Organ Donor, Plague Dogs
1131 S. Broad Street
Philadelphia, PA, 19147
Doors 8:00 PM / Show 8:30 PM
This event is 21 and over
The music of ABSU has been described as mysterious, majestic, magical, powerful and progressive, but the band has always declared the sound to be classified as "mythological occult metal." This style of supernatural music has earned ABSU a strong following, yet a cult-like status around the world. Their talent to combine the right amounts of extreme metal music with progressive overtones, and solid songs with magnificent showmanship, has merited the respect of fellow musicians and followers alike.
The band initially spawned in Dallas, Texas in 1989 and went through various name changes (see below for more information) before finally settling on ABSU in 1991, due to their vast attraction towards Sumerian/Mesopotamian mythology. Two years later, founding members Shaftiel (guitar/vocals) and Equitant (guitar/bass) paid their dues in the underground black/death metal commune by releasing various demonstration cassettes ("Return of the Ancients", "Infinite and Profane Thrones") and later a 7" EP called "The Temples of Offal" for Gothic Records. They also opened shows for such headlining acts as Entombed, Unleashed, Vital Remains, Incantation and Autopsy, giving ABSU overwhelming awareness in the Texas area. Their debut album, "Barathrum: V.I.T.R.I.O.L," was released in 1993 by Gothic Records and licensed through France's Osmose Productions. This release also introduced drummer/vocalist, Proscriptor, to stabilize ABSU's classic line-up as a trio. The next year witnessed ABSU leaving Gothic to sign with Osmose for the sophomore release, "The Sun of Tiphareth," as well as three full-length albums, two EPs and a home video. ABSU has also had the grand opportunity, in support of their releases, by touring North America and Europe with Osmose label mates Enslaved, Impaled Nazarene, Sadistik Exekution and Infernö. These tours were supported by long-time acquaintance and session bassist/vocalist, Mezzadurus, of Blood Storm and Gorephobia.
In 2001, ABSU returned after a short silence from the subversive community to release, what would be their most anticipated release up to date, "Tara," for both Osmose Productions and Olympic Recordings. This album delivered listeners a compelling, thought provoking musical and lyrical journey that no other extreme band has presented in a concept album. Written in two different movements, "Tara" unleashed the final chapter to a trilogy of its past two, predeceasing releases: "The Third Storm of Cythrául" (1996) and "In The Eyes of Ioldánach." (1998) These releases concentrated on magic and mythology based upon Celtic traditions and tyranny. They also brought in new guitarist, Kashshapxu, to complete the studio line-up. This year also witnessed ABSU performing live in their hometown of Dallas for the first time in five years. It would be the last live show for some time.
In late 2002, ABSU went on haietus when Proscriptor suffered a severe hand injury and Equitant and Shaftiel parted ways with the band. After a 5 year hiatus, Proscriptor reorganized the band with the help of Aethyris MacKay (now in Pantheon I), Zawicizuz (Formerly of Infernal Oak, Rape Pillage and Burn, and Bleed the Son) and Vastator Terrarum and released the self-titled album in 2009. Now with Vis Crom (Guitars) and Ezezu (Bass, Vocals), ABSU continue to forge ahead with a new album, "Abzu", the second part of a new trilogy which will conclude with "Apsu" at a later date.
What Organ Donor does is simple and unpretentious, a vicious yet straightforward take on thrashy death metal that makes it sound like the genre's most recent two decades never happened. No drum triggers, no corny breakdowns, no over-the-top technicality, only a steady succession of moments calling to mind a host of the style's early luminaries – some Convulse or Dismember here, some Entombed or Morbid Angel there – blended deftly enough that the songs never come off like a cheap throwback or a shallow imitation of anything from which they draw influence. The production, as helmed by Garret Morris of Windhand, is perfect – neither too crystal clear nor mired in low-fidelity murk, the perfect middle ground to emphasize their traditionalist approach.