(This coming Friday, June 25th, M-Theory Audio will release the fifth album by Tampa-based The Absence, and here we have DGR’s deep dive into the new record.)
The first time I ever crossed paths with The Absence was around the time of their first album, From Your Grave. Featured as one of the many bands on those twenty- to thirty-track sampler discs you used to be able to buy at your local mall-topic, the first time I ever heard the song “From Your Grave” it caught me by surprise. Providing a bit of historical perspective of course: As a young adult just growing into his own as a metal fan, melo-death projects served as a gateway to so many different genres, and at the time, with At The Gates being a long accepted – yet broken up – pillar of the style, it seemed like melo-death was one of those styles that remained firmly in the grasp of Europe at large, while the U.S was launching itself deeper into the metalcore trend that would eventually lead to boy-band-esque crooning in just about every song vs times where it might actually be effective musically.
Thus, a band hailing from the U.S. that seemed to have a proper grasp of that ceaseless one-two heartbeat of a drumming style alongside the endlessly catchy melo-death riffs was almost mind-blowing to someone who was just starting to submerge themselves into the underground. I became a longtime fan of the band – and still recommend 2007’s Riders of The Plague to people.
Afterwards would see the solid follow-up in Enemy Unbound and then a very long period of dormancy from the band. The Absence would release two other singles in that time, in 2013 and 2016, but three-year gaps for just one song each was getting brutal.