|Genres||Black metal, pagan metal|
|Labels||Darker Than Black|
|Members||Hendrik “Jarl Flagg Nidhögg” Möbus|
|Past members||Ronald “Wolf” Möbus|
Sven “Unhold” Zimper
Sebastian “Dark Mark Doom” Schauseil
Andreas “Chuck Daniels” Kirchner
Udo “Damien Thorn” H.
The band was founded in Sondershausen by Hendrik Möbus (also known as - on the circuit and later on official Compact Cassette and later CD liner notes - as Randall Flagg / Jarl Flagg Nidhögg / JFN) and Sebastian Schauseil in 1992, with a third member, Andreas Kirchner, joining at a later stage.
The band achieved infamy because its original members (now no longer in the band since 1999) murdered the 15-year-old Sandro Beyer in 1993. The canonical motive is that Beyer was privy to an illicit relationship of Schauseil's with a married woman, and had been spreading rumours about this and other activities of the band. On 29 April in Sondershausen, the then-17-year-old band members Möbus, Schauseil, and Kirchner enticed Beyer to a meeting, and strangled him there with an electrical cord. Kirchner, in a now infamous quotation, was reported as saying: “Oh shit—now I’ve completely ruined my life.” Schauseil claimed to have heard a voice in his head saying “Kuster Maier”, which made no sense but was interpreted by him as “töte Beyer” (‘kill Beyer’).
In prison, Möbus (b. January 20, 1976) was able to carry on with the band under the temporary name "In Ketten" (German for "In Chains"). After the murder, Absurd became a cult band within Neo-Nazi groups. A live album was recorded in prison and had since been released on vinyl. The tape Thuringian Pagan Madness shows on its cover the grave of the murdered Sandro Beyer, and inside says: "The cover shows the grave of Sandro B. murdered by horde ABSURD on 29.04.93 AB".
The band members were released on parole in 1998, because they had been under eighteen when they had committed their crime. Shortly after release, Möbus violated the terms of his parole when at a concert he performed the Hitler salute, which is illegal in Germany. Hendrik and his brother Ronald "Wolf" Möbus also posed together in a series of photographs at Auschwitz death camp, holding up nazi banners inside a gas chamber and outside barracks. His parole was consequently revoked. He managed to flee to the United States, where he met William Luther Pierce, but was captured there. During his stay in America he also got in a conflict about money with some of his contacts who he stayed with for some time, one of them being the then neo-Nazi pagan occultist Nathan Pett, who later left the far right scene, and was apparently beaten with a hammer and threatened with a pistol by two persons. At first this was just a rumour but Möbus later admitted in an interview for a neonazi site that the incident had taken place. He was arrested by U.S. marshals. In 2001, after his request for asylum was denied, he was sent back to prison for the remaining three years for murder. For mocking his victim and for the Hitler salute he was sentenced to a further twenty-six months. On 15 May 2003 he was again sentenced to four years in prison. Möbus is today free and runs his own music label, called Darker Than Black, which distributes NSBM albums and merchandise on an organized scale since 2007. Antifascist Action in Germany has organized at least one demonstration in late 2014 to protest against the racist music shop Möbus owns together with one other person. Two cars belonging to Möbus were damaged in an arson which the Antifascist Action Germany claimed responsibility for, during a campaign in Berlin where there was also posters with Möbus face and personal information on put up, and graffiti with messages against him and the label. When released from the last prison sentence Möbus appeared on stage during a neonazi live gig, but did not play anything.
Schauseil is still involved with the underground metal scene; he performed between 1999 and 2004 with the folk-influenced nationalist band Halgadom, the black metal project Wolfsmond (also featuring bassplayer Unhold, who currently plays drums in Absurd), and the neofolk band In Acht und Bann. He has distanced himself from National Socialism and politics in general, as evidenced by the current direction of Wolfsmond and as stated in an interview he conducted with Vampire Magazine.
In 2002 Pantheon (USA) released a tribute album to Möbus, called Jarl die Freiheit (‘Jarl of Freedom’).
In 2019, Hendrik Möbus was at a Black Metal gig in Denmark, and was seen handing out flyers promoting a nazi event. This led to him being confronted by parts of the audience, and also asked by the organizers to put down the propaganda. A fight erupted and Möbus was beaten by a group of unidentified people from the audience who left the gig afterwards but returned and threw pepperspray at Möbus, which interrupted the show for a while.
The band Absurd has continued in existence since 1999, going through many changes of personnel, and losing all of its original members. The leader is Wolf, Hendrik's brother, with Sebastian Schauseil performing the occasional clean vocal part on releases such as Asgardsrei (1999), Werwolfthron (2001), and Totenlieder (2002).
The demos and the first album “Facta Loquuntur” have strong Oi! and Rock Against Communism (RAC) influences. Musical idols were bands like Mercyful Fate/King Diamond, Manowar, Danzig and especially Der Fluch, a band covered by Absurd on both Der fünfzehnjährige Krieg and the split release Weltenfeind, whereas the Scandinavian bands were no significant musical or lyrical influence. On the other hand, the band called itself a black metal band from the very beginning; in an interview with the pupil magazine of his school, Hendrik Möbus said Absurd would play the hardest, rawest and most ingenious black metal in Germany Michael Moynihan and Didrik Søderlind classified the band's early recordings “more akin to ’60s garage punk than some of the [...] Black Metal of their contemporaries”, and according to Christian Dornbusch and Hans-Peter Killguss, the second demo Death from the Forest had no similarities to black metal neither of the first nor the second wave, but was rather a mixture of primitive hard rock and punk rock elements. Due to its musical dilettantism, the band was not taken seriously by black metallers for a long time. In an ad in Sub Line magazine, the same demo was praised as “unholy, hard guitar rock, wild and boisterous; for all the dark souls out there” (“unheiliger, harter Gitarrenrock, wild und ungestüm; für all die schwarzen Seelen dort draußen”). The Mansion of Metal site classified it as “essentially crappy punk rock/RAC” and claims the “Thuringian Pagan Madness” demo to have black metal influences.
Hendrik Möbus called the Asgardsrei EP the band's first holistic piece of work, adjusted in concept and layout as well, and the band's step away from its former musical dilettantism; however,he still described some of it as dilettante, and Ronald Möbus criticised the final mixing.
EP (Darkside Flamboyance records 2000)