a skeleton witch because that means she has been properly burned at the stake.  But even the most cursory examination of the band’s so-called ‘logo’ turns up no less than seventeen (17) blasphemous and/or blatantly Satanic icons, including upside-down crosses, pentagrams, the head of Baphomet, and what appears to be an image of Jesus eating a bean burrito and wiping his face with the Shroud of Turin.

Add to this heinous idolatry the name of their most recent album: Forever Abomination.  I don’t know about you, but to me it sounds almost like they’re proud of it.  I won’t even get into the cover art as it is possibly one of the most obscenely genital-ridden panoplies of subliminal sex messages since Disney’s ‘Little Mermaid’.  I forced myself to listen to the entire album so I could be sufficiently knowledgeable on the disgusting topics and horrific Hell-spawned evil sounds contained therein and be able to properly prepare you all for the likely (nay, inevitable) march to world domination by hordes of unwashed ‘heshers’ this album will unleash upon an unsuspecting, God-fearing world.

First off, this album appears to have made its filth-ridden nest in the genre known as ‘blackened thrash’.  I was fooled by this moniker at first; again I assumed that the ‘blackened’ referred to the sanctified burning of all things unclean (devil music, Harry Potter, movies with Dakota Fanning in them) but apparently it actually refers to a vocal style perpetuated in the early 90s in Norway.  I’m in favor of Norway: they were wise enough to enforce a state-sponsored official religion, unlike the liberal hippie ‘freedom of religion’ crap we have here.  Unfortunately Norway is now in line for a hearty smiting for giving birth to the demonic screeching of so-called ‘black metal’.  Next we come to ‘thrash’.  Again, I was comforted by this term, assuming (as any pious man would do) that it referred either to the cleansing self-flagellation with studded leather straps that is the only true way to free one’s body of sin, or the appropriate police response to long-haired Democratic weirdos congregating in groups to whine about their ‘rights’.  Sadly, neither of these turned out to be true; instead my head was sodomized in a most unholy fashion by hammering riffs and acid-throated howling.  ‘Shredding Sacred Flesh’? ‘Infernal Resurrection’? ‘Reduced to the Failure of Prayer’? Do these monsters hold nothing sacred?

Well, clearly they don’t, and just as clearly they are completely unrepentant savages content to wallow in the juices of their own ungodly corruption.  So unless you relish the thought of having your brain seared by ‘blackened thrash’ that will make Jesus weep into his Gordita Supreme, stay far, far away from this album and may God have mercy on your soul!

Click here to order Forever Abomination, available from Prosthetic Records for only $10!

– Gregor Von Leakenhawer

Orlando Metal Awards Voting Begins! by orlandooom407

Big props to Orlandooom’s own Keith Carlson for this exceptionally classy logo.  So, the Orlando Metal Awards have come again in October as usual. Since our inception at the beginning of this year all of the dedicated individuals that contribute to Orlandooom shows, blog posts, promotions, parties or what have you have been a family to me. Granted, as Tim of Hollow Leg put it, that family appears to be  “a bunch of satanic alcoholics” seen through the eyes of any average Joe who’s never heard a metal band that wasn’t Slipknot or Metallica’s Black Album.

Now, I’m asking our readers, friends, and supporters to help us leave a foot print on the scene we’ve all work so hard to build and nourish. Below you’ll find a list of my  nominations for Orlando’s Best  Metal Bands and Individual Musicians. I’m going to post every single band that’s been gracious enough to be part of one of our shows. My individual list, however, will only be my personal nominations for each category.


Doom and Sludge Nominations

Hollow Leg (Jaxlando Doom Metal) – Check out Hollow Leg on their Bandcamp page.

Junior Bruce (Sludge Metal, signed to A389 Records)Check out Junior Bruce on Facebook.

Demons (Sludge Metal) – Check out Demons on Youtube.

Swamp Ruins (Grind n’ Doom Metal) Check out Swamp Ruins on their Bandcamp page.

Six Dead Horses (Hypnotic Doom Metal) – Check out Six Dead Horses on their Bandcamp page.

Druid Lord (Death-Doom Metal) – Check out Druid Lord on their Bandcamp page.

Sterile Prophet (Doom Metal) – Check out Sterile Prophet on their Bandcamp page.

King Hippo (Sludge / Thrash Metal) – Check out King Hippo on Facebook.

Progressive Metal

Khann (Progressive Metal, signed to Black Market Activity) – Check out Khann on Facebook.

