Review: In boxy rhythms with marching cadences and anthemic melodies, Absurd have made a fusion of black metal and the oi hardcore punk, in doing so infusing a classicist sense of ancient melody into violent resound, matching their themes of epic loss and conflict. Clumsily strapped-together songs focus around bouncing oi beats or black metal rowing chants in the style of Nordicist projects such as Storm.
2. The gates of heaven
4. Eternal winter
5. Deep dark forest
6. First winter of bloodred snow
7. Mourning soul
8. Dreaming of love
9. Wartend in Einsamkeit
10. Der Sieg ist unser
For Absurd's case a heavily Teutonic flavor is retained: romanticism meets almost mechanistic functionalism, meaning that hypnotic rhythms come up against vastly dissonant and unresolved phrases which cycle through poetics of emptiness versus intention. Melodic conceptualization follows the upper-echelon of black metal, who fashioned from chromatic parameters a similar modal understanding of melody to Bach, who with his fugues demonstrated overlays of melody so to produce a harmonic theme in multiple variations. This works with the articulate and almost purringly distorted vocals, howled with the best black metal throat possible and alternatingly sung in unsteady but fervent tone.
Epic perspective is added through mixing powerfully centric melodies with melodic and rhythmic breakup for added tension which is resolved magnificently in the declarative themes for each song. Highly creative as this work may be, it belongs to neither genre, but achives a musical fusion on a such a level that fans of theory in any genre have something to gain from this release (although the shoddy production, uneven playing and unusual aesthetic will deter many at first listen).
Review: Making protest music designed to cut to the core of the alienated human being by appealing to his inner child at the same time summoning wardemons through a concept and image of outright hostility and fascism, Absurd make "absurdist" music that is mostly distorted and unsteady hardcore with convoluted but minimalist song structures, using only the simplest and most seemingly imprecise methodology in instrumentalism. Compositionally, it merges this sense of aesthetic and rhythmic structure with a sense of granular melody inducted into its stream of power chord phrasing, in a style used from Oi to Impaled Nazarene.
Drums are a ticking machine churning at a throbbing pace with only the most basic structural divisions of song interrupting, pacing vocals alternating between a growled black metal howl and a youthful clean vocal. Militant tempo and ragged guitars incite action and enhance the already-krystallnacht-clear image of this band, as does the guest microphone appearance by Der Führer on track three. When soloing, guitars favor the Oi-inspired style of direct phrasing of themes and conclusion in diminishing harmonic progressions as a means of nullifying energy to limit expression to a brief appearance.
Its tugging rhythms like time in the womb or a deep sleep while at sea, this music works in the human subsconscious with an enlightened sense of melodic composition as reflected through developing riff and vocal patterning during each song, texturing its layers for the final revelation in which it concludes in militant dissonance. Moments are pure beauty as in the nationalistic hymns on the latter half, and often a gnarled and visciously inflected riff will bring mood to a focus of negativity previously only possible on Mayhem albums.
Reviled universally for aesthetic and ideological reasons, this music is a confrontation between the externalist and the inner sense of structure, as its abstraction and composition are excellent, but production and rendering deliberately ruined for esoteric reasons. In this sense the hateful jester of Absurd serves in the eternal role of art as provocateur and speaker of the forbidden, while for those who successfully parse its artistic codex the emotional basis in concept behind it will open to display the flayed soul of social rejection during the last days of humanity that Absurd capture with élan.
Review: The hardcore punk album as reinterpreted through metal remains a Holy Grail for many bands, since the raw energy of punk coupled with the epic sensations of metal is artistic tritonal. Impaled Nazarene returned to their roots with "Latex Cult," and reintroduced the heritage of black metal from hardcore; the Dirty Rotten Imbeciles way back in 1985 achieved the last master fusion of metal and punk with "Dealing with It."
2. Über die Gräber Hinweg
6. Die Kathedrale
7. The Crucified
8. We Don't Believe In God - Yhvh
9. Die Ruhe Vor Dem Sturm
10. Die Rückkehr Der Werwolfes
12. Helge Hundingstöter
13. Ein Traum
14. Heaven In Blood
Werewolfthron takes a different approach by staying entirely within expected punk rhythm, less deadpan cadence than Discharge but a shade short of the exuberant bounce of The Exploited, and less neurotically rigidly rapid as Minor Threat tended to be. The verse riffs of this album are entirely classic punk and have zero pretensions about being otherwise, but the transitional riffing is straight out of Black Sabbath -- churning, world-reducing patterns that like the numerology of sigils symbolize epic moments in life. Choruses thunder down with a simplified metal power and an anticipatory dead-falling cadence that counterpoints the punk and erases some of its monochromatic drive. Interludes of bagpipe drone and indie-rock sensible minor key instrumental ballads heighten rather than dilute atmosphere.
Although this album is not as devoutly bizarre and symbolic as earlier Absurd it retains much of that power and channels it from a divisive compromise between genres into a fusion that builds consensus through what these genres have in common at their best: a desire to remove themselves from modern society without falling into maudlin duty of resistance or tedious self-pity, channeling the insurgent energy of the original punk hardcore toward a sense of self-sufficiency and potential for change in the context of metal's broader view than the individualistic politics that dragged down hardcore and later black metal. While after this album, Absurd's output fades to a uniform grey and ranting dogmatic obedience, this swansong for their classic era is an undiscovered classic amidst controversy, legal actions, political divisions and other fracas of the dying Western empires.