Immortal, Absu | Bottom Lounge | Rock, Pop, Etc | Chicago Reader

Immortal, Absu Critic's Choice Early Warnings (Music) Recommended Soundboard

When: Tue., Feb. 22, 9 p.m. 2011

Formed in Plano, Texas, in the early 90s, Absu began as a fairly straight-up blackened death machine, but their metal has grown weirder and more baroque throughout the 00s. Eight years passed between 2001's Celtic-inspired masterpiece Tara and the band's most recent full-length, 2009's Absu (Candlelight), as drummer, vocalist, and mastermind Proscriptor McGovern recuperated from a serious hand injury and replaced key members who'd left—the only major release during those years was the must-have 2005 compilation Mythological Occult Metal 1991-2001. On their latest, Absu take their mythological occultism very seriously indeed—their treatment of Sumerian themes might not be as detailed as, say, Nile's, but their growly and gravid evocations of the chthonic supernatural horrors of the ancient world are wreathed in evil psychedelic vapors and nightmarishly vivid. The band claim that the album they'll record after this six-date tour with Immortal—tentatively titled Abzu, after a word the Sumerians used to attach religious significance to fresh water from underground aquifers—will tap some of the long-dormant possibilities of that most metal of languages, Enochian, allegedly an angelic tongue divinely revealed to English scientist and occultist John Dee in the late 16th century. Because guitarist Aethyris McKay has departed for the chilly forests of Norway, there to join Pantheon I, this will be Absu's first tour as a trio, but I suspect that even the artsiest songs from Absu—reissued last month with a DVD of a 2009 Montreal performance—will translate well to such a stripped-down format. They sound like they have sources of energy they've barely begun to exploit. Immortal headlines. 17+ —Monica Kendrick

Price: Sold out

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