The Absence - From Your Grave
Hailing from Tampa, Florida, The Absence are another up-and-coming melo-death-metal band who, for better or worse, wear their influences proudly on their sleeves. Their style is that oft-referred brand of "Swedish Melodic Death" in the vein of In Flames, Soilwork and Dark Tranquility. While Tampa also has a long-standing and definitive sound when it comes to death metal, the guys in The Absence sound more like one of those previously mentioned outfits.
On the whole, From Your Grave is an enjoyable affair. The album takes a little while to get going, and once it hits a peak halfway through, it tails off into a few so-so tracks but never do you feel cheated for having given them a chance. "Necropolis" sounds lifted from Natural Born Chaos (Soilwork), heavy on melody but also just plain heavy. "Heaven Ablaze" is my personal favorite. It gives itself time to build into a monster, and there's plenty of tempo changes and little moments of technical flair that are really trademarks of this genre of music.
So it's not like you'll be hearing anything new here. It's all done up with passion and persistence, and the band should be commended for their abilities without a doubt. But on the same token, the safe route leaves little in the way of surprises and moments where The Absence truly find their own voice. Despite all that, their newest album (just released in August) should be better and I'm looking forward to it. For fans of In Flames and Dark Tranquility, From Your Grave should satisfy your craving for melodic death metal.
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