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).

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".

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

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

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.