Bridging an eight year gap between records, The Absence release their forth effort, a blazing onslaught of Melodic Death Metal that sounds like a day hasn't passed in their absence... please excuse the pun. Although they hail from Tampa Florida, the group have strong influences from the European scene and their sophomore record, Riders Of The Plague, I would consider a classic record within the genre however they have never received much exposure and so remain relatively unknown. If your a fan of Carcass or Arch Enemy then their music will feel very much at home.
A Gift For The Obsessed doesn't alter formula and goes with what works, making for an unsurprising roll of songs that hurtle intricate riffs inflected with melodies and unleash fiery guitar solos that blaze and scale the way forward. Its fast, energetic and thrashy, a high octane beast pummeling its way through its arsenal of techniques. Its put together in a competent production that lets all the instruments gel as lead singer Stewart roars and growls with his meaty guttural screams, crying out over the top of the instrumentals.
The record plays through without a hitch, if their sound is your cup of tea then you can enjoy the blistering, beastly Metal. It would of been nice to hear a little diversity or experimentation but these guys have got it down to a science. There is one surprise however, a cover of Suicidal Tendencies classic You Can't Bring Me Down. The song sounds fantastic with a Death Metal flair and reinvigorates enthusiasm for a song you may have heard to death already. Really nice cover to throw in the mix however it doesn't do much to make this record feel like anything other than a band sticking to their guns.