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While countless bands around the globe have been championing the Gothenburg melodeath sound, few prepare it with the care and tact that Tampa, Fl troupe The Absence bring to the table on their latest 11-track endeavor ENEMY UNBOUND. This quintet pound out a poignant display of twin guitar acrobatics with a menacing rhythm section maintaining the necessary heaviness underneath (“The Bridge”) and a raspy growl leading the punishing proceedings (“Hidden in White”). Containing rounds of rousing fretwork and skull crushing melodies aplenty (“Vertigo”, “Deepest Wound”), this outfit meshes the wares of Testament, Darkest Hour, and Amon Amarth to come up with a sound that adroitly balances catchiness and destruction. The Absence are not breaking new ground by any stretch of the imagination here, yet this unit’s dedication to replicating an authentic Swedish metal sound needs not only to be recognized but played at maximum volume to ensure the greatest impact.
- Mike SOS