An Abysmal Genesis...
The music of Absu has been described as mysterious, majestic, magic(k)al, powerful and persuasive, but the band has always declared the sound to be classified as “mythological occult metal.” This categorization has earned Absu a cult-like status around the world. Their talent to combine extreme metal with progressive overtones has formulated solid compositions supported by magnificent showmanship that is equally malicious and captivating. It is this distinctive alchemy of entertainment that has merited the respect of fellow musicians and followers alike.
The year was 1989 and the economically thriving exurbia of Plano, Texas was nationally infamous as “The Death Club” amongst the teenagers of that era. Unable to live up to their parents’ expectations, they escaped to drugs and crime resulting in overdoses and suicide for many. This synthesized recipe of pure rebellion paved the forked pathway of occult sciences, mythologies and barbaric compositions for the future members of Absu.
The band initially formed as Dolmen (Breton for “portal tomb,” or in Welsh, “cromlech”) and tagged themselves as "dark speed metal," taking influences from bands such as Slayer, Bathory, German visionaries Deathrow, Destruction, Kreator, Sodom, and Texan (homegrown) heroes Morbid Scream, Necrovore and Rigor Mortis.
Founding members Shaftiel (guitar/vocals) and Equitant (guitar/bass) finally settled on the moniker, “Absu” in early 1991 due to their attraction to mystical dogma dissemination and mythologies. They cut their teeth releasing the following cassette recordings, Return Of The Ancients & Infinite And Profane Thrones, as well as a 7” EP titled The Temples Of Offal for Gothic Records in 1992. On stage, they supported headline acts such as Entombed, Unleashed, Vital Remains, Incantation, Dead Horse and Autopsy. Within two years, Absu had established substantial awareness in the Texas area.
In 1993, their debut album, Barathrum: V.I.T.R.I.O.L. was released by Gothic and licensed through France’s Osmose Productions later that year. This debut introduced drummer/ vocalist, Proscriptor, which solidified Absu’s classic line-up as a trio. The following year witnessed the band leaving Gothic to sign with Osmose for the release of the 1995 sophomore release, The Sun Of Tiphareth, two additional full-length albums, two EPs, one compilation album and a home video.
Accompanied by long-time acquaintance and session bassist/vocalist, Mezzadurus, of Blood Storm and Goreaphobia fame, Absu toured supporting these releases across North America and Europe with Osmose label mates Enslaved, Impaled Nazarene, Infernö and Sadistik Exekution.
After a short silence from the subversive community, Absu returned in 2001 to release their most acclaimed record to-date: Tara. Released by both Osmose Productions and Olympic Recordings/Century Media, this album provided listeners a compelling, musical and lyrical journey that no other extreme metal band had attained in a concept album. Written in two different movements, Tara unleashed the final chapter of a trilogy, which included the predecessor releases: The Third Storm Of Cythrául (1997) and In The Eyes Of Ioldánach. (1998) These audible documents heavily concentrated on Thelemic Magic(k) and Celtic Mythology based around archaic traditions and tyranny.
Tension within the group was brewing and in early 2002, Proscriptor took a sabbatical to audition for Slayer. After an arduous audition process, Slayer reverted back to their original drummer Dave Lombardo and Proscriptor returned to Absu to begin the songwriting process of Tara’s follow-up: Absu. (Self-titled album) However, tragedy struck when he suffered a severe hand injury, which left both Equitant and Shaftiel no choice but to part ways with Proscriptor in January 2003.
Concluding a five-year hiatus, Proscriptor reorganized the band and signed with Candlelight Records to embark on the ever-so-merited album trilogy: Absû/Abzû/Apsû. After a series of line-ups, 2009 captured the release of the self- titled album, Absû, followed by 2011’s Abzû marking the first and second movements of the triumvirate conception. For the latter release, Proscriptor enlisted bassist/co-vocalist Ezezû to permanently join the fold and embarked on extensive, worldwide touring up until 2017.
On January 27th 2020, Proscriptor announced the dissolution of Absu and declared the following, farewell message: "After meager deliberation and zero remorse, I have decided to dissolve Absu after three decades of existence. Collectively and universally speaking, this decision is finite due to insoluble circumstances, which has led to this ultimate result. No amount of time, exertion, formula or fashion can alter my verdict. Refusing to further comment on the subject, I leave thee with the following enchantment: For there are bitter waters of Chaos held immobile under (the) ground – And the Sovereigns, who personify them, reign over Opacities and Beyond. Beseech these All-Begetters in darkness, outside the circles of time. In Chaos’ sleight of hand, the Deep will respond.”
Six months later, it was announced that a debut self-titled album would be released under the moniker Proscriptor McGovern’s Apsû, via their new signatory label, Agonia Records. Since Absu’s last album ‘was’ to be penned as Apsû, (Babylonian allusion) he decided to fuse the album title with his name to form the new group. Securing the ranks is continuing bassist/vocalist Ezezû and new guitar extraordinaire Vaggreaz. The new album will be announced in late 2020 with the persisted artwork skills of Zbigniew Bielak.
Absu’s closing has evolved into the euphonic hallucinogen of Proscriptor McGovern’s Apsû, finding place in the mercurial Primum Mobile – never bogged down nor beholden to it. Animated with the same ineffable spirit of “mythological occult metal,” Apsû continues the inquisitive conduction of soundtracks dedicated to the Void and its reflex: the Abyss.