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Absurd is a band that proved to be a huge influence for a lot of bands in the black metal genre, specifically NSBM. What's always been fairly interesting to me is how non-black metal their early recordings really sounded. "Facta Loquuntur" is the band's first full-length album after releasing a few demos, most of which proved to be absolute ear sores in my opinion, and the "Thuringian Pagan Madness" EP. Like the demos, this album adopts a sound far closer to punk and RAC with ideas borrowed from heavy metal, rather than the sound of a black metal band. Sure, they eventually began to blacken their sound quite a bit more but here, only minimal traces of black metal are present. This was definitely a rough start for Absurd in my opinion and although it's proved to be an influential, many would say classic album, it is definitely not without flaws.
I will say that this is not a bad album. It's decent and can even be quite good at times. However, it is extremely dirty and unpolished. Absurd came off as more or less a garage punk/metal band. The music here is extremely simplistic, executed with a primitive production value that enhances the charm but also degrades it quite a bit. There isn't the same black metal atmosphere that lo-fi production can induce. Instead, it comes off as a few school kids jamming in a garage or their basement. Of course this really isn't hard to believe as the youngsters were, well, young. It almost sounds like these guys hadn't been playing their respective instruments that long but nevertheless, they decided to form a band. Guitars are extremely fuzzy and possess the familiar "buzzing" sound a lot of black metal bands incorporate and this adds a black metal influence to some of these songs. Mainly, it's the lyrical themes and vocals that lead this album to be classified as black metal, but some of the riffs are quite dark.
"Eternal Winter" and "The Gates of Heaven" are both very dark songs in terms of guitar work. The lyrics also can qualify as blasphemous and anti-Christian in both of these songs, which is definitely a black metal trait:
"Jesus Christ - that's one reason why I hate you
Fall from grace - my son will kill your father
In eternal night, in eternal winter" - "Eternal Winter"
"Where's your saviour, where hides Jesus,
Why isn't he at war against us?" - "The Gates of Heaven"
Other songs definitely include examples of blasphemous lyrics but these two songs really stick out. "The Gates of Heaven" is also performed with a style of clean vocals. "Eternal Winter" is the prime example of how simple these songs are instrumentally. The guitar riffs, while pretty cool, are extremely simple. It is because of this that I, being an amateur guitar player, have learned a few of these songs in full, "Eternal Winter" being one of them. The main riff is very basic and punky, but still dark. There is a solo in this song that is also only a few notes and extremely simple. Technicality is not a focus on any of these songs, period, and I'm not sure if that was on purpose or just because Absurd was an extremely amateur band at this time. Regardless, it worked. The album's main detractor remains to be the production value that sounds like it was recorded via a cassette tape recorder underneath a metal trash can while the band played their instruments around the can. It's not unlistenable but it is very harsh.
The vocals aren't bad but I can't say too much good about them, either. They're really just there because they have to be. Sebastian alternates between harsh vocals akin to black metal and cleanly sung vocals that sound a lot like chanting. Songs like "The Gates of Heaven" and "Mourning Soul" make good use of his cleans and while they don't sound too great, they accomplish the mission. The songs sound a bit more proud, I guess you can say, with these vocals. As I said before, the harsh vocals are fairly reminiscent of common black metal vocals, and I think they sound a bit better than the cleans. Although, they still come off as juvenile at times.
In terms of drums, we aren't going to find any furious blast beats here. Everything is either slower or mid-paced. Hendrik Möbus is the man behind the kit and his work fits the flow of the already simple music. I can't fault his playing because he really just supports the rest of the band here.
Overall, I'd say this is a fairly average but still decent album. The production tends to be a bit "meh" but the music, as simple as it is, really works. Whether you call it black metal, RAC, Oi! punk, or whatever, it is still a classic and cherished by many. Absurd seems to be a band people are more familiar with because of their actions, with the infamous murder of their classmate Sandro Beyer by strangling him with an electrical cord. Yeah, they fucked up, but of course a lot of black metal bands are known due to their crimes. Oh well, I tend to focus on the music, anyway. This album is definitely unrefined and unpolished and while that may be a bit distracting, the music still works, and this is not a bad album. Later albums from Absurd would definitely be better, though.
