Review Summary: The speed of Thrash plus the melodic riffery of Melodic Death equals a tasty treat for your ears.
We see melodic death metal dominate the scene in Scandinavian metal with a huge sea of quality artists. Where are these melodic death masters in the western hemisphere? They exist, they're just hiding. One American band to lead the pack is "The Absence."
The absence, a group of skilled metal heads, have composed a thrashy masterpiece known as "Riders of the Plague." They implement elements of thrash metal and melodic death metal, something refreshing and new to my ears, to make you head bang to the speedy riffs as well as clench your fist over your heart when the melodic riffs come up. The one thing they do right is combine the two elements of metal (thrash and melodic death) correctly; they don't simply always put the melodic part in the chorus and then thrash it up the rest of the way. In other words, they don't take the easy route to put out songs; there is an ambiguous feeling of "art" in this album. I can't explain it but it stands out against similar albums in the genre. I'd pin point the reason to the excellent pacing of the songs, well written, meaningful lyrics and every member of the band's awesome ability to play their instrument with great skill... actually the bassist is kind of hard to hear so I can't speak for him... hmm, I guess that's normal.
I recommend listening to the album start to finish. ;) (Excuse the short length.)
So there's my praise for "Riders of the Plague" in my first review ever...of any kind.