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Absu - Tara
Review: Retrieving the operatic style of dark metal from a generation ago Absu bring to it turbulent speed drumming and racing tempos in wristrip of riff which facilitate the drama of a poetic nature in these songs. In the sense that the poetic can be defined as meaning a changing sequence of moods which through their position indicate resolution, this release creates poetry through not only varying technique across songs but varying mood in songs.
The foundation of this style is Mercyful Fate or Judas Priest at the "frenetic space of modern metal" with a foundation in self-recursive dissonant phrasing. Mostly lead riffing or standard power chords configured in streams of melody fill out the themes and dramatic interchange of moods to these long-format songs. Drums at a lightning pace instantiate fills or maintain a drive that while not based in the total nihilism of blasting approaches it in complexity and immediacy of confirmation to spatial motion. In the style of previous albums, emphatic metals and snare at the pace of a running humans in terror accompany the line drive of most phrases, and here drumming advances further by knowing when simplicity and background work balances its accompaniment more than flash. Yet its drive is central to the energy of the music and its chaos is unleashed barely within the bonds of rationality for the sake of esoteric fills.
Quoting influences ranging from Led Zeppelin to Swedish death metal, the album moves from safer territory toward the more ecclectic and ambitious pieces for which this band are known, and in those moods recreates an essential and primitive quality to human existence. Fear and passion are linked in the praise of adventure and sensuality in harrowing transfers of emotion and violence that are comforting in the context of their participation in an adventure. Like a journey, the album introduces itself in intensity and then drops to contemplative dynamics before resuming the charge for its unsettling confrontation.
That this vocalist can range from an exacting black metal shriek to a flesh and blood reproduction of the sickening screech of Ronnie James Dio, and these musicians can follow at lightning speed any schematic of fast black metal in the context of their unique take on classic metal with current technique, is secondary to the spirit with which they execute their dramatic symbolism. Epic and reflexive in its nihilistic predictions this work delivers its core in concept and music and then withdraws into fading Celtic music.