Review Summary: A beautifully inspired piece of raw punk-ish black metal that wasn't really black metal
If the quality of the more extremist strand of black metal is held up to scrutiny, surely Absurd is one of the more derided bands - and this is not without reason. Their earlier demo material is so pathetic that an ironic cover of the Village People's YMCA is perhaps the only thing worth investigating, and immediately following the group's incarceration, their members adopted the sickening creed of Naziism, taking their music into a strikingly boring, overproduced drone only of interest to those sympathetic to those views.
The one relic of Absurd's recordings that retains its value is their debut LP, Facta Loquuntur. Much as Mayhem's sole output with notorious vocalist Dead, Live in Leipzig, holds a station of fame, so does this album have its place showcasing the thoughts and actions of a handful of misguided youths who took their place among the early black metal scene.
This album is marked by its imperfections. As simple as the goals laid by Mayhem's Deathcrush EP were, the music here is far simpler: everything is a formula between power chords with little of the technical tremolo picking that would come to characterize the genre, and the drumming isn't even always on beat with these simple riffs.
However, black metal has never been and never will be distinguished by its technicality. No, if anything, the utter simplicity of Absurd's music only adds to the grim sound of the album. It solely services to underscore how utterly serious the musicians were recording these songs. Where another artist might sound humorous singing "Where is your savior? Where hides Jesus? Why isn't he at war against us?" in the face of the utter simplicity of the words, Absurd sounds chillingly earnest, even in between simplistic guitar solos that only underscore the basic riff.
If only for these few songs, Absurd would likely have been lost to the sands of time, known only by extreme enthusiasts. However, they chose to take matters further. One member was involved in an affair with a schoolteacher, and upon a classmate learning of this, the bandmates chose to murder him. Lyrics from the first Absurd album take on a morbid tone given this knowledge:
"You’re so far away from me
I am pain and agony,
And you think that between us stands my belief
You're right with this, we're both alone, tell me - what shall I do!
Forever I am Satans son, for ever I love you."
"I would rather be with you
Be a father to my son
The same black blood does run in our veins"
These unforgivable deeds embellish their music. Where before there were rudimentary riffs, loosely inspired by Bathory and Manowar, now there was the collection of youths who put their dark beliefs into action. Just as the best punk is written by those truly believing what they say, so too is the best song Absurd ever wrote encapsulated in Mourning Soul, an awkward hymn of power chords with poorly sung vocals laid atop. They were wholly untalented, from guitar to drums to vocals; but of inspiration they had more than most bands could ever dream of possessing.