REVIEW: THE ABSENCE – “Coffinized”
If your heart aches for the agonizing beauty of melodic death metal, then smile and rejoice. The Absence are about to unveil their new album Coffinized on M-Theory Audio. After listening to this album, you’ll be able to easily place it next to such classics as At The Gates’ Slaughter Of The Soul, Soilwork’s Steel Bath Suicide, and Dark Tranquility’s The Gallery.
The basic lineup of The Absence remains intact with Jeramie Kling (drums), Taylor Nordberg (guitars), Jamie Stewart (vocals), and Mike Leon (bass). While Joey Concepcion is no longer in the band, he did provide some fiery guitar work on a few tracks. The band took on the recording and production duties with production and engineering being handled by Jeramie and Taylor. The new album will be available in June via M-Theory Audio.
The title track sets the stage with classic melodic death executed to perfection. The opening funeral march is blasted into oblivion with a barrage of drums, guitars, and seething vocals. The single-note riffs add to the darkness. Jamie Stewart’s voice radiates pure agony and his performance shines throughout this album.
Part of the appeal of melodic death for fans is the classical influence of the riffs and lead passages. In many ways, melodic death metal is classical music on steroids. Songs such as “Future Terminal” and “Choirs of Sickness” are creative compositions that layer melodic and harmonic structures with devastating power.
An extremely interesting rhythmic song is “Radiant Devastation”. There is a Latin syncopation that is captivating. Kling’s expressive and nuanced drums give the guitars a rich foundation for exploration. When Nordberg adds his terrific lead lines, the completed work is one of the most interesting metal tunes I’ve heard in a while.
Another standout song on Coffinized by The Absence is “The Consuming Nocturne”. It begins with a gorgeous acoustic guitar and accelerates into a staccato rhythm that is certainly going to induce severe headbanging. The melodic elements and lyrical content combine to portray the night as a being that feasts upon the light. Listen closely and marvel at the tone and attack from bassist Mike Leon. His playing is spectacular.
Coffinized by The Absence is their best release to date. This band have always been masterful songwriters, yet somehow on Coffinized, they have transcended. Each song is bristling with scalpel-sharp riffs performed to perfection. The tormented agony roars from every note. Spotless production makes this album a metal monster. Coffinized places The Absence within the pantheon of melodic death heroes along with At The Gates and Dark Tranquility.