The Absence – The Absence Review

A Symphony of Brutality: The Absence's New Album Raises the Bar...

Melodic Death Metal

Listenable Insanity Records

Release Date – March 29th, 2024

 

Studio Band:

Jamie Stewart – Vocals

Taylor Nordberg – Guitar/Bass/Keyboards

Jeramie King – Drums

 

Tracklist:

1 – Communion Carbonized

2 – The Silent Eye

3 – Vagrant Death

4 – Planetary Mortuary

5 – Surface Of  A Dead World

6 – Grieving Winds

7 – Fleshwalker

8 – Escape Artist

9 – Breeding Hysterics

 

Melodic Death Metal – sounds like a contradiction in terms – but it really does work, and here to prove it are The Absence, who have been playing this stuff since 2002 and feature former and current members of Deicide, Venom Inc, and Inhuman Condition.

Opener ‘Communion Carbonized’ is a perfect example of melodic death metal. We’ve got a thrashy metal riff, scattergun rhythm, and those gruff ‘cookie monster’ vocals, although you can still hear what Jamie Stewart is singing. But what about the melody? That comes with the exceptional guitar work of Taylor Nordberg. The riffs are nasty and heavy, but there are melodic breakdowns and fills that will satisfy any metal fan. ‘The Silent Eye’ grooves on another gritty riff, and again Nordberg brings the melodies, especially on the brief first solo before ‘Vagrant Death’ gets nastier and faster. Just wait for the superb middle eight and the fabulous solo. A doomy intro starts ‘Planetary Mortuary’ before King rattles out a major tempo change, and they charge headlong into a thrashing chugfest. We get a brief respite with the instrumental ‘Surface Of A Dead World’, which leads to the chugging groove metal of ‘Grieving Winds’. We get some sultry Spanish guitar, which is replicated by the electric on ‘Fleshwalker’, before it develops into a crushing beast. ‘Escape Artist’ brings the groove metal again before ‘Breeding Hysterics’ ends things on a metal thrashing fist pumper.

Every song on this is a winner, nine tracks of world-class melodic death metal that I reckon will appeal to any real metal fan. There are loads of expensive riffs, rattling drum rhythms, and gruff, masculine vocals. This is true metal written and played by exceptional musicians. Try it – you might like it.

 

Written by: Smudge

Ratings: 9/10

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