The Absence: Oceans

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The Absence: Oceans
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The Absence: Oceans
Melodic Death Metal
Self-release
June 4th, 2013
Release length: 5:56
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The Absence has been a group that, while not really anything too unique, have always done right by their fans. They always put on a fantastic live show, even when there’s only a handful of people in the crowd who have no idea who they are, are awesome to their fanbase, and usually release a solid album despite obvious reflections of high impact Melodic Death Metal groups that clearly inspire them. Recently, they put together a Bandcamp page to host a brand new digital single titled Oceans, a nearly six minute track with a musical, as well as visual appearance much different than their previous sleek and stylish past. But, is this single really a new variation of the group, or is this much like their previous few albums?

Immediately you are met with the effects of a storm approaching a serene beachfront with a pelican here and there. This fades to a somewhat emotional guitar performance. This kills those audio samples, but they return during the solid guitar solo, which also features a solid keyboard piece in between. The performance itself carries a darker tone that the lead chords and subtle hooks realize capitalize on, aiding with the slight oceanic vibe that the rich and varied vocals beef up. Much like the keyboards, the clean singing in the background is very restricted, but does help the atmosphere when used. This is a huge plus considering the track builds up to the short faster conclusion well enough, but does so at a very slow pace, feeling stuck in gear for a while. Thankfully, the music is still solid enough that it never gets boring, or feels padded out.

All too often you hear about bands or musicians locked into a contract that has the label restricting their growth to a specific sound they want or demand. It’s unclear if this is what happened or not, but judging by what The Absence present in this single, it’s worth considering. This is a completely different side compared to those last three albums released through Metal Blade Records, showing a far more matured band that even seems happier and more enthusiastic. Oceans it ends up a solid track that leaves you hoping this environment is really explored on their next album. Until then, since it appears they don’t have a label at the moment, head on over to their Bandcamp page and bookmark it, as this is something well worth keeping an eye on this year.

01. Oceans – 5:56 Initial Pressing Score: 8.5/10

 (band)
The Absence

Digital review copy of this release provided by personal funds.