From Your Grave
(Metal Blade Records) Enslain Magazine Volume 2, Issue 1 Remember when the 90's brought in a barrage of bands said to be mimicking the At The Gates style, most notably In Flames? Then as those acts succeeded, this decade welcomed another barrage of bands, these mimicking the In Flames style, but losing all touch with their roots. Well, The Absence manages to take a step backwards, invoking the classic Swedish sound and integrating it with hardcore in a way that is completely non-metalcored. This is definitely a refreshing break from most of Metal Blade's other recent acquisitions.
It's almost not fair to compare any band to At The Gates, for the amount of pressure and expectation that bestows them. And they are certainly no copycat, instead they tastefully integrate their melodic riffs and harmonizing leads with abrasive mosh parts, modernizing and adding character to their sound. The pace is mostly slower and deliberate, with the drums offering up much of the perceived speed. The vocals are growled in typical Swedish fashion, styled similarly to Tomas Lindberg, but with a slightly different quality about them.
It's really not surprising that The Absence are from Florida and not Europe, because the American influence is definitely there. For this reason, this "From Your Grave" will manage to appeal to fans of both scenes, specifically those who enjoy Shadows Fall or The Haunted. Memorable tracks like "Heaven Ablaze" will help catapult these guys into becoming a strong force in the continual shaping of metal.