Absolutus are a Belgian band whose content deals primarily with nihilism, metaphysical journeys, eerie experiences, psychology, and the works of E.M. Cioran and F. Nietzsche. This is their second album, following 2005's Ostendit quam nihil sumus. Recorded at Blackout studio with help of Neraath and Phorgath from Enthroned, it is no wonder that the music here has a touch of Emptiness (also Belgian) to it. Absolutus has been recommended for fans of Abigor, Blut Aus Nord, Antaeaus, Deathspell Omega, and Svartidauði.
After the unsettling drone of the ambient intro track (something that recurs a few times on this album), the listener is struck in the back of the head with blackened death vocals and furious tremolos. The delivery and overall dark mysteriousness of the sound immediately brought Nothing But The Whole to mind, but this album is far more black metal. Everything is faster, with plenty of blastbeats to spare. A black void with no hope in sight.
The key word here is certainly dread. Between the serpent-like coiling of minor chord riffs and eerie ambient additions, there is a definite sense of something lurking just behind you.
Just take one of my favorite tracks, "Ego Sum Qui Sum." This slower, more overtly Emptiness-sounding track seems meticulously designed to create an architecture of fear. The building of the drums, the very deliberate and hypnotic guitar pacing, the vomiting of each syllabal into your comprehension: it's a perfect storm of black metal mystique. And following this song up with the chilling "Damnat Qud Non Intelligunt" is no less then a stroke of genius.
If you were looking for some quality black metal today that knows how to make killer songs while creating something much larger and imposing than the already filth-ridden sum of its parts, Pugnare In Iis Quae Obtinere Non Possis is the album for you. Belgium continues to prove itself to be a region of many dark, underground corners that remain too oft unturned. Perhaps this is by choice rather than oversight. Stream the entire album below and support quality BM.