Review by Chad on January 31, 2002.
The Cythraul clan of Absu have unleashed a new masterpiece of "mythological occult metal". "Tara", the bands latest album for Osmose is a grand concept album of the highest order, telling of a hill (Tara) in Scotland that was used as place of sacrifice and worship by the ancient Celts.
The album begins with something never heard on a black metal album before...A bagpipe intro! After this, the band storms into 'Pillers of Mercy' which is a vicious onslaught showcasing everything this unique band has to offer. Each song on this release stands on it's own, as they are all quite amazing. Long time fans will notice that Absu has become much more aggressive, with the slower passages the band is known for being few and far between. For me, this is a good thing, because when this album really gets going, I don't want it to stop.
One thing that is immediately noticeable to me is that these guys are perfectionists. Every instrument is used to it's full potential. The guitars are a mix between black metal and Slayer on speed. The guitars on the whole album have a vintage thrash meets Marduk sound, but without sounding unoriginal, and still sounding very modern. The punishing drumming of mainman Proscripter deserves special mention. His drumming is absolutely amazing, with some of the most creative rhythms and fills I've ever heard, and they are fast as hell, somewhat reminding me of Flo from Cryptopsy. Just listen to tracks such as 'Manannan' and 'The Congnate House of Courtly Witches Lies West of County Meath' He is definitely one of the best drummers in metal. The vocals (also done by Proscripter) are of the typical black metal style, but with variety (a few King Diamond-esque screams are scattered about).
This album is awesome, and it holds your interest throughout the 13 tracks. The standouts for me would have to be
Bottom line: This is a solid album through and through that should be picked up by everyone into black/thrash metal, or any kind of metal for that matter. You won't be disappointed.
Categorical Ratings Breakdown
Rating: 9.6 out of 10