Texan black metal titans Absu are returning to Australia this month in the lead-up to the release of their seventh opus, Apsu. JESSICA WILLOUGHBY chats with drummer, Proscriptor McGovern, ahead of the band’s first-ever Perth show this Thursday, March 20, at Amplifier, alongside fellow extreme Australian outfits’ Portal and Denouncement Pyre.
“Apsu may very well be our last album, prematurely speaking,” Absu drummer/vocalist, Proscriptor McGovern, says of the ‘Absu’ album trilogy.
As the founder of this longstanding Texan black metal outfit, Proscriptor – aka Russley Randell Givens – has dedicated the last 13 years to a single vision for the band, one that has seen this trio explore all aspects of its origins over the span of three albums. Absu (2009) marked the fifth studio release and the first of the triology, with new members Ezezu (bass) and Vis Crom (strings) making their introductions. 2011 saw the second offering, Abzu, recall the thrashiness of the band’s earlier works.
Now in 2014, Absu are looking towards the final installment in their self-made saga. Apsu, pegged for release in early 2015, will not stray thematically from their chosen path. But we will see the rise of a short-and-sweet song structure, a new element for these three American musicians.
“The next album is the third and concluding installment of the trilogy – it’s the Sumerian spelling of the band moniker,” Proscriptor tells X-Press. “I will say on a musical basis that this album will be different from the previous albums in the discography, because we’re striving for shorter songs. This album will have somewhere between 14 and 16 songs, versus the more epic type of songs that have been presented on previous albums. We’re striving for shorter songs, and more songs on this album, versus the longer songs that have been presented on our previous discography.
“I decided some years ago the three albums in the trilogy would primarily be related to and based on everything that is related to what Absu is all about. I refuse to name the last three albums with unique titles, as I simply wanted to name each one as Absu, the English spelling; Abzu, the Mesopotamian and Apsu, which is the forthcoming album, but differentiated by their different cover designs. That’s the objective so far.”
Speaking on the lyrical concept of these three LPs, Proscriptor says the trio of releases flesh out his love for occult mythology.
“On a lyrical basis I combine mythology, paranormal and metaphysical related topics inside of the music of Absu,” he explains. “When writing music, I try to express my lyrical content and ideologies as vividly as possible. Beginning at the age of 12, I started delving into hallucinogenic and mind-altering substances, which lead myself into Ordo Templi Orientis, Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn, Thelemic Magic(k), Enochian Magic(k), Tasseomancy and Necromancy. After discovering the Cthulhu Mythos and the Book of Eibon, this too led to my fascination with Sumerian and Mesopotamian mythology.
“I lyrically concoct mythology and paranormal or metaphysical related topics inside of the music. The cadences and accentuations when writing Absu’s music express my esoteric lyrical content and ideologies. This is the way I perceive it: Absu’s music is a formation of chaos magic(k) because I believe it can change both subjective experiences and objective realities, though some forms of chaos magic(k) disputes that magic(k) occurs through clairvoyant means. Subconsciously speaking, I am not one with today’s world when writing the lyrics for Absu.”