OFFICIAL NEWSBLOG OF ABSU

Monday, April 7, 2014

New Merchandise Available

The Vault has been re-opened with all new merchandise, direct from ABSU's recent tour of Australia! You can check it out here.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Barathrum: V.I.T.R.I.O.L. LP to be Re-Issued by The Crypt

From The Crypt/Dark Symphonies:

ABSU (USA): Barathrum V.I.T.R.I.O.L. STANDARD EDITION Official LP (CRYPT13)

Over the years, we have received a lot of feedback from fans and customers stating their budget doesn't allow for our luxurious editions or that all of the bonus tracks, poster or box isn't necessary and would simply prefer to have the vinyl in a straightforward, affordable format. Well, we finally listened!

The Crypt is honored to reissue ABSU's debut masterpiece "Barathrum: V.I.T.R.I.O.L." on classic black wax!

The LP comes housed in a 350 gram, semi-gloss jacket featuring the original Gothic Records cover illustration by Tim Phillips. To retain the classic feel of the original 1993 release, the LP jacket is designed in the spirit of the original CD layout with attention to detail - even down to the original typeface! Also included in this set is a 12" x 12" lyric insert. Expect the same level of quality we have always presented: this time substantially less expensive and without all the bells and whistles! Coming in late 2014!

Friday, March 21, 2014

ABSU: "Origin: War and Magic(k)" Box Set - PRE-ORDER NOW!

Information Here.

Every great story has a prologue. Before the mighty ABSU, there were two occult metal manifestations... MAGUS and DOLMEN that together, helped to forge one of the the most well know acts in the underground today.

The Crypt is proud to present our further cooperation with ABSU members Proscriptor and Equitant, with deluxe 12" gatefold vinyl editions of MAGUS - Ruminations of Debauchery and DOLMEN - On the Eve of War. Both releases will feature original cover art and layout elements. DOLMEN features the unreleased, original1989 mono mix (the 2001 Vinyl release features an artificial stereo mix as the tracks were only ever recorded in mono) as well as an unreleased cover of Slayer's "Black Magic". Magus will feature the original unreleased mix of "Ruminations..." as well as the 1992 "Lines That Formed Hexagrams" demo. All songs mastered for vinyl from the original analog and dat sources.

Both gatefolds come housed in an amazing, heavy gauge case wrapped, hand numbered box with a new amazing, original Kris Verwimp cover illustration which is also included as a poster. Limited to 200 hand numbered copies on 180 gram black vinyl

TRACK LIST:

LP One – Side A: MAGUS – Ruminations Of Debauchery – Original Mix – 1992
Icons Of Gods
Debauchery
Ruminations (...Of Nature)
The Magus

Side B: MAGUS - Lines That Formed Hexagrams – Orignal Mix – 1992
Ruminations
Reflections Of The Dark (Carbonized Cover)
The Magus
Dataquest
Hexacles (Outro)

LP Two: Side A & B: DOLMEN – On The Eve of War – Original Mono Mix – 1989
Conjuration (Intro)
The Ritual Night
Dolmen (Living In Fear)
On The Eve of War
The Battle
Denigration
Infernal Attack
Thy Summoning (Outro)
Black Magic (Slayer Cover)

Layout By The Crypt – All Tracks Mastered for Vinyl By Dan Lowndes @ Resonance Sound 2014.

Here is an excellent performance clip of ABSU at Maryland Deathfest X performing "Never Blow Out The Eastern Candle", which has its origins with Dolmen.

Friday, February 14, 2014

Celebrating "Tara"

With the release of the "Tara" Box Set occurring now (you can purchase it here), here is a list of some interesting information about "Tara":

In 2001, an Italian magazine called “Grind Zone” reported the following as the official tracklist of “Tara”:

I. "Tara"
II. "Pillars Of Mercy"
III. "A Shield With An Iron Face"
IV. "To The Gallows"
V. "Cries Of Sanity"
VI. "She Cries The Quiet Lake"
VII. "From Ancient Times (Starless Skies Burn To Ash)"
VIII. "Spell 181"
IX. "Vorago (Spell 182)"
X. "Four Crossed Wands"
XI. "Hall Of The Masters"
XII. "The Great Battle Moving From Ideal To Actual"
XIII. "Tara (Reprise)"

The observant will notice TWO Morbid Scream covers here (one of which ultimately was recorded and released on the split 7” with Rumplestilskin Grinder). The other was never completed.