When reviewing material several years, or even decades after its release, it's difficult to disregard the long-term effects and accolades that it has received in order to deliver a fresh and un-biased opinon. Especially when the release is the debut album by one of the most controversial and dividing projects ever to hit the metal scene.
Considered metal by most only due to the influence and connections with the scene, no other band has been able to make such raw and amateur sounding music become so inspirational; so embellished and imitated. You know the story - 3 school boys who are heavily influenced by black metal and Satanism murder a classmate for intruding in their inner circle, against all warnings. They're delivered to the Justice system, where it becomes an international sensation. It then transpires that they also carry National Socialist sympathies, and show little remorse for their crime, often writing mocking songs about it.
So how does a glorified punk act with RAC elements become heralded in the black metal scene, with reputation and amateurism being the only thing going for them? Simple - the songs deliver like a UPS salesman with Rabies.
There's little need to discuss production here. You'd expect it to have more of a sheen than the abysmal demos. That it does - although still raw, it's as good as it gets. Instead, we're treated to a contrasting style of tracks, weaving a proverbial Helix throughout this album. "Pesttanz", "Werwolf," and "Der Sieg ist Unser" represent the heavier, more metally Absurd. These tracks are deliberatly performed in the bands native German language. Often covered by many new artists, these are among the most popular tracks by the trio.
The other side of the helix are the softer, more mournful and thoughtful tracks - "Mourning Soul", "Dreaming of Love", "Deep Dark Forest", to name but a few. These are slower tracks, with slurred and sullen vocals - completely clean, but incredibly momentous and anthemic. Then there's the tracks that fall between the two styles - "Eternal Winter" and "Gates of Heaven" to name a few - faster and more aggressive, but equally slow and sluggish.
So what makes this release so memorable? You'd be right in thinking that it's not the combination of an entire instrumental performance that's clearly amateur, out of tune, and un-taught. It's the sheer weight of the songs that make this album fundamentally unmissable. The sheer hatred of "Eternal Winter", stands out. The unexpected Bass lick towards the end, the ferocious lyrics - "In Siberia I live on my own, In a hut which is built of your bones". This is as close to metal the band will ever get, and it works on so many levels. The guitar tone is truly evil, and the track ranks among Absurd's finest.
The hugely influential "Gates of Heaven" mocks the death of Beyer "We knew what we did was unacceptable, but our hearts were by evil love chained". One of the catchiest choruses in memory puts this track on a pedestal, and it's become so famous that nearly a month goes by without a cover of it coming out on some demo or other.
There's also the depressingly slow "Deep Dark Forest" which is a funereal dirge, and the schizophrenic and entirely terrible "First Winter of Bloodred Snow", which weren't even written for this album - they were in fact added at the last minute, for reasons I'll never understand (although "Forest" is a beautiful track).
On top of all this, you get tracks that are extremely soft, delicate, and mournful "Wartend in Einsamkeit" is so sad and depressing that you wonder what genre you're listening to, and then you get what is easily the catchiest, best written track ever to come from this project - "Mourning Soul".
There's so little to say that adds a unique viewpoint to this album, but I cannot stress it's importance enough. When I first got into Absurd, I'd only listen to 2-3 tracks and ignore the rest. That was a huge, huge mistake. The feeling and energy that this triptych of musicians can conjure by pure hyperbole and mystique alone is decidedly disturbing.
Essential, and will remain one of my Desert Islands Discs™ for a long, long time. It's just such a shame that tracks such as "First Winter" and "Dreaming of Love" made it - although they do have some terrible solos and melodies, they add to the Absurd effect, which you can't help but love. How the hell does this work?
Recommended tracks : Mourning Soul, Wartend in Einsamkeit (slower, more punky). Eternal Winter, Pesttanz (faster, heavier)
Finally, after all of these shitty demos that sound like nothing more than crappy German television shows, Absurd has released some real black metal. Facta Loquunter marks Absurd's transformation from a shitty garage band to "The Tyrant of German Black Metal".
