Vengeance and Victory
The melodic death metal/metalcore genre is quite frankly a mixed bag. Though there are plenty of great bands in the genre, it's often stereotyped with the over-commercialized garbage that is (admittedly) ever-present within the music scene. The Absence is a solid, talented quintet that would have a very tough time fitting in with the latter description. Although their style is nothing that a melodeath fan hasn't seen before, that doesn't stop Enemy Unbound from being a highly enjoyable album. There are plenty of head-crushing riffs, technical approaches, and melodic solos to impress most fans of the genre. If you like the American melodic death metal/metalcore sound, Enemy Unbound is a highly recommendable release.
Enemy Unbound consists of 11 tracks, all of which are pretty strong. The opening song serves as a great intro, but right after that you're thrown into melodic death metal madness. All of the tracks are solid, professional compositions. My favorites are Deepest Wound and Enemy Unbound, although every song has distinctly memorable hooks. Unfortunately, The Absence's formula gets a bit tired by the end of the album, but it's not a huge problem considering the quality of the compositions. If you like a lot of variation in your music, this may be a bit of a drawback, however.
The musicians in The Absence are fantastic. They're a tight-playing, professional unit who manages to incorporate melody and technicality into their sound. If you pay a lot of attention to the album, it's actually amazing how technical Enemy Unbound is for a melodeath release. I especially have to applaud drummer Jeramie Kling for his terrific drumming. That guy is a monster behind the kit, constantly amazing me with double-bass rhythms and intricate details.