The Absence
Riders of the Plague


4.5
superb

Review

by Adam USER (4 Reviews)
August 8th, 2007 | 70 replies


Release Date: 2007 | Tracklist

Review Summary: "The light shineth in darkness" (Gospel of John, 1:1-5). The darkness is the American melodic death metal scene, and the light.......The Absence.

In the midst of a fading American melodic death metal scene, The Absence arrives as the genre's messiah and, like the healing of the blind man, Riders of the Plague stands as a testament to that bold statement.

The Redeemers of American melodeath are
Jamie Stewart - Vocals
Peter Joseph - Guitar / Bass (tracks 2, 4, 10, 11)
Patrick Pintavalle - Guitar / Bass (tracks 1, 3, 5, 6, 8, 9, 12)
Jeramie Kling - Drums

From beginning to end, this album is full of catchy leads that are hurled at you faster than your brain can process. The first track, Riders of the Plague, reminds the listener of I, Deceiver off of From Your Grave. It throws you right in the thick of things with thrashy riffs and brutal vocals. This is a substantial change of pace from their first album which provides an Intro to let the listener know what he or she is about to experience. This pace continues with Dead and Gone, the album's first single, this time throwing in a few squeals reminiscent of the late, great Dimebag Darrell.

The Murder gives the listener a bit of a rest as the first twenty-nine seconds are occupied by a beautiful, Middle-Eastern-esque acoustic intro courtesy of Patrick Pintavalle. The album's second single then tosses the listener back in the fire as Jamie comes in:

"The gathering now of storms within
That whip and rip the stead, joined at the head
Dying to make ready the deliverance to the land
The swarming devourers, the murder"

Two minutes later, the listener is greeted by a truly unforgettable set of four solos that pair Peter and Patrick with the likes of Santiago Dobles (Aghora) and Per Nilsson (Scar Symmetry). The solos are followed by the vocal and lyrical equivalent by Jamie:

"Towers fall into the fire
And razored hails of glass and steel
Brought down by stabs of rage without fear
Gashed hearts worked deep who refuse to hear"

Echos is a great example of the alternating leads and true melodiousness that is so typical of The Absence. And, as always, another great set of solos from Peter and Patrick. The album continues with World Divides which is chocked-full of great leads and noticeable drums that keep the song on track.

A slight change-of-pace lies in Prosperity which is strictly an instrumental track and is extremely well-produced. Everything in this song is as audible as it as euphonic.

Awakening is yet another masterpiece and is one of my personal favorites of the album. Beginning with an incredibly addictive lead by Peter, the song comes into its own as Jamie roars:

"We are all withered away in this suffered position
With the choke of truth
The long unseen, the short believed
If this is enough I'll distance my hands
From Heaven's touch
I cannot believe my eyes are seeing
The breach of ours undone
Because the road to Hell has become far too long"

A few more solos accompany Jamie's vocals, most notably by James Murphy (who has recorded with Testament, Death, Nevermore, and Obituary). Certainly one of the more memorable solos on the album.

Much like World Divides, Merciless is another typical example of The Absence's melodic prowess. The longest (actual) song on the album also focuses a bit more on the lyrical aspect than previous tracks. Jamie's growls, preceded by a tranquil, nineteen second intro lead by Patrick, is as follows:

"I will not bear the watch while the animated sadness releases
A cyanide touch for us
So utterly devastating its measure glides
The breath that is born of behemoth size
Unveiled exhumed when everything twists into form
For you to see all in a perilous mourn
With long relentless devotion
The grant of these open wounds and this heartless rip
The drains are waiting for the loss of your blood"

More great lyrics in this track are shadowed by another captivating set of leads by Patrick and Peter.

Into the Pit is The Absence's spectacular cover of one of Testament's many treasures. The song's vibe is savagely evocative of its title, literally throwing you "into the pit". I can honestly say that this is the best band on band cover of a song that I have ever heard.

One look at the lyrics of The Victorious Dead and it is obvious it is a true battle track. Just before a set of three solos by Patrick, Peter, and Jonas Kjellgren (Carnal Forge, Scar Symmetry, Centinex), Jamie screams the chorus:

"Something inside us fades
When weakness turns into trying
We all must carry on
For the slaughtered and the dying"

The last track, Outro, is a bit on the interesting side. The first two-and-a-half minutes are another instrumental masterpiece which is then followed by almost four minutes of silence. With only forty seconds left of the album, an answering machine message plays with a guy repeatedly saying "I'll find you".