While incredibly raw, Facta Loquunter is quite a few steps up from the demos. It is actually raw and aggressive beyond belief, but you can actually here everything that is going on, which is a great contrast against the demos. The music is the same music that was written and recorded in those demos, but it is finally in a form that allows it to be appreciated by the listener. Songs like "Eternal Winter" are of a style similar to that pioneered by the original Norwegian black metal bands. Other songs, such as the way too short "Mourning Soul" are simple punk style songs. "Eternal Winter" even has a taste of punk to it. "Wartend In Einsamkeit" is one of the saddest songs I have ever heard, comparable to Black Sabbath's "Solitude". It evokes a true feeling of solitude, but not in the rather wimpy way heard in most depressive-suicidal black metal. The song does drag on a bit, but despite its overwhelming simplicity, it is one of the greatest songs to be written by Absurd. Certain songs here really do not have much in common with most black metal. "The Gates of Heaven" is the best example of this. Most of the album, however, is definitely black metal, but with NWOBHM, folk, and punk influences. "Deep Dark Forest", as the title suggests, has a very black metal like atmosphere and sound, but it features a great amount of influence from punk.That said, the closest thing to "Norwegian Circle" black metal here is "Eternal Winter".
The technicality here is actually not all that great. None of the members of Absurd are exceptional musicians, but they sure can write good music. The feeling here is still that of a basement band, but it sounds a lot better production wise. Still, the overall feeling of the "basement" sound is quite nice. There are quite a few solos here, but most of them sound like the playing of a ten year old. They still are quite powerful, for some reason, they come in handy especially with "Wartend In Einsamkeit". The drumming is not great either. The infamous Hendrik Möbus is behind the drums here. Most of his parts are pretty simple, but sometimes, that is good for making the music seem more ominous. The bass playing really stands out to me. Sometimes, it is soft sounding, but in a few instances, it gets really heavy, almost in a Lemmy Kilmister like way. The vocals on Facta Loquunter kick ass. Dark Mark Doom provides the vocals. His style ranges from punk style clean vocals to almost Quorthon like screams, heard in theiir most intense on the extremely aggressive "First Winter of Bloodred Snow", a song which actually starts as a relatively mellow piece, but it quickly becomes something reminiscent of Under the Sign of the Black Mark era Bathory.
While this may seem like a very odd note, I notice a heavy amount of Black Sabbath influence here. A lot of the album is very heavy and riff based, which reminds me a lot of early Black Sabbath. Some of the solos are even bluesy, like Iommi's playing is. It is quite odd to hear any bluesy playing on an NSBM record, or any black metal record, for that matter, but believe me, it is actually here. It adds a very interesting flavor to the black metal.
While the songs presented here can be heard on pretty much every Absurd release, I believe that the best way to hear them is from Facta Loquunter. The sound is raw, but it remains coherent. Before listening to this, I thought that a later record was their best, but now, I think that Facta Loquunter is their best. Every black metal fan should own Facta Loquunter.
What a peculiar black metal album. Filosofem this ain't but I do consider this a classic album among Lords of Chaos mentionables; notoriety or not. For all its amateurishness and sometimes cheesiness, there is something original and admirable about Facta Loquuntur that makes me come back to it every time.
Absurd are probably the best known NSBM outfit but this record also sounds very German too; offering a unique insight into remnant historical traces of World War II found from that country in both the album's flaws and strengths. And so there is also something "true" about it; none of this Panzer Division Marduk crap.
Questionable musicianship abound: when it comes to metal soloing, the guitarist on this album makes Mantas seem like a neo-classical shredder in comparison. It is well known that Absurd bring a garage rock/punk aesthetic and marry it to a black metal sound but the placement of solos in a couple of the awesome songs should have been left out because they are laughably bad. And yet, I still like this album.
Most of this material was written during the height of the second wave black metal movement but this sounds nothing like what was coming out of Norway in those days although songs Pesttanz and Eternal Winter do have some noticeable Darkthrone dissonance going on.
