Absu have been at it a long time. The Texas Rangers have split up and reformed (with main man Proscriptor the sole constant member since their inception) changed sounds from dark death metal to thrashy black metal with vocals similar to old Destruction to now a concoction that seems to defy pigeonholing anymore. Always grand in scope and with lyrics from the most obscure esoterica under the sun (and places beyond and in between, I’m fairly certain), Absu’s latest sticks to formula and tradition and delivers splendidly.

“Abzu” follows their 2009 album… “Absu”. Strange, isn’t it? Sure is. Remember, there was even a song called “Apzu” on their album “The Sun of Tipareth” aeons ago. Next thing you know, they’ll start spelling it all backwards. Okay, I admit, I’m trying to hard. “Abzu” is evidently the second part of yet another trilogy from these occultniks, Magic (or maybe even “magick”, heck I don’t even know anymore!) is alive and well these days, and Absu remorselessly and unsparingly serve it up. Cold. We’ve got The Necronomicon’s Sigil of The Gateway emblazoned on the cover to even prove it. Yes! The album starts ripping on the opening track “Earth Ripper” (see, I made a “punny”!) nice and fast and Proscriptor’s castrato screams permeate as ferocious as ever right from the start. While the four tracks that follow may seem short in comparison to Absu’s prior resume, the final “A Song For Ea” (Wikipedia who that guy is) closes the album with the usual expected epic unraveling, clocking in at almost fifteen minutes and changing tone and pace a good handful of times. If you’ve been digging these guys since the beginning of their more thrashaholic attitude that started back with “The Third Storm of Cythraul”, then you’re definitely in for more treat than trick here.

Very few metal bands can be around this many years (granted, they don’t have too long of a discography for as long as they’ve been existed, but that’s ultimately irrelevant anyway), and Absu have that honor along with only a handful of others. It’s quite the feat to achieve and certainly quite the bragging rights. You can safely and confidently file this under “Another Winner” from our good ol’ boys from The Lone Star State, none of whom shot J.R., or so I hope. Absu prove yet again that you can’t keep good magic(k)ians down! (FA)