his Texas based black metal act (they prefer the term "Mythological Occult Music") named themselves after the Sumerian word for "abyss", was founded under the name Dolmen with Shaftiel and Lord Equitant Infernian (guitarist Gary Lindholmm and drummer Daniel Benbow respectively) at the helm in 1989. In 1990, the band changed their name to Azathoth, and by 1991 the act had evolved into Absu, releasing the single Immortal Sorcery and demo session Return To The Ancients.
In 1991 their Temple Of The Offal EP was released, along with several very rare singles. When Emperor Proscriptor Magikus (Real Name: Russ Givens; percussion/voices)who claims direct lineage to the Scottish clans and frequently wears a kilt to bolster his assertions, along with Daviel Athron Mysticia, came from their former outfit Megas the band was a completely different unit due in part also to the departure of the two founding members Gary Lindholmm and Daniel Benbow. Influenced by progressive rock and German death metal, not to mention being dressed as if Satan himself was coming for dinner that evening, they released their debut album in 1993 titled Barathrum V.I.T.R.I.O.L., whose full title reads Barathrum: Visita Interiora Terrae Rectificando Invenies Occultul Lapiderm (Latin for "Visiting the insides of the Earth"). A second guitarist was duly added in the form of Black Massith, but shortly after Mystica left the fold necessitating Equitant to cover both bass and guitar. The act also brought in Goreaphobia vocalist Mezzadurus for touring purposes.
Lyrically Absu would deal in themes of esoterica blending Sumerian and Mesopotamian folklore and mythology together with ceremonial magic, the rites of the Qabbala, Gnosticism and Celtic mythology. Other dominant themes included ancestral attributions deriving from Scottish, Irish and Germanic histories.
Sun Of Tiphareth (1995) and Third Storm Of Cythraul (1997) would soon after be unleashed unto the human masses, followed by Tara in 2001.
Mezzadurus, meanwhile, convened a side project act titled Bloodtorm releasing, among others, the 1997 album The Atlantean Wardragon. Equitant would operate an electronic solo project called Equitant issuing the 1994 demo Great Lands Of Minas Ithul ( Of Isildur).
For his part, Proscriptor was also busy with side projects, including a Mesopotamian side act titled Melechesh, an act that has been finding success over the past few years. Proscriptor has also performed live as drummer for Judas Iscariot and even finds time to engage his talents as a member of Medieval act Moonroot alongside Mike Riddick of The Soil Bleeds Black.
The membership of Absu would also engage in the act Equimanthorn having released two albums to date.
guitarist/vocalist Alex Colin Toquaine from the French act Agressor would team up with Absu on a session basis during mid 2001.The band would enroll Kashshaptu on guitar during October. Proscriptor made space in January of 2002 to perform drums on the new Demonic Christ studio album. The man's name would also be linked to premier thrashers Slayer, with word arriving that Proscriptor had auditioned for the band and was at one time ranked one of the favorites to secure the position.
The band announced the departure of co-founder/guitarist/bassist/songwriter Equitant Ifernain in June 2002. The run of setbacks culminated in August when Proscriptor McGovern was forced out of action. An injury to the wrist completely shattered the Scaphoid bone necessitating reconstructive surgery to mend it back together and an enforced lay off the drum kit for many months.
Pre-Absu archived Dolmen tracks would then be issued as On The Eve Of War on a highly sought after restricted run of 666 vinyl album copies in 2003 through the 'Iron Pegasus' label. During 2004 Absu would also donate their rendition of Swing Of The Axe to the Seven Gates Of Horror tribute album assembled by the Dutch 'Karmaggedon Media' label in homage to pioneering Bay Area Thrash act Possessed.
In 2004 Proscriptor launched a new label venture entitled 'Tarot Productions'. The first product would be a solo undertaking Proscriptor's Thoth Music(k) for a limited edition EP. Planned future releases would include archive Absu material as well as rare recordings from related artists Equimanthorn, Heavens Devils, Equitant, Divine Eve and Starchaser Network.Absu have slowly gained a following and more notice but will most likely remain a cult favorite only due mostly to their musical style, marketing, and the large number of competing side project by the members.
In 2005 Mythological Occult Metal CD and 2LP editions would be release, It would be followed in 2009 by a self-titled album featuring bassist/co-vocalist Ezezu (ex-Panzram) to the mix, the first time since Barathrum V.I.T.R.I.O.L. they have played as a quartet.
With Absu on hold, Proscriptor worked on other projects, including the aforementioned Equimanthorn (with Equitant and members of The Soil Bleeds Black; dark ambient music) and Proscriptor (self named project of neo-folk/classic rock fused music). Additionally, he was the drummer/vocalist for Melechesh for six years (1999-2005, although he still contributes lyrics and vocals) and has done session work with Judas Iscariot, Thornspawn, and Magnus Thorsen. Proscriptor also has his own record label, 'Tarot Productions'.
In May 2007, Prosciptor finally announced the addition of Vastator Terrarum and Aethyris MacKay to the band. In early 2008, Absu announced they had signed with 'Candlelight Records' for future recordings, but that they would release a 7" EP through 'Relapse Records', called Speed N' Spikes, a limited series featuring their first new material in seven years. In March 2008, Vastator Terrarum left to be replaced by Zawicizuz (formerly of the bands Infernal Oak, Rape Pillage Burn, and Bleed the Son). In October 2008, the band added ex-Panzram member Ezezu on bass and vocals, after completing the recording of their self-titled album, released on February 16 (Europe) and February 24 (USA), 2009, on 'Candlelight'.
In September 2009, Zawicizuz left Absu and was replaced by Vis Crom of Rumpelstiltskin Grinder, Woe and XXX Maniak. The band then embarked on a European tour with Pantheon I, Razor of Occam and Zoroaster.
In November 2010, Absu announced that they would be doing a six-date US tour with Immortal in February 2011 as a three piece when Aethyris MacKay left to join Pantheon I. After this tour, Absu entered the studio to record their next album, titled Abzu (released in October 2011), followed up with a tour.
In 2012, they released a single through 'Adult Swim' ('Williams Street Records') titled Hall of the Masters and later a video was produced for the song, their first official promotional video in 14 years (the previous being Mannannan in 1998). 2011 through 2018 would see a set of compilations and a box set emerge.
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Absu performs live in Paris in 2009.
Photo by: Vassil.
CC BY 3.0
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