Werwolf is the first song and pry the most punkish being that it's so catchy and basic in its simplicity of riffs and beats. It's probably the best example of a song that describes what Absurd do with their black metal sound. Absurd like to drift about between styles some. Werwolf is more Oi!/RAC based with the black metal-ness coming in the way of Nocturno Culto-like vocals but then The Gates of Heaven rolls out a folk/Viking hymn harmony with clean chanting. You'll notice the drum beats don't differ much between the two songs. Gates sounds slower but the pace is not all that different between the two when you break it down.
Eternal Winter is the best track on Facta Loquuntur. It starts with a riff that is as frozen as Thüringen snow. The atmosphere is cold and hateful and the pace of the song revs up and pulls away like a Tiger I tank. This song is not to be topped from the rest of the album. It’s even got a bouncy bass drive throughout the song and the tinny drum slashes are quite memorable. It’s funny because, this album likes to stagger its ferocity. Deep Dark Forest has a title that you would think is another typical black metal song. Well it is in that the drumming and atmosphere are in tune to the style but this would qualify as a clean sung black metal track. The drum beats are monotonous and steady meddled over listless distortion and simple patterns. The lyrics in the song are of the Viking metal variety which Absurd faintly allude to. The album cover will indicate that. And then of course there is the following song of First Winter of Blood Red Snow; a song that next to Der Sieg Ist Unser is the most straight forward and all out black metal track. But even this one is still pretty loopy. I’m not sure if I like it or not because it sounds awful silly. Almost like a lampoon of something that could be on Deathcrush but with Atilla on vocals and a bad one at that.
Mourning Soul continues the pattern of dirty-clean alternating with this one pretty short and anthemic but dark. I think this is a good song that fits in with the rawness of the album even though at first it doesn’t seem like it should. It’s one of those examples of a very German spirit of the band that I mentioned above.
“Your soul is calling me. I see the full moon high above” is the first half of a lyric that is sung as awesomely black metal but once the other half “I am closing my eyes. I am dreaming of your love” sounded out, I couldn’t help but cringe. That’s what this goofy song is called: Dreaming of Your Love. This is one of the album’s moments of unintentional hilarity. Bad, bad, bad song but it still had the potential to be good which is strange but true and I also mentioned earlier about some of the atrocious guitar solos found and when I heard the one played here, I burst out laughing. The one on this song sounds like something a surf rock band would play. Same goes for the bass line: badly out of place.
I think for some of these songs the band should have just sang more of them in German. For English is a highly colorful language with many nuances and idiomatic tendencies that doesn’t lend itself well to the more abstract culture sensitive ideas that something in German could convey. That might have been the case for the lyrics in Dreaming of Your Love because that song came across to sound like a case of a love crush by a kvlt kiddie in English. But my point of the English lyrics on the record that I am making is more directed to the song Wartend In Einsamkeit. Yep, the title is in German (as well as some ending lyrics) but it mostly is in English. Ok, now, Absurd for better or for worse, was at this time at least, well known as a National Socialist band and since such an ideology is known for white supremacy, a lyric such as “The same black blood does run in our veins” comes across as hilariously ironical. Yeah, yeah, I get the gist of what that is supposed to mean i.e. black as in ‘black metal’ or black as in ‘bleak and evil’ but in English, that comes off as a comical gaffe given the known history of Absurd. In German, I am sure the exact transcription would have been contextually accurate. It also bears noting that the line “Black blood running through my veins. We knew what we did was unacceptable” is also a lyric in The Gates of Heaven. Miscegenation? Hmm. Again, my point is that these English lyrics are definitely a source of amusement in some places. Musically, Wartend In Einsamkeit doesn’t go anywhere. It’s a sorrowful piece reliant on a monotonous, militaristic marching drum beat and it has another horrible guitar solo. But these lyrical and musicianship flaws can still be attributed to the band’s inexperience and youth.
Absurd is still around but in name only. Facta Loquuntur was an album I had to have when I heard some of Werwolf. It sounded like a great song but when I heard it all, it wasn’t to be the best because there are a couple others on this album that are much better. Eternal Winter is a black metal favorite of mine. The rest of it is pretty scatter shot but I still do think this is a good album to check out if you want to hear something different from the genre. I held my expectations high and the record did not meet them but I still came away very satisfied. That’s how aberrant this Absurd release is.
