JUSTIN’S ROCK REVIEWS W/C 30/7/07
THE ABSENCE / RIDERS OF THE PLAGUE
This is the 3rd album from Tampa (Florida) based band The Absence and they just keep getting better and better, their brand of Death Metal, tinged with a bit of Thrash and plenty of Melodic speed guitar riffs is very pleasing to the ear.
At time they remind me a bit of Hypocrisy with a healthy does of Children Of Bodom thrown in for good measure, the title track and “The Murderer” race along at real good pace full of aggression, with tight melodic guitar riffs and classic Death Metal growls, so it should please the purists and those that like a bit of Melody. This is without doubt their finest hour so far and builds nicely on their previous 2 albums and one listen to it will have you reaching for your air guitar and you will be thrashing about like a madman in no time flat.
Overall this is a world class, 21st century Death Metal album that deserves to be in any Metalhead’s collection, also listen cut for; “Worlds Divide”, “Echoes”, “Into The Pit”, “Merciless” and “Dead And Gone”, click on the download link to this track below and I can assure you, you will be hooked, a very fine album indeed and well worthy of a featured album on my HFM show in August.
DOWNLOAD “Dead And Gone”
TOTAL PLAYING TIME = 55 mins + 12 SCROCHING TRACKS
FUELED BY FIRE / SPREAD THE FIRE
The trendy Rock press are proclaiming that “Thrash Is Back” well as every self respecting Rock fan knows “it never went away”, just check out the sales figures for Slayer, Megadeth, Metallica, Destruction and Anthrax for proof the fact that a few of the newer bands are Thrash Metal is proof that its still viable in 2007 and on that note enter Fueled By Fire.
Fueled By Fire sound a bit like a cross between early D’Anno ears Iron Maiden with a touch of Overkill thrown in for good measure and their brand of Thrash would have fitted into the Bay Area Thrash scene of the early 80’s with ease, all of the tracks are as you would expect, fast, furious and full of twin lead heavy riffs, just as we like them. The track ”Striking Back” is typical of the songs on here and very fine it is too along with Betrayal” and the anthemic “Metal Forever” how can you argue with a track like that, all the songs are as tight as a ducks ass and rock like the proverbial mother, what more could you want!
This is a very strong album and if you like any of the original Thrash bands I mentioned then you will love this, listen out for “Command Of The Beast”, “Dreams Of Terror” and “Thrash Is Back”.
DOWNLOAD “Thrash Is Back”
TOTAL PLYAING TIME = 46 mins + 11 THASHING TRACKS
SPHERIC UNIVERSE EXPERIENCE / ANIMA
I have to say that I haven’t come across this band before but I’m glad that I have now as Spheric Universe Experience are a very fine French Progressive Metal band in the vein of Dream Theater and Symphony X and are as good as both if not better in places.
This is the bands 2nd album and as you would expect from a top notch Progressive band all the songs are full of complex time changes, guitars and keyboards exchanging riffs and high on Melodic content and more dynamics than anyone could wish for, check out the track “The Inner Quest”, it could easily have been lifted off “Images & Words” and is a joy to listen to keeping your attention for all 6 minutes. The same can be said of “Neptune’s Revenge”, “End Of Trauma” and the superb “World Of Madness” there is some very nice playing on this album and the musicianship is totally faultless and this album is more consistent than the current Dream Theater album.
If like me you love good Progressive Metal you will love this CD and find yourself playing it a lot, an essential purchase for people who like the genre.
TOTAL PLAYING TIME = 62 mins + TRACKS