Absu: Album Trilogy Explores the ‘Never-Ending, Endless Void’
Absu's Proscriptor carved some time out of his very full schedule of 16-hour studio sessions and preparing for a tour with Immortal to grant this exclusive interview to Noisecreep. The magic-centric, Texas-based black metal band will release a new album via Candlelight in the autumn season.
The other two members, Vis Crom and Ezezu, don't reside in Dallas with Proscriptor; they're in Philadelphia and Lubbock, Texas, respectively. So it's crunch time for Absu, who will begin recording when they get back from their short showcase trek with Immortal. Proscriptor gave Noisecreep the scoop on the long hours, starting every day with a 10-tarot-card spread, magic, the next two albums in a trilogy based on their name and how to avoid the burn out.
How deep are you into the new album?
We are working on the final touches. It's composed and arranged. We are prepping for a small showcase tour February 19 through the 26, and depending on preparation, we enter the studio one to two weeks immediately after to track the album. We're looking for a September release date and to play some festivals.
That's a lot of activity in a short amount of time. How are you managing the stress?
It's a new experience, and I cannot speak for the other two members, but the songwriting process for this album has been nothing more than file transferring and phone conversations ping ponged and mirrored back and forth to one another. It is stressful, but -- ironically speaking, at the same time -- it has been the fastest paced album as far as songwriting completion.
Both members of the band have come up with splendid songwriting ideas, and I am zealous and satisfied. So it's stressful, but optimistic stress. With this new album and the Immortal tour, it's been a double dose of activity versus trying to complete the album.
What details can you reveal about the new album?
It'll be called 'Abzu, which is Mesopotamian spelling. The last album was self-titled, and the album after this will be called 'Apsu,' which is the Sumerian spelling. It's the trilogy of the Absu name.
It's the most maniacal collection of songs under the name -- lyrically and theme-wise. It will include the standard topics I've discussed: Sumerian magic and mythology. But we're test driving a new kind of musical theme. Lyric-wise, it's about Enochian magic, which is a system of ceremonial magic based on evocation and commanding of spirits and is planet-oriented.
We always go for diversity, which is the most important element of Absu's work.
Do you think you've achieved that diversity with 'Abzu'?
Personally, I am a fan and follower of diversity and incorporating non-metal influences into extreme metal music. It makes it fresh and invigorating. I am getting near the age of 40, and I feel that the fans of Absu are becoming younger and younger, and I want to express my different influences and turn them on to different types of music, implementing those styles. I could be wrong.
Is there a connecting theme?
The origin behind the name, which derives from Assyrian, Mesopotamian and Sumerian origins, is the abyss -- the never-ending, endless void and dark chasm. It's the companion to Tiamat [an ocean goddess who mated with Abzu] within those mythologies. The basic and key origin behind last album and next two is about the abyss, what it is about, how it channels souls into a dark void.
Where did your interest in magic stem from?
I have been a student and follower since the age of 12. I met a few people that were influenced by esotericism and magic and mythology. And by the time I reached 12 and started to experiment with hallucinogenic drugs, it became a pastime and hobby to escape mortal manifestation of planet Earth. Magic is a way to mentally escape of it all.
How extensively do you practice magic?
Every day. I start every morning with a 10-card-tarot spread, which will forecast my day and how my day will pan out.
How accurate is the daily 10-card-tarot spread?
I had not mastered it at the beginning, but with enough practice and projecting daily, you can master it. Like with music, practice makes perfect.
What can we expect during the Immortal tour?
We are looking forward to being direct support for Immortal. We were once labelmates with them on Osmose Productions. I do like the fact that we are able to tour with them. They do not bring direct support.
With these 16-hour studio days, are you hooked up to an IV of coffee, Red Bull or some form of caffeine?
These long days are kicking my ass -- but no, there's nothing like that. The secret to keeping the momentum going is by hour seven or eight, when the burn-out factor kicks in, to take a 15-minute break on the hour, every hour. That helps us avoid the burnout factor.