Do You Believe in Magick? 

The Mythological Occult Metal of Absu

ABSU Not pictured: Criss Angel.

ABSU Not pictured: Criss Angel.

"THE LYRICS, the topics, and the lifestyle of Absu deal with occult science, and many forms of magick and mythology. I feel that these particular themes are over the heads of most mortals."

These are the words of the apparently deathless Proscriptor McGovern, drummer, vocalist, and wordsmith for Texas' Absu. "It's a very intricate type of magick and occult that's within our music, so I feel like it's my objective to educate the listener."

While these types of statements easily paint an egotistical picture of Proscriptor, he may very well be right in announcing his superiority. Consider Absu song titles like "In the Name of Auebothiabathabaithobeuee" and "Abraxas Connexus." He clearly knows something we don't—if only how to correctly pronounce a word that contains 25 letters.

While other satanic metal bands transparently seek to build minions and convince fans to follow the left-hand path, Proscriptor says that's not the case for Absu. He just wants to share an interest he's been researching and practicing since he was 12 years old. Upon asking Proscriptor if he would write books on the subject if he didn't have music as a medium, he responds, "Absolutely."

Proscriptor's belief system and daily rituals aside, Absu's particular style of metal—"mythological occult metal" according to the band—is as unique as its inspirations. "We are a concoction of not only black metal, but there are elements of death metal, thrash metal, traditional heavy metal, and progressive rock music as well. I thought it would be best to innovate our own category for this particular style," Proscriptor explains.

It's a list of genres that could sound commonplace, but in the hands of Absu, the end product is a snarling, frenzied, intense musical whirlwind that deserves its own category. At its heart is Proscriptor's masterful drumming and grating, raspy vocals, both of which he can "mostly" pull off live.

"I cannot handle all of it due to the intense, breakneck speeds and tempos," he says. Since he also pens the lyrics, though, he's able to weave them into the songs to best suit his drumming, "Syllabically, I match [the lyrics] with the percussive part of the music, which makes it much easier." Whether Proscriptor has magickal powers remains up for debate, but his skill and dedication are not.

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