Four Crossed Wands and Spell 181 appeared to be separate tracks at first.

"The Great Battle Moving From Ideal To Actual" which was recorded by Bard Algol Eriboas (aka Josh Cook of Cernunnos Woods). This was to later be released on the “Hallstattian Swords” EP but instead did not appear until the Mythological Occult Metal: 1991-2001" compilation.

In 2012, ABSU recorded "Hall of the Masters" and released it as a single (and later a video).

The "Tara" artwork by Kris Verwimp contains actual soil samples from the Hill of Tara.

Speaking of which, the version of "Stone of Destiny (...For Magh Slecht and Ard Righ)" that appears on the "Mythological Occult Metal: 1991-2001" Compilation is called the "Hall of the Masters Version".

Early promotional material stated that Mike Scaccia of Rigor Mortis/Ministry fame was going to contribute to the album but that fell through.

King Diamond was recording his album "House of God" at the time ABSU was to enter the studio. This led to some delays to which King Diamond offered to perform vocals on "Tara". However, due to contractual restrictions, he could not be credited on the album. Therefore, he was credited as Masthema Mazziqim, the alias used by the singer of Dolmen which featured Shaftiel and Equitant.

The synthesizer used on "A Shield With An Iron Face" was previously owned by Jimmy Destri of Blondie and was used on the song "Heart of Glass".

Ronnie Trent, who contributed vocals, also played in a band called 10 Kingdomns to which Shaftiel was to contribute guitar work to.

Tara is widely considered to be ABSU's magnum opus and carries a 92% rating based off 10 reviews on Metal-Archives.com

Vincent Rossi, who contributed acoustic guitars and mandolin work on Tara, also performed on Proscriptor's self-titled work.

Sir Don Shannon, who contributed the bagpipe work on the intro and outro of the album, is a native of Northern Ireland, has been piping for over 35 years. In the UK, Don served as Pipe Major of an award winning band, participating in numerous competitions in Northern Ireland, England and Scotland, including the Royal Scottish Pipe Band Association World Championships. You can book him through Encore Productions Entertainment, Inc.

David Harbour, who contributed keyboard and piano work, has an extensive list of work he has done over the years which can be viewed here. He has also worked with Proscriptor on his solo work and with Equimanthorn.

The intro to "Manannán" is approximately one minute longer than the version from the "In the Eyes of Ioldánach" EP.

Many of the legends sang or written about (in the liner notes) discuss the Hill of Tara, of which this album is based. Additional information can be found here.

And finally, a lengthy discussion from Chronicles of Chaos between Proscriptor and Paul Schwarz regarding Tara and the overall work behind it.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Live ABSU Videos

Multiple live videos from ABSU, several of which have never been seen before by the public, are available for viewing here.

Monday, January 13, 2014

Some Additional US Tour Dates Added for 2014

Tour Dates Include:

February 28, 2014 - New Orleans, LA @ Siberia

March 1, 2014 - Houston, TX @ Fizgeralds

March 7, 2014 - Oklahoma City, OK @ The Conservatory

March 8, 2014 - San Antonio, TX @ Limelight

March 9, 2014 - Dallas, TX @ Curtain Club

Thursday, January 9, 2014

The "Thrashstorms" EP Debacle

With the release of the "Third Storm of Cythraul" 3LP Box Set, the liner notes speak of the "Thrashstorms" EP, an album that has reached legendary status in the ABSU legacy.  Did they record those songs?  Does it exist?  Will they ever be released?  Here is that story:

In 1996, ABSU began to rehearse several cover songs, intending to release an EP called the "Thrashstorms". Some of the songs were recorded and later released elsewhere but the rest of the tracks remained incomplete. Word got out of its recording and Relapse Records famously put in their catalog before even knowing if the EP was available. The following bands were going to be covered on the EP:

