ABSU - In the Eyes of Ioldanach (OSMOSE - LP 1998)
“In the Eyes of Ioldanach” is kind of filling release of Absu between their two awesome albums: “The Third Storm of Cythraul” and the amazing “Tara” LP. It contains only four songs and seventeen minutes of music, so for some of you it may not be enough, but at the same time Absu never disappoints and this 12” vinyl is great again and deserves to be in the collection!
Obviously from the very first sound, when you listen to “In the Eyes of Ioldanach”, you just know it is Absu. This is one of these very few bands, which are so characteristic, unique and special in their style and sound that it is impossible to mistake them with something else. More so and luckily, no other band even tried to copy them, as it would simply be impossible to recreate the atmosphere and viciousness of Absu music (and that includes especially the furious drumming and vocals of Proscriptor McGovern). Of course Absu has also been changing and developing through the years and we can hear that from album to album they have been adding something new to their music. In that aspect I think that “In the Eyes of Ioldanach” is their most aggressive, vicious and harsh, violent recording. It is a crushing and thrashing black metal furious attack! So fuckin vigorous and obscure! Both songs on side A – “V.I.T.R.I.O.L.” and “Hallstatt” – are as fast and powerful as you can imagine Absu ever to be. Of course it also means that “In the Eyes of Ioldanach” has no atmospheric parts, which made such “Barathrum V.I.T.R.I.O.L.” and “The Sun of Tiphareth” so utterly exceptional… but this is just an EP, so maybe it works in different way. What will strike you is how brilliantly and richly arranged that material is. Just listen to “V.I.T.R.I.O.L.”, a highlight of this EP… what a killer riffs and totally mad and complex drumming of Proscriptor. Wow! In the entire material he shows his incredible talent and makes jaw drop to the floor. How can he do it and scream at the same time, keeping the fast tempo and everything? Amazing.
Side B is even better, it contains another two anthems – “Manannan” and newly recorded version of “Never Blow Out the Eastern Candle” and that fast pace is kept almost all the time, but at the same time there’s a lot of variety and so many special moments, fillings, amazing arrangements… Such “Manannan” may seem a simple song, as it is based on practically one motif, which goes on and on, with similar lyrics lines through it, but how brilliantly it works and what a grinder it is. And what can I write about “Never Blow Out the Eastern Candle”… it probably is the best song here, so awesome that I am not surprised Absu didn’t want to leave it unreleased (it only appeared on the Osmose compilation CD before!) and re-recorded it for this EP. What I like about it is that it has slightly epic feeling here and there, obviously the majority of is played in fast tempo anyway, but that feeling and dark atmosphere are there. So, it really sounds very, very cool, in my opinion.
Standout tracks: “Never Blow Out the Eastern Candle”
Final rate: 70/100