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The Absence - From Your Grave - 2005 - Metal Blade Records

Track Listing
1. Intro
2. A Breath Beneath
3. Necropolis
4. From Your Grave
5. Heaven Ablaze
6. Summoning The Darkness
7. Shattered
8. I, Deceiver
9. My Ruin
10. Seven Demons
Metal Blade just keeps dishing out the prime time, death metal wonders of the world, those young hard edged bands that just keep stepping up in a big way with powerful debuts that really help solidify the label's mammoth presence both in the underground and mainstream metal community. Now The Absence emerges, a talented five-piece out of the Tampa, Florida scene. After a few lineup changes early, the band is now set to dominate the genre that they grew up with. Combining on punishing death metal romps mixed with tons of melodic arrangements and intricacies, the band sound as if they have been in the business for over a decade, almost bordering on the sounds of veteran bands with a handful of professional recordings under their resume. Their debut, "From Your Grave", has now been released and fans of the early Swedish death metal sound will find plenty to rejoice about.

When one thinks about new bands that are inspired by the Swedish sound, you almost find yourself saying, "No, not again". While bands like Arch Enemy, In Flames, and Soilwork re-tool and re-invent themselves using today's more modern influences, The Absence go back to the roots, really providing pure, white knuckle fever that rages with emotion and traditionalism. In all honesty "From Your Grave" could have been released during Sweden's "early stages", where bands like Dark Tranquility, Sacrilege, Armageddon, and Dimension Zero were just starting to mesmerize fans with their melodic, breath taking sounds. This band harkens back to those early sounds, with plenty of fast rhythm, timing changes, technical precision, and of course an abundance of twin guitar harmony.

Patrick Pintaville and Peter Joseph just provide dazzling guitar work here, with huge leads and solos mixed in with their galloping speed fests and melodic signatures. Jeramie Kling allows for plenty of patience behind the kit, using intricate patterns to mix with the progressive elements brought by the timing changes. Vocalist Jamie Stewart provides a harsh vocal style that is reminiscent of the early Swedish death vocalists. His register is tinged with a black metal scream, but at times Pintaville and Kling step in with some alternate vocals as well. You won't find any Emo influences here, nor is there much clean vocals. For the most part this in your face, melodic death metal in the same vein as the early Swedish explosion. Fans of Burden Of Grief and In Thy Dreams will enjoy this one!

Note - The man behind the production is none other than Erik Rutan (Hate Eternal, Morbid Angel).



--EC 12.02.05
About this Writer:
Eric Compton // Eric Compton lives in the most haunted city in the world, St. Augustine, Florida with his family and two yorkies. He has served as senior editor for MaximumMetal.com for nearly 10 years and is the author of the heavy metal book series--Denim & Letters. His reviews, interviews and social commentary has been featured on websites like Brave Words, Blabbermouth, Metal Temple, Metal Rules, Ultimate Metal, Metal Maniacs and Wikipedia.

Maximum Metal Rating Legend - Click for Full Details
5 Excellent - Buy it and say a prayer to the metal gods that you were tuned on to this masterpiece. A classic.
4-4.5 Great - Almost perfect records but there's probably a clunker or a lacking somewhere to keep it from perfection. You won't feel bad about dropping some bones on these.
3.5 Good - Most of the record is good, but there may be some filler. This is the OK range where you'd search for the record on sale or used.
3 Average - Some good songs, some bad ones at about a half/half ratio. Could show skills but be dull overall. Redeeming qualities for indy bands are effort and passion. Majors that don't try or suck outright end up here.
2-2.5 Fair - Worth a listen, but best obtained by collectors. There is much better metal out there.
1-1.5 Bad - Major problems with music, lyrics, production, etc.
0 Terrible or an otherwise waste of your life and time.

Note: Reviews are graded from 0-5, anything higher or not showing is from our old style. Scores, however, do not reveal the important features. The written review that accompanies the ratings is the best source of information regarding the music on our site. Reviewing is opinionated, not a qualitative science, so scores are personal to the reviewer and could reflect anything from being technically brilliant to gloriously cheesy fun.

Demos and independent releases get some slack since the bands are often spent broke supporting themselves and trying to improve. Major releases usually have big financial backing, so they may be judged by a heavier hand. All scores can be eventually adjusted up or down by comparison of subsequent releases by the same band. We attempt to keep biases out of reviews and be advocates of the consumer without the undo influence of any band, label, management, promoter, etc.

The best way to determine how much you may like certain music is to listen to it yourself.



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From Your GraveThe Absence
2005
Eric Compton12/15/2005


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