DMD and JFN in 1992

The history of Absurd started on January 2nd, 1992, in a small Thuringian town, when Sebastian ‘DMD’ S. and Hendrik ‘JFN’ M. felt the urge to respond to the New Wave of Black Metal with a band of their own. The choice of the band name remains apocryphal, but it can be presumed there’s a link to one of the many horror B-movies fervently consumed by the band members back in the days.

The first logo of Absurd from 1992

The duo, 16 years of age, was accompanied by the older brother of JFN, Wolf, who too shared their interest in Black Metal and began supporting Absurd right from the start. The band managed to record a promo “God’s Death” in June 1992. At this time, Absurd frequented a rehearsal place in the local community hall, where DMD managed to shock the local YMCA with his juvenile outbursts of ‘Satanism’ and ‘Horror fantasies’. They in turn wrote a letter to the city mayor, warning of Absurd and asking the local authorities to pay attention to alleged ‘satanic activities’ in town. When Punk rock-bands, who too rehearsed in the same community hall, incited a conflict with Absurd over the use of music equipment stored there, the band eventually retreated into a cabin located in dense forest outside of their hometown. Meanwhile, Wolf became sort of manager for Absurd, advertising, trading and selling the demo tapes, and also a new member joined the band, Udo ‘Damien Thorn’ H.. In late 1992, Absurd recorded the ‘Death from the Forest’ demo, and afterwards it were only DMD and JFN who recorded the ‘God’s Death/Sadness’ split demo in March 1993. Barely a month after, a conflict between DMD and another teenage boy escalated with the latter being slain by the band members. Both DMD and JFN were sentenced as minors, for first-degree murder, and sent to prison to serve a maximum of eight years respectively, whereas the third accomplice, Andreas K., received a sentence of six years. Later, he joined the band as ‘Surt’ when the trio was held at the same facility from 1994 to 1995.

Together they recorded a rehearsal demo “Out of the Dungeon” in April 1994. The band subsequently decided to prepare for a full-length album. The prison administration kindly yet unwittingly provided the instruments, equipment, and the place for rehearsing and recording, after Absurd adopted the name ‘In Ketten’ and pretended to play cover songs only. The ‘Lord of the Logos’ from Belgium, Christophe Szpajdel, agreed to revamp the band logo (and he did this one more time in 1998) and during late 1994 and early 1995, Absurd started the recording of their first album titled “Facta Loquuntur”. Alas, the band involuntarily aborted the recordings due to conditions at the prison suddenly worsening, but the songs already available were used for the “Thuringian Pagan Madness”- EP in 1995, the “Facta Loquuntur”- CD/LP in 1996, and the “Totenburg”- SplitEP with Heldentum in 1997.

Behind bars, Absurd matured ideologically as well as lyrically. Their earliest songs reflected impressions they received from other bands, from movies, and even from their daily life; but soon the band would start using their own music and lyrics for the purpose of expressing themselves, their own ideology and philosophy, and thus they themselves became an influence on others. When they were finally released from prison, DMD and JFN had adopted a world view based on their Germanic ancestry, by embracing the Heathen values and virtues of their elders.

It was in 1998 when the two of them came together once more – and for the last time – to record songs for Absurd. It was then when the “Asgardsrei”- MCD/LP was conceived, hailed as their sophomore album by many fans in 1999 and thereafter. Due to the increasingly difficult situation in Germany, JFN decided to leave his fatherland, seeking exile in the US of A.

Flyer from 1997 or 1998

However, there already were plans for future releases – among them “Totenlieder” and “Kyffhäuserreich” – announced before the band activities had to be suspended. “Totenlieder” was supposed to be quite different from the album recorded by another line-up years later, for instance. You can read about the plans, which never materialized, on this flyer from 1997 or 1998.

While JFN travelled through America, where he was arrested in August 2000 and deported to Germany one year later, DMD turned his back on Absurd and instead he focused on other bands from there on. With the founding members either gone or back behind bars, it was up to Wolf to keep Absurd alive. With the consent and blessing of JFN, he enlisted session-members and recorded a new album, “Werwolfthron”, in 2001. Almost all songs on this album were still written by DMD, and Absurd kept recording many of his songs for years to come even though he himself would never return to the band as an active member.

Wolf live on stage, 2004
Playing live in Finland, 2008

When JFN was sent behind bars once again, sentenced to a prison term of another six years, Wolf managed to bring Absurd live on stage for the first time ever, playing concerts in Europe as well as in the USA.

Together with Sven ‘Unhold’ Z., Wolf recorded two more full-length albums, “Totenlieder” in 2003 and “Blutgericht” in 2005, and when JFN eventually returned from prison, he contributed to the final two recordings done by Wolf and Unhold in 2008: “Weltenfeind” and “Der fünfzehnjährige Krieg”. The latter were new recordings of some of the old Absurd classic songs, which suffered from subpar conditions at the time of their initial recording, whereas “Weltenfeind” was a split release shared by Sigrblot and Grand Belial’s Key.

Absurd played one more concert in Italy, in 2012, and from then on until 2017 the band went into hiatus and ceased to exist in all but name. Wolf kept looking for new members to join the line-up, but to no avail. Even though he has had the idea for a new album, “Ad Astra Cruentus”, nothing was ever recorded. Eventually he called it quits, and at this point it was JFN who returned to Absurd as the new vocalist. He reformed the line up, and together they were playing concerts in Ukraine, Finland, Italy and France.

JFN live on stage, 2008
JFN, 2021

In April 2019, Unhold completed a few more songs which he later released on the mini-album “Grabgesang”, and still under the name of Absurd, in 2021. Now he’s committed to Grand Belial’s Key, where he became vocalist in 2009. Also Wolf did eventually decide to carry on as vocalist, but with his new project Der Tod und die Landsknechte.

In 2021, Absurd started working on their sixth and new full-length album “Schwarze Bande”, which was recorded in 2022 and finally released on May 8th of the same year. “Schwarze Bande” took many by surprise, because it perfectly blends the style of the original line-up with the sound conceived by Wolf’s and Unhold’s incarnation of Absurd, and some even say it is the best Absurd album up to date.

Without further ado, Absurd have released three more records in 2022: A split EP with Abyssic Hate, another one with Evil, and one more with Vothana. For 2023, a new mini album is planned and Absurd want to play more concerts, too.

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