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Raw black metal - 80%

Iron Wizard, January 18th, 2016

At first, early Absurd was crap to me. All I heard was garage punk black metal with terrible production. However, now this has grown on me. Even though the production is bad, there is something to be said for the music itself. While Thuringian Pagan Madness is not the definitive Absurd release (that title goes to the excellent Facta Loquunter), it is a very good E.P. Also, I have found that the rawness and musical immaturity give this a unique sound.

Production issues aside, the musical skills of the members at this point were not yet very good. The guitar playing is consistent, but the most technical thing on here is the simple solo of "The Gates of Heaven", a song featuring all clean vocals, which is something new for black metal. There are a lot of clean vocals on Thuringian Pagan Madness. Both "The Gates of Heaven" and "Mourning Soul" use only clean vocals, as opposed to the harsh, raspy screams used in most black metal. Songs like "Werewolf" and "Pesttanz" have some intense screams, though. The actual amount of vocal skill demonstrated here is questionable, though. The clean vocals sound more like punk vocals than anything. This possibly explains Absurd's false reputation as a garage rock band. The harsh vocals, however, are soul tearing, even though they do not take much actual talent. This is especially true with the last line of "Eternal Winter". The drumming here is an obvious improvement. Hendrik Möbus plays drums on this E.P. At first, his style was very simple, just random, but more or less in rhythm drum beats. Now, he plays with some degree of proficiency.

Overall, Thuringian Pagan Madness is a good album. It is extremely raw, and there are a lot of mistakes in the music, making it sound more like a live album than anything. Everything is "studio quality", with the exception with the last track, "Mourning Soul", which was recorded live in concert. I think that it would be worthwhile to purchase this, however, I would strongly recommend looking at Facta Loquunter or Der Fünfzehnjährige Krieg first, as these containers the definitive versions of many early Absurd songs. These are more "early versions", but still good.