Abuse (Mathpunk Metal Madness) – Check out Abuse on their Bandcamp page.

With My Bear Hands (Progressive Metal) – Check out WMBH on their Bandcamp Page.

Primary Colors (Progessive Metal) – Check out Primary Colors on Facebook.

Black and Thrash Metal

Dissident Aggressor (Blackened Thrash) – Check out Dissident Aggressor on their Bandcamp page.

Ghede (Powerviolence / Black Metal) – Check out Ghede on their Bandcamp page.

Paper Street Soap Company (Thrash Metal) – Check out Paper Street on Facebook.

Death Metal

Ninety Minute Reflex (Deathgrind) – Check out Ninety Minute Reflex on Facebook.

Quarter the Villain (Deathgrind) – Check out QTV on their Bandcamp page.

Abdomen Canvas (Death Metal) – Check out Abdomen Canvas on Facebook.

My Nominations For Individual Performers

David Gayler – Vocalist for Demons

Jake Smith – Guitarist for Khann

Tom Crowther – Bassist for Junior Bruce and Hollow Leg

Joshua Dulcie – Drummer for Khann



Oh, and you can vote for my band (Fire in the Cave) if you want too, we’d greatly appreciate your support. 🙂

– Jared Oates Haggard

Hot Graves – Knights in White Phosphorus by orlandooom407

More Florida homeboys have landed across my desk recently, even though it appears I’m somewhat late to the party (this release came out in August of this year), I’m going to review this anyway because it’s well worth the verbiage.

Hot Graves hail straight from Gainesville, sounding like a strange 21st century urban viking Thrash troupe than anything you’d expect out of Gator country. My fondest memory of these towering fuckers isn’t even musical; they were present at a Thou show at the Junkyard (also in Gville), their huge, leather clad forms moshing jovially with everyone else in that fucking furnace of a venue. I didn’t even need to hear them play to know these dudes had energy in surplus, and Knights In White Phosphorus (my favorite album title so far!) confirms my feelings.

This album jumps straight out of the gate, bringing immediately to mind some menacing, Mad Max-style barbarian biker gang in the form of a thrash metal song. “Dirtthrash” is the best way an album like this could’ve started, replete with triumphant solos, an endless ferocity and a tone rivaling the best of all modern thrash bands. Thrash in itself can fall flat if bands try to hard to recapture the original 80’s feel, but Hot Graves sounds only like Hot Graves, albeit tempered with influence from bands like Bison B.C. and d-beat groups of the past decade. That said, their d-beat influence is what really sets them apart from all Pretenders to the Shred Throne; it gives their songs that driving, roadworthy quality that makes you want to run out of your house seeking conquest.

Knights in White Phosphorus is not to be underestimated. Anyone looking for a top notch album of pure, fast riffage and solos that touch the blood-stained sky should look no further. The only flaw is that Hot Graves clearly has a sonic comfort zone, but they know how to stomp their imprint onto a 25-year old template to where you don’t even care. Energy and excellent musicianship should stifle any claims otherwise. Besides, Hot Graves are clearly metal enough to where they probably wouldn’t even hear the tears of blood rolling down thrash haters’ faces. “Sorry, the lamentations of your women are too loud. Post it on our facebook or something.”

See also: That fucking album cover. My score for this album is that image/10.

Check out Hot Graves‘ newest release, Knights in White Phosphorus, on their Bandcamp page.

Also, Hot Graves will support The Atlas Moth and Ken Mode on their upcoming show in Gainesville this Friday 10/7 (CLICK FLIER FOR DETAILS):

– Chris Nunez

TONIGHT Black Fog Descends Upon Will’s Pub by orlandooom407

October 1st, 2011: Orlandooom.com Proudly Presents – Slashpine, Fire in the Cave, Dissident Aggressor, and Nefarious Ascendancy!

Location – Will’s Pub
18+ $6 Show

Slashpine (Miami Black Metal) – http://slashpine305.bandcamp.com/

Fire in the Cave (Orlando Blackened Doom) – http://facebook.com/pages/Fire-in-the-Cave/161123277284830

Dissident Aggressor (Orlando Blackened Thrash) – http://dissidentaggressor.bandcamp.com/

Nefarious Ascendancy (Daytona Beach Black Metal) – http://facebook.com/pages/Nefarious-Ascendency/163992850317276

Hope to see some furious folks out tonight! There will be a sushi truck serving outside Will’s tonight as well, come hungry.

Check Orlandooom out on FACEBOOK OMG.

-Jared Oates Haggard