|Review: The Absence - Riders of the Plague|
|Riders of the Plague|
Label: Metal Blade Records
Year released: 2007
Genre: Melodic Death Metal
Review online: August 24, 2007
Reviewed by: Michel Renaud
for:Riders of the Plague
I've pretty much steered clear of Melodic Death Metal in the past few years, being rather bored with the genre. Florida's The Absence have chosen this style over the Floridian Death Metal sound that has been hammering our ears for the past 20 years or so. I wouldn't go as far as to say they have reconciled me with the genre, but I've been spinning this bad boy quite a bit since I got it and I'm liking it more with every listen.
"Riders of the Plague" has an added Death/Thrash edge to it, while remaining predominantly Gothenburg-style Melodic Death Metal. One could draw some comparison with In Flames and Arch Enemy in their best (musical) years, and even The Crown for the more thrashier material. The best parts are by far the guitars – razor-sharp when needed, but with a lot of strategically-placed catchy melodies, along with a few kick ass solos. The vocals are a bit unidimensional but still fit well within the material.
The inclusion of more Death/Thrash elements gives an edge to this release - rather than contenting themselves with playing copycats, The Absence have produced a good blend of genres that strikes a good balance between aggressivity and melody, and the result allows them to float head above an overcrowded genre.
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