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Review: Absurd - Totenlieder

Label: Nebelfee Klangwerk
Year released: 2003
Duration: 35:37
Tracks: 10
Genre: NS Black Metal

Rating: 4.25/5

Review online: March 8, 2007
Reviewed by: Lars Christiansen
Readers Rating

Rated 3.33/5 (66.67%) (12 Votes)

Absurd are a band that have become legendary throughout the black metal scene. However, the legacy is not for their music, but for the deeds of a couple of their past members, Hendrik Mobus in particular, which overshadowed all else.

So, what of their music? Well, their early material was very basic, badly produced and to be honest, not that great – a poor mans impression of the generic punkish R.A.C styled black metal which was becoming popular around the time. However, fast forward to 2003, with several line up changes and a new vision, Totenlieder was released on the unsuspecting public, simultaneously changing my view of the band completely and garnering new found respect amongst underground fanatics all over. Totenlieder certainly has black metal at its core, but it's so much more than that. Opening with 'In Die Schlacht', it has a great folkish vibe similar to that done so well by Velimor and Temnozor, with great melody, arrangement and hook laden tunefully black compositions. There's intuitive use of melodic guitar lines over the backing riffs which works really well, especially when mixed with bright acoustic passages – it's all very mid-paced and cadenced, not to mention Germanic and patriotic– what more would you expect from a band like Absurd? There are even some tracks ('Nordmännerlied' in particular) that remind me of Falkenbach at times, pushing the folky edge further still. The vocals are uniquely raw and squawked (which suits the harsh German lyrics perfectly), but may take a bit of getting used to upon first listen for some.

All in all, this is actually a damn decent album, and a world apart from the material that the band released prior to it. So, if you've never checked the band out before and want to, I'd advise no better place to start than by picking this album up – mature, folk influenced and well conceived music.

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