There are many bands in which people appreciate them as such, but Absurd has to be at the upper part of this balance. Fans will point out honesty of compositions, while others will be fustrated and say: IT’S NOT METAL, IT’S PUNK LOL. Half of them will probably mention the band’s national-socialist stance. As for me, as you can see the rating (it’s relative, works in context though) – I really like this release.
What’s great about this album? Well, let’s do a little context here and here. In the middle 90’s, most black metal bands were already adding other gimmicks, like pretty much half of an orchestra and excellent musicianship (aka wankery) to seem original or whatever, and to detract fans from their horrible compositional talent. Bands were also becoming more and more politically correct, many of them being blinded by materialism. What about Absurd? They murdered Sandro Beyer, a collegue, they’re “nazis” (which would result that they are bad for your average Dimmu Borgir/LoG metalhead) and their musicianship is subpar. The drummer plays in countertime, the guitarist makes about 3 riffs per song using pretty much powerchords, and when the bass when present, is pretty much lousy. Also, the album sounds sloppy. And it would be better not to talk about the production (I can hear everything, but then again not everyone is that “trained”).
But Absurd have the compositions which makes them different from the virtuoso black-prog whatever bands. It transcends both oi! Punk and black metal, and its atmosphere is great. This album manages to bring up heroic ideals from their own youthful perspective.
That same youth is also present at their lyrics (just look at songittles), and it’s clear they wanted to appear as honest as possible.
Forgot to mention the vocals: They’re great, clean voice chants which try to sound folkish and more aggressive black metal vocals (hybrid between typical black metal vocals and hardcore shouting, with a great german accent).
It’s clear this band isn’t for everyone. If you enjoy metal, hardcore, oi! and others, you’ll love this, but if you’re a Dream Theater/Opeth fan, you’ll probably hate it and you would do better to look at some Yngwie guitar wankery.
This is one of my most commonly listened albums. Many people out there take Absurd's old material as a joke, but they clearly don't understand its merit. This is seriously raw black metal/punk, and not only that, it has a great deal of substance.
The guitar sound has a dull analog tone with harsh scratchy distortion. Often the chords are struck so hard other strings ring out and create off-key noises. The musicianship here is amateur for sure, but this only adds to its excellent simplicity. You can expect little more than power chords and other simple formations. Either simple up and down or all down-stroked, and overallvery punky stroking patterns are used. The solos are entirely basic, and with only one guitar, the bass maintains the rhythm behind a buzzing and crunching harsh higher array of sounds. Most often the solos consist of a very easy set of single notes. The bass is dull and dead sounding, almost always audible and plunking with punky lines in the background. Occasionally the bass takes more interesting roles playing an alternate melody to the guitar's rhtyhm. The drums are almost always mid-paced using alternating patterns of single kick and snare, often using hard crashes, and always sounding very flat. Rather than using d-beat style drums, it is more like the funky patterns used in Belketre's "The Dark Promise". The vocals are great, no doubt about it. They are either harsh yells and screams or clean vocals with a particularly bad singing voice that really grows on you. The overall structure of the songs is either punkish with black metal overtones or more drawn out, depressive and dull.
This album has been a favourite of mine for a long time. Although its description may sound like punk deemed black metal for its production with unserious musicians, it is most certainly more than that. For all those idiot skeptics and internet bashers, fuck off.
I had some troubles digging this album when I listened to it in the first times yet I gradually started to enjoy it. This album, while being generally mid-paced to slow with occasional speed burps (Der Sieg ist Unser, notably.) sounds extremely sloppy, notably in drumming, but also guitar and bass-wise. The vocals alternate between cool clean chants --which are one of my favorite things to be found in this album-- and more Black Metal-like raspy, disturbing vocals.
