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. But it was also inspired by the band name Abruptum -> Absurdum → Absurd.
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. Wolf considered the plan to be the bass player, but that instrument was considered to be of no importance, back then, so he rather went to start an own fanzine called „Infernus“ to promote the band, and care for advertizing in fanzines/magazines and networking within the upstarting New Wave of Black metal scene. 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 a new member joined the band, Udo ‘Damien Thorn’ H., who was rather inclined to be a Gothrocker the Fields of the Nephilim way. 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. Wolf managed all the record deals (and recorded the song „First winter of bloodred snow“ to replenish the unfinished album recordings), although in hindsight his decisionmaking wasn’t always for the best, f.ex. not taking the offer to release „Thuringian Pagan Madness“ in 7“ EP format via Samoth’ Nocturnal Art Production, but rather ending up with No Colours records, for obscure reasons…
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. Wolf was active with the band Heldentum and the project Wolfsburg, meanwhile. Surt, already released from prison a year earlier, and after a brief stint into the current scene, f.ex. visiting the Mayhem show 1997 in Bischofswerda, together with Wolf and his Heldentum line up of the time, had left for good to pursue other ways in life. 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.
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 handed over to Wolf by Surt in 1997, 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.
When JFN was sent behind bars once again, sentenced to a prison term of another six years, Wolf started to recruit musicians, from various bands like Totenburg, Antiphrasis, (and later in 2007 also) Leichenzug, Suicide Solution, to be temporary session members on stage, and Absurd played concerts in several countries (in 2004 they went live on stage w/o Unhold who would become the permanent live guitarist and background vocalist only two years later) and successfully headlined festivals in Romania, Italy and elsewhere.
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: “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. Both records were published in 2008 and to the present time they mark the pinnacle of the creative era accomplished so far by Wolf and Unhold, as well as of the complete history of the band, in the opinion of many listeners.
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.
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.