Absu are a metal band hailing from Dallas, Texas who lay claim to playing "mythological cult metal". This description more than adequately describes their lyrical content, which is primarily rooted in elaborate studies of Celtic and Sumerian/Mesopotamian mythology (often ancient tales of conquest and warfare) rather than the standard Satanic influence predominant within their chosen genre, the music is mainly fast thrash metal with some orchestral and progressive elements- perhaps loosely black metal (in the same sense a band such as Bal-Sagoth could be called black metal).
Originally named 'Dolmen' upon their formation by Shaftiel (guitar/vocals) and Equitant Ifernain (guitar/bass) in 1989, the band later changed their name to its current incarnation as a conscious nod to their lyrical interests ('Absu' being the Sumerian name for the watery abyss upon which the world of the living was held). The joining of Proscriptor Magickus McGovern (drums/vocals) after the release of their 1991 demos, Immortal Sorcery and Return of the Ancients, brought the band its classic central trio. The band continued, at first on the Gothic label, later moving over to the famous French metal label Osmose following the release of Barathrum: VITRIOL, becoming increasingly esoteric in their research of ancient legends with each subsequent release ('01's Celtic concept album "Tara" saw Kris Verwimp, the band's album artist travelling to Ireland to retrieve soil and leaves from Tara Hill, upon which the ancient Irish capital of the Celtic High Kings once stood, to mix in with his cover art). Equitant left the band in 2002, and was replaced by Kashshapxu (guitar), who will be playing on their eponymous (and rumoured to be final; say it ain't so!) album due for release later this year.
People tend not to pay a great deal of attention to Absu because they're generally considered an "American black metal band" on account of their mythological subject matter and crazy unreadable logo, and hence not as good as their European contemporaries. Which is a bit of a shame, really.
Discography through 2004:
1991 - Immortal Sorcery
1991 - Return of the Ancients
1993 - Barathrum: VITRIOL (Gothic/Osmose) (reissued in 1997 in a 'collector's edition' digipak with three live tracks)
1997 - Third Storm of Cythraul (Osmose)
1999 - Sun of Tipareth (Osmose)
2001 - Tara (Olympic)
2004 (projected) - Absu (Olympic)
1992 - The Temples of Offal (Gothic)
1995 - ...And Shineth Unto the Cold Cometh (Osmose)
1999 - In the Eyes of Ioldánach (Osmose)
(sources; http://www.absu.ws, http://www.allmusic.com)