Thursday, November 04, 2010

The Absence: Enemy Unbound (2010)


Many times, I've referred to Metal Blade as a reliable metal label. I think that's their goal, to position themselves as a label that does no wrong. When you're trying to do no wrong, you run the risk of being too safe.

The Absence is a band whose newest album, Enemy Unbound, was recommended by Metallattorney. As he notes, they are an American band which sounds like it's from the Gothenburg scene of about 10 years ago.

They sound like a nondescript hybrid of such fantastic acts as Dark Tranquility, Amon Amarth, and many others, but they don't bring anything original to the table. The riffs are all OK, but they all chug at the same mid-pace. The solos are OK, but they all have the same morose sound, never furious and never ominous. The vocals, drums, and bass are all OK, but nothing special. The songs are all structured the same way, and all of them (except the short instrumental "Solace") end up overstaying their welcome by about a minute--not because they're bad, but just because they don't mix things up very well.

The Verdict: Death metal is a genre founded by people pushing the boundaries, and thrives only when it continues to do so. The Absence has produced safe, standard melo-death with Enemy Unbound. There's nothing wrong with it, but there's also no particular reason to add it to your collection. I give it 2 out of 5 stars.

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