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Yes, yes... "Anyone Wanna Dance?" is the title I decided to give this review. Why? Because as soon as I started listening to the first track entitled "Ein Jäger aus Walhall", I felt like I was listening to folk music, and folk music makes me think of Pagans dancing in the woods for some reason. Anyway, what to say about this short little gem of an ep. If one has not heard of Absurd, and thinking they were a straight up black metal band and decided to listen to this recording first, they'd be in for a shocking surprise. This EP features Absurd playing some traditional folk songs in a melodic, catchy, black metal style. Yes, episodic and catchy.
So the opening song, "Ein Jäger aus Walhall", is ULTRA catchy and folksy. Again, it makes one want to go in the woods and do some traditional Pagan folk dances. It is very repetitive and contains a very good, and again, catchy chorus with clean and harsh vocals mixed in. Personally speaking, this is my favorite song on the whole ep. It is just that good. Reminds me in a way of the band Wolfchant, who are also from Germany, but are also a lot newer than Absurd.
Now, let's move on, shall we? The next song, entitled "Hab Mein Pestkarren Vollgeladen", for some reason reminds me of Burzum's recent efforts since "Belus" in 2010. Ahhhh! Again, I am speaking of unrelated bands. My apologies, people. But seriously, it has that sort of folksy black metal sound that is slow at one point, then fast at others. However, it is fairly consistent as the changes from slow to fast are not too drastic. This is another one of the better tracks on the ep. Now, the next song, "Hoch auf dem Panzerwagen", is somewhat faster than the previous track and contains more of those great clean vocals we experienced on the first track. It opens up with double bass drumming which is actually played during a lot of the track. It takes breaks, but the double bass is surely what makes this track worth listening to. The opening riff of "Aufruf des Schinderhannes" sort of reminds me of the one in "Hab Mein Pestkarren Vollgeladen", but much faster. This track opens with furious black metal blast beats. Also, the riffs on this one are very melodic and catchy, starting of furious and eventually turning into a very beautiful, yet still fast track. The final track, "Des Wotans schwarzer Haufen", is actually the longest on the ep at just under 5 minutes long. It is, as the others are, very catchy. AMAZING clean vocals are accompanied by the raspily-awesome, harsh vocals. Also, there are a lot of proud folksy chants in this one. A great closer to a great ep by a LEGENDARY black metal band.
Now, I do have one small gripe about this ep: it is waaaay too short for me. It is only around 18 minutes long. I really wish Absurd would do a full-length sounding like this.
All in all, this ep is one of Absurd's gems throughout their career. First time listeners would very much enjoy this, although I DO advise them to listen to the raw stuff such as "Facta Loquuntur" first to get an idea about where this band came from: raw, primitive black metal mixed with punk, to folk-oriented, proud, melodic, and somewhat catchy black metal. HAILS!
What a fucking cool EP! Absurd’s playing some old folk songs in good melodic black metal style!
They do it very well. The production is powerful and clean so that you can hear what the musicians playing (in early days it just was a big wall of noise).
And Wolf has improved his vocals. He sounds like a mixture between Kevin Russel (from the German Hard Rock band “Böhse Onkelz) and a typical black metal voice.
1. Ein Jäger aus Walhall:
Already the first song here is kickin’ your ass! The guitars playing folk melodys in a very fast way and it’s awesome. The “Juja Juja” refrain is the best thing here. It’s done by the harsh and hoarse vocals of Wolf, backgrounded by a clean singing choire and fast doublebasses. The last 30 seconds of this song are just fast blasting, but melodic black metal. Great!
2. Hab mein Pestkarren vollgeladen
3. Hoch auf dem Panzerwagen
4. Aufruf des Schinderhannes:
These three songs are less folk influenced than the opener. They are more in a melodic black metal style. Nice guitar melodys, harsh vocals and fast doublebass. Not bad, but not exciting, too.
5. Des Wotans schwarzer Haufen
This is an old German folk song (orig. “Wir sind des Geyers schwarzer Haufen”). Absurd has kept the old melody. But instead of using boring folk instruments they play the same old melody with their guitars. And doublebasses. And harsh vocals. Thousand times better than lousy folk versions and a great sing along song.
Grimmige volksmusik is a perfect suiting title for this EP, however when you - like me - loved the older Absurd albums you'll be in rather a shock because of the totally different nature of this album compared to earlier work by these German cult heroes.
Some of the songs are adapations of existing german songs which is rather interesting of course, but because I don't know the original songs it's hard to tell for me if they are an improvement to them.
The overall sound of this album is different in a way that everything is perfect quality sound, something that in my opinion made the older Absurd releases something special. This quality improvement has taken away the evil and dark (and somethings melancholic) atmosphere found on for instance Facta Loquuntur which made me appreciate this band. Also there is an overall more 'folky' sound to this album instead of the black metal sound heard on other releases by the band. It seems there are some synths used in this production too.
This album still has evil elements but you need to pay more detailed attention to the lyrics to experience this. I personally would say this album is still okay but if you are looking for the real (original) Absurd you definetly want to leave this out of your collection.