Saturday, July 14, 2007

The Absence - Riders of the Plague (2007)

This is the first album I've heard from Florida's The Absence and it's certainly an impressive one. They deliver, song after song, thrashy Gothenburg style melodic death metal, without any of the obnoxious hardcore tendencies that so many American bands show. Actually, I didn't realize this band was American until I looked them up. Their Swede-worship is so convincing that I thought it was the real deal. Musically, it's very guitar-oriented, with all the catchy riffs and harmonized twiddly bits you'd expect from a melodeath album. The bass is practically inaudible and the drums kinda sit at the back just keeping time. The vocalist does his classic Dark Tranquillity/In Flames thing excellently, and is actually one of the better melodeath singers I've heard. The guitars are definitely in the spotlight of this album, and the shredding is pretty tastefully executed and very clean, with some whammy bar antics thrown in because it wouldn't be a modern metal album without them.

For being generic thrash/melodeath par excellence, I have to recommend this to any fans of classic Gothenburg metal, as well as newer bands like Arsis. Add another entry to 2007's growing melodeath must-haves.

(One whole point deducted because of that one time I heard a gang shout that I thought was really terrible. Yes, a whole point)


Drew said...

Sounds like something I'd like. I'll check it out.

ROBBCorpse said...

Being a Melo-Death kinda dude, I felt I had to toss in my 2 cents.

This is a good album. A lot of fun to listen to with some AWESOME riffage and the classic Melodic Metal sound.

I felt some of the solos were forced and just kinda tossed on though. Either give me a good feeling solo or don't, please do not half ass.

There wasn't much I hadn't heard before but goddamn did I enjoy the album though. This is a definite for Melo-Death fans, sits well with some of the other releases (Detonation, Slowmotion apocalypse, and of course Dark Tranquility).

hero imprisoned said...

I agree wholeheartedly with the deduction of a whole point for bad gang vocals. There's no other way to do it, really.

Will said...

definitely agree that it is great, albeit nothing new. very fun for melodeath junkies (ie me)

Blakout said...

I'm loving this. There's nothing new, but it's so well done that it really doesn't matter.