Recommended tracks:
Riders of the Plague
The Murder
Echos
Awakening
Into the Pit


user ratings (304)
Chart.
3.7
great
other reviews of this album
Kyle Ward EMERITUS (3.5)
While the idea is good, the actual music can get very repetitive....

NahkedGunner (4.5)
The speed of Thrash plus the melodic riffery of Melodic Death equals a tasty treat for your ears....


Comments:Add a Comment 
Zoo
August 8th 2007


3759 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

This is my first review, but I'm no candy ass.



If you see anything wrong, light me up.

Foodforthegods
August 8th 2007


425 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I haven't heard it yet but your review seems to be biased. Also it is hard to read. You should do longer paragraphs. Not so bad but could be better.



The only songs I've heard are the ones that were on their myspace. It's actually quite good. Murder is pretty good. I hope the other songs are more melodic. I guess it will be a 4.This Message Edited On 08.08.07

Shadows
Moderator
August 8th 2007


2530 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Aw man, I was so hoping to do this. I got my copy in the mail several days ago. This album is truly great and a huge step forward for The Absence.

Cravinov13
August 8th 2007


3854 Comments


I really need to get this now.

Tyler
Emeritus
August 8th 2007


7925 Comments


I'd find a way to incorporate the lyrics in a more cohesive manner, it makes the review seem choppy. It's a fine, solid review, I'd just bring it in a little tighter. I dont even know if you needed to post that much in the way of lyrics.

encmetalhead
August 8th 2007


744 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

it's not bias it's really that good but i say 4.5

jrowa001
August 8th 2007


8752 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

pretty good review. this album is much better than their last one cuz it holds my attention more

Abaddon2005
August 8th 2007


684 Comments


That artwork is really cool.

BallsToTheWall
August 8th 2007


48053 Comments


I bought their last cd for 5 bucks and it was pretty good i might buy this.

Digging: K-Rino - Time Traveler

Brain Dead
August 8th 2007


1150 Comments


That artwork is really cool.

Damn straight. I heard that From Your Grave was crappy, generic melodeath so I wont look into this.

jrowa001
August 8th 2007


8752 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Damn straight. I heard that From Your Grave was crappy, generic melodeath so I wont look into this.


i wouldnt base your opinion on them with that album, this one is not as generic sounding. they improved all around with this one

Burrito
August 8th 2007


1 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Does anyone else find the solo in World Divides orgasmic?

BallsToTheWall
August 8th 2007


48053 Comments


Almost forgot these guys were from florida. Im impressed what i heard off of myspace.

Cravinov13
August 8th 2007


3854 Comments


Same here, I don't liek a lot of thrashy music.

Zoo
August 8th 2007


3759 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Those singles aren't even the best tracks off the album. My personal favorites are "Riders of the Plague", a bona fide headbanger, and "Awakening", a slower-paced melodic masterpiece.



DO NOT judge this album by their first. To do so is like comparing a Mercedes S-Class with a Ferrari F50, both are excellent automobiles but the latter is most definitely better than the former.



And Crav, our metal tastes are quite similar so I really believe you'll enjoy this. I strongly suggest checking it out.

masscows
August 8th 2007


2230 Comments


is this really that good? I've heard of these guys and never really thought to pick something up. I'll have to check this out.

Zoo
August 8th 2007


3759 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

And Shadows, you're welcome to review it. I'm sure your review would kick mine right out the window.

Shadows
Moderator
August 9th 2007


2530 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

And Shadows, you're welcome to review it. I'm sure your review would kick mine right out the window.


I wouldn't say that, I could easily write a shitty review. I'm not the best writer by any means.



But I think I will do this soon. I'm listening to it now and I'm upping my rating to a 4.5. This is seriously one of the best things I've heard in a very long, long time.

Zoo
August 9th 2007


3759 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Ha, I would be hard-pressed to find a more modest comment.



I would thoroughly enjoy reading a review for this album that was written by you. Your review history is impeccable and I know you could do a hell of a lot better than this.



And I can't explain to you all how happy I am that The Absence is finally getting the recognition they deserve.

Shadows
Moderator
August 9th 2007


2530 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Well, thank you for such kind words. :embarrassed:



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