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 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 →
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…
- Starting, as always, with Episode 46 of The Horns Up Podcast, Dan and Corey shared their thoughts on Immortal not quite living up to their name, the absurd state of California, and more.
- In this week’s Retrospective, Corey went back in time to revisit Absu’s impressive Abzu. It was part of a very black metal theme for the week.
- Manny-O-War shared some mixed thoughts in his review of Nepente’s I Will Get Your Soul, which dropped on March 31st.
- Finally, this past week wrapped up Q1 for 2015. So, it would behoove you to take a look at the best of 2015 so far from Manny-O-War, Jesse, Corey, and Dan. Lots of good stuff in there.
Alright, that’ll just about wrap it up for now. Catch you guys tomorrow.
“Ein Bier… bitte.”
Live. Love. Plow. Horns Up.
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 →