Before receiving the advanced copy of Enemy Unbound, the latest release from The Absence on Metal Blade records, they were a band I had never heard of and had no idea what to expect. The Metal Blade website suggested that they sounded like Dark Tranquility, which was a definitely good start before a note had been heard but was it true and what did Rocksins think of it? Read on…
From start to finish, Enemy Unbound is an album that fans of any melodic death metal or melodic thrash metal will absolutely love and may even draw in fans of the more mainstream metal bands such as Bullet For My Valentine. Fans of bands such as Sylosis and Trivium will find lots to like here. Through the album The Absence manage to be consistently heavy (at times brutally so such as on the title track Enemy Unbound and Erased) while maintaining the melodic style which underpins some of their contemporaries such as Dark Tranquility, Insomnium, Hypocrisy and In Flames (circa Colony and everything before).
The harsh vocals of Jaime Stewart are a contrast to the absorbing dual guitar work of Peter Joseph and Patrick Pintavalle which is punctuated at different occasions by a variety of drumming styles from Jeramie Kling & bass from Mike Leon but it all meshes wonderfully together. There are many stand out points on the album. The title track has a monstrous chorus and thumps along at a rate of knots while “The Bridge” sounds like Dark Tranquility at their evil best. “Vengeance and Victory “has a haunting intro and is more deliberate but no less enthralling, reminiscent of Whoracle era In Flames and “Erased” is thrashy melodic death metal at its finest. There are no low points on the album, it is a wonderful melodic death metal album that can just be left to play through from start to finish in the vein of Insomnium’s masterpiece Above The Weeping World.
This album will not appeal to everyone. The chance of the The Absence picking up many new fans from people who haven’t got into metal is not too likely. For those whoever who like their daily dose of metal and have been brought up on the Gothenburg sound or anything similar, this will sound like a wonderful, refreshing burst over the airwaves, with a familar style but still sounding new and fresh at the same time. This is what a lot of people would refer to as “proper metal”, but it has a lot of potential to appeal to a wider audience, rather than just the metal purists among us.
A top notch release and one of the best of its type in recent years, we can only now hope for a UK tour or some festival appearances, they’d go down an absolute storm at Bloodstock.
Label: Metal Blade Records
For Fans Of: Dark Tranquility, In Flames, Insomnium, Hypocrisy, Sylosis, Trivium