Most of the guitar work found in this album is really basic and detuned yet it may show an heroic feeling. Most songs have only 2 or 3 riffs which are generally made of power-chords and some occasional scales. Production-wise this album is poor, most of the production is too bright, fuzzy and noisy that makes the riffs' shape totally audible but doesn't show their complete force though it perodically changes song-to-song to a more distant, echoed, controled sound which makes Facta Loquuntur seem to be a compilation rathern than an actual album. Drumbeats present in this album are basic, repetitive, out of time and slowed down punk rythms. It shows the musicians were obviously not properly trained, yet they managed to record a half-way decent album. After hearing this album a few times you can easily notice Absurd wasn't trying to sound Black Metal, sure it's mostly Metal, and it has notable Black and Folk Metal elements making this album an interesting (but not so pleasant to some) Oi! Punk/Black Metal combination. Most lyrics in this album are far from NS (except Werwolf.) Being great part of the time about melancholy, anti-christianism, hate, among other related things which I think it would please the anti-NS crowd. This album was released in the post-Norwegian Black Metal period (1996, to be exact.) And it shows very little influence of it.
Why did I give this album 76? Its production is piss-poor yet listeneable and its musicianship is sub-standart, indeed. But Facta Loquuntur song-writing isn't an average Oi! punk songwriting and obviously not an average Black Metal song-writing, and like I previously said, it manages to capture some Heroic and Pagan Aeons. It's better to listen to a poorly produced album with original songwriting and aesthethic than a "nice and neat" band that is mediocre and everything they play has been done before. This album isn't really appropiate to any particular public. NSBM and some Black Metal fans may like it, but as in, many others would not.
Here is yet another example of how amateur musicians with lousy equipment CAN create good music, simply by having the inspiration to go and damn well do it. In this case, as with Skrewdriver (which is, by the way, quite a bit better even than this is), as it happens, much of this inspiration sprouts from a whole culture of values that I am in absolute disagreement with.. that is, Absurd is associated strongly with the whole ‘white music for white people’ trend, and myself I couldn't be a farther cry from identifying with that. This is where the interesting paradox lies, as I must say it does with a couple of other ‘N.S./white power’ bands, which is that the music is just so powerfully conveyed and full of feeling that I quite enjoy hearing it without being distracted at all by the ideological differences. So, in terms purely of music and feeling ingrained into the music, I think Absurd was, at this point during the course of its existence, a great outfit (actually, I'm not even sure how many members there were...). I really like the way that the hellishly filthy sound accentuates the almost-hidden genius of the simple riffing structure. At many points, it's not even really about riffing, but rather (in a somewhat similar way to Countess) about building a strong atmosphere from simple components. I also like both the belching vocals and the ‘clean’, imitation folk vocals, as the vocalist seems to have a good sense of how to use his throat to compliment the music, not to mention the great lyrics (from what I can hear) on SOME of the songs. I especially like the lyrics/vocals for ‘Dreaming of Love’... haha, great!
Absurd are more famous for strangling a potential band member with a phone cord than their musical output.... they prescribe(d) to the moronic "national socialist" ideology, and do not seem like a band I'd be fanatical about. Yet for some reason, Facta Lunqutuur is a compelling listen. It might be Absurd's total absence of musical ability or songwriting expertise... instead of intentionally trying to create atmosphere, the atmosphere seems to create itself.
There is atmosphere abound... songs like Deep Dark Forest and Gates of Heaven are brilliant in their simplicity... no keyboards, no aimless screeching. The vocals are about 60% sung, and this guy's voice is pretty weird. For some reason alot of the vocal lines have a creepy Adam's Family/transylvania vibe, something most black metal acts fail at getting down. Mourning Soul (my favorite song, coincidentally) actually reminds me of the MISFITS of all bands.
Three categories can be distinguished: upbeat attempts at traditional black metal: Der Sieg ist Under, First Winter of Bloodred Snow; mid paced, snarling BM: pesttanz, werewolf; and bizzare dirge like material that captures the "deep dark forest" vibe: deep dark forest, dreaming of love.
You can hear when their drummer fucks up, the guitar solos are pitiful, and the production is fuzzy... this is why Facta Luquuntur rules. Imagine a satanic garage band from the far north who have only owned their instruments for three months. Absurd is one of those bands i would not feel right in recommending... my only advice is to judge for yourself