I. NECROVORE – Divus de Mortuus (Divus de Mortuus) 1987
II. SACRIFICE – Necronomicon (Torment In Fire) 1986
III. KREATOR – Flag Of Hate (Endless Pain/Flag Of Hate) 1985/1986
IV. DESTRUCTION – Bestial Invasion (Infernal Overkill) 1985 *
V. VOIVOD – Ravenous Medicine (Killing Technology) 1987 **
VI. POSSESSED – Swing Of The Axe – (Demo 1985/The Eyes Of Horror) 1985/1987 ***
VII. MANOWAR – Wheels Of Fire (Kings Of Metal) 1988
VIII. BULLDOZER – Insurrection Of The Living Damned (The Day Of Wrath) 1985
IX. IRON MAIDEN - Transylvania (Iron Maiden) 1980 ****
X. MAYHEM - Deathcrush [Featuring Silvester Anfang] (Deathcrush) 1987 *****

TRACK NOTES:
* "Bestial Invasion" (Destruction) in rehearsal format was featured on Mythological Occult Metal: 1991-2001 album.
** "Ravenous Medicine" (Voivod) was originally to be featured on a Voivod Tribute album to be released by Relapse Records, but fell through.
*** "Swing of the Axe" (Possessed) was featured on three different releases: 1. Mythological Occult Metal: 1991-2001 (Osmose Productions/The End) 2005; 2. Seven Gates Of Horror: A Tribute To Possessed (Karmageddon Media/Candlelight Records USA) 2004 and 3. V/A: Thrashing Holocaust (Necropolis Records) 1999
**** "Transylvania" (Iron Maiden) was featured on 1. A Call To Irons - A Tribute To Iron Maiden (Dwell Ministries) 1998 and 2. Mythological Occult Metal: 1991-2001 (Osmose Productions/The End) 2005
***** "Deathcrush (Featuring Silvester Anfang)" was featured on 1. Originators of Northern Darkness - A Tribute To Mayhem (Avantgarde Music) 2001 and 2. Mythological Occult Metal: 1991-2001 (Osmose Productions/The End) 2005. Originally, the band wanted to cover "Carnage" for this tribute but Behemoth had already selected it. ABSU was the last (and, interestingly enough, the only American) band to be a part of the tribute album and did not have much of a choice for available songs. However, “Deathcrush” was still available, as the band thought it would be most appropriate to cover this track and also decided to include the infamous intro "Silvester Anfang" as well. Trym of Emperor provided the lyrics.

As noted, the rest of the songs noted above remain unreleased due to the fact that they were never completed and were only rehearsal tracks.  There are no plans to ever release them.  In its place, the band recorded the "In The Eyes of Ioldanach" EP and released that in 1998.

Here are some additional informational bits from various interviews way back in the day.

From Mourning The Ancient in 1999:

MTA: What's the deal with 'Thrashstorms?' There was some confusion about its release date between Osmose and Relapse?

PMcG:  We never released it because too many bands are covering too much thrash material, as well as contributing to tribute albums. It's over: however, if there was ever to be an ABSU box set to be unleashed 10-15 years from now, I would highly consider putting the "Thrashstorms" mini-disque on it. Relapse made an immense mistake by printing it in their catalog when it was initially never released.

From Chronicles of Chaos in 1997:

CoC: Well, I'm bummed to hear that Thrashstorms won't be coming out, because those are cool choices for songs to cover.

PMcG: We've been playing them since well before Absu was formed.  There were bands before Absu like Karrion and Karnage - both spelled with a 'K'... wonder why. Like Kreator. We've been playing the songs since '88; it's in our blood, which is why we planned the mini-CD. But, on the other hand, I told Herve the plan, but I never set any release date - then he puts it in a newsletter for Osmose. Then I look in a Relapse catalog, and they claim that they're carrying the Thrashstorms mini-CD.  It's never even initially been pressed. So I called up Relapse and fucked with them: 'Yeah, I'll take forty copies.'  These people fucking kill me.