With the dawn of a new year upon us and almost a decade into a new millennium, the time is now for the return of Mythological Occult Metal’s forefathers to issue a new and unique vision. February 2009 will see the band’s first full length album since 2001’s famed Tara in the form of the eponymous-titled, Absu. The album sees Proscriptor McGovern leading a new band into what is easily its strongest/most accomplished material and promises not only to wave the flag high of it’s past, but to embrace the new with every bit as much vigor and aggression.
To fully understand the musical mystery and mythology of the band, one has to dig deep into the roots of its complex gathering of artists and musicians. Only then is one prone to discover that ABSU are not only in it for the music, but for the advancement of its art. The lyrical content within ABSU’s music is based on such themes as Sumerian/Mesopotamian/Celtic mythology, Goetic/Chaos/ Enochain Magic(k), Thelemic Mysticism, Metaphysics, Necromancy and Barbarism.
The birth of what we now know as ABSU began under the name Dolmen in 1989, which was founded by Shaftiel and Equitant Ifernain. By 1990, the band had taken the name Azathoth, but by 1991 had changed it once again, this time to ABSU releasing the Immortal Sorcery single followed by its debut demo Return to the Ancients.
The Temples of Offal 7” EP was recorded in late 1991, but saw the departure of early members, guitarist Gary Lindholm and drummer Daniel Benbow - this opened the door to new members Proscriptor McGovern and Daviel Athron Mystica whose 1992 arrival came as the result of the disintegration of the band MAGUS.
The result of this amalgam was the colossal debut album Barathrum: V.I.T.R.I.O.L. Released in 1993, the album saw the short-lived addition of keyboardist Black Massith who, along with Mystica, left the fold shortly thereafter leaving Shaftiel and Equitant to cover both bass and guitar duties. And thus the era of ABSU as a trio was at hand. The Sun of Tiphareth followed in 1995 and assured the band had not suffered from any of the usual pitfalls associated with a sophomore release. The truth was quite the contrary in fact, which lead to successful touring throughout North America and Europe. For live performances, they recruited Mezzadurus (a.ka. Chris Gamble) of Bloodstorm/ Goreaphobia fame for bass and co-vocalist assistance until 2002.
The band’s next effort was the stunning Celtic-inspired recording, 1997’s The Third Storm of Cythrául, which once again proved the band was as solid as a trio as the extreme metal world had seen since the likes of Sodom and Destruction. ABSU quickly followed this up with the In the Eyes of Ioldánach EP in 1998.
What followed that was the creation of what was easily the pinnacle of the bands tenure as a three-piece, 2001’s conceptual album Tara. That year also incidentally saw the band recruit a new second guitarist, Kashshapxu, as the band were primed to take Mythological Occult Metal to the masses.
However, in early 2002, Equitant left due to musical differences and during this period Proscriptor auditioned for Slayer, who eventually went with their original drummer Dave Lombardo. Afterwards, Proscriptor severely injured his hand in an accident, which required surgery and several months of healing and rehabilitation. By the time Proscriptor was ready to perform again, Shaftiel no longer had any interest in the band while Kashshapxu also left due to musical differences. The future of ABSU was for the first time, uncertain. Proscriptor then put ABSU on hold and decided to work on other projects. In 2005, Proscriptor and Equitant put together a collection of rare, live and unreleased ABSU recordings and released it under the title Mythological Occult Metal: 1991-2001.
With the band officially on hiatus, Proscriptor worked on other projects including Equimanthorn (with Equitant and members of The Soil Bleeds Black), Proscriptor (his own project of neo-folk/classic rock fused music), and Starchaser Network (with Equitant and Victorious; electronic art/rock band). Additionally, he was the drummer/lyricist for Melechesh from 1999 to 2004 (and still contributes lyrics and vocals to this day) and has done session work with numerous bands around the globe. Proscriptor also has his own record label, Tarot Productions.
In May 2007, Proscriptor made his intentions clear to carry on and reincarnate ABSU by enlisting guitarists Aethyris McKay and Vastator Terrarum to the band. In November 2007, they announced they had signed with Candlelight Records for their future recordings and would also release a 7" EP through Relapse Records titled Speed N' Spikes featuring their first new material in seven years. That same month also saw Vastator leave the band, but was instantly replaced by Zawicizuz. In October 2008, the band added ex-Panzram member Ezezu as bassist and co-vocalist, after completing the recording of their latest, eponymous-titled album.