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Riders of the Plague

The Absence

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Album Review

Once upon a time, Florida was a hotbed for death metal bands. And judging from the emergence of a group like the Absence, this aforementioned extreme metal style is still going strong in the area. On their sophomore full-length, 2007's Riders of the Plague, these Tampa natives unleash a downright ferocious racket — speed metal riffing, Iron Maiden-esque guitar harmonies, runaway train drumming, and more. Also included are vocals that alternate between screaming (the album opening title track) and Cookie Monster growling ("Dead and Gone"). And you've got to love the fact that there is an instrumental smack dab in the middle of the album ("Prosperity"). If bands such as Entombed, Cannibal Corpse, and Six Feet Under are still in heavy rotation on your iPod, then the Absence's Riders of the Plague is certainly worthy of taking up some precious megabytes.

Biography

Formed: 2001 in Tampa, FL

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '00s, '10s

Proving that South Florida is still home to thrash metal at its most aggressive, the Absence are a Tampa-based band whose furious guitar work, monstrous vocals, and pummeling rhythms have won them the approval of discerning fans of extreme hard rock. The Absence were formed in 2001 by vocalist Jamie Stewart and guitarist Patrick Pintavalle; both were veterans of the Tampa metal community but believed that the scene was growing stale and needed fresh blood. Both Stewart and Pintavalle were fans of...
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Riders of the Plague, The Absence
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