Throwback Thursday: Absu’s “Barathrum: V.I.T.R.I.O.L.” turns 25!


I think this is the first time since I’ve started doing these Throwbacks again that I’m actually nailing an album look-back post down on its actual birthday. Progress, folks! Anyway, today we’re here to celebrate Absu. Over close to three decades, the world’s come to know these Texans as a pretty much unimpeachable institution of black / thrash metal. But on their debut full-length, Barathrum: V.I.T.R.I.O.L. — which turns 25 today — the then-quintet actually leaned more toward death metal than anything they’ve done since. Unsurprisingly, there was still a healthy amount of theatricality to it. Even less surprisingly, it’s still worth your time. Continue reading

The Nine Circles Ov… USBM


The metal scenes in Europe and the United States have always had a symbiotic relationship. When one scene moves in a particular direction, the other one begins by emulating and then transcending that direction. The New Wave of British Heavy Metal was a profound influence on the American thrash metal scene, a scene which would greatly influence musicians all over Europe (e.g. Swedish death metal), and so on. To make a (very) broad generalization: Europe tends to bring the mythology and romantic mystique; America tends to bring a more self-oriented, personal touch.

This is true of the American black metal scene as well. A good introduction to United States Black Metal (USBM) requires an appreciation for the bands that began by directly emulating the stylistic giants of Scandinavia, Switzerland and elsewhere. True, the American scene has gone in all sorts of directions since its development in the mid-to-late 1990s. But listeners should have a sense of context before moving into the specialized realms occupied by death-laden heroes like Goatwhore and Hod, along with the indie/alternative influenced sounds made famous by Wolves in the Throne Room. So with that in mind, enter the Nine Circles ov USBM. Continue reading

Weekend Recap: 3/29/2015 – 4/4/2015


Happy Easter Sunday, everyone! I’m sure you’re celebrating as much as I am… or not. Ya know, because religion. Anyway, I hope the past week was a good one. It was a busy one here, so let’s take a quick look back at the week that was…

Alright, that’ll just about wrap it up for now. Catch you guys tomorrow.

“Ein Bier… bitte.”

– Corey

Live. Love. Plow. Horns Up.

Retrospective: Absu’s “Abzu”

absu abzu

Yesterday, as you may have seen, I spent some time talking about how regionally diverse black metal can be in my review of Italy-based Abhor’s new album Rituale Stramonium. Not wanting to deviate too far from the black metal theme of this week—okay, let’s be real, of most weeks for me—I took this Retrospective opportunity to focus on another region. This time around, I wanted to look at the recent thrash-infused classic out of Texas that is Absu’s Abzu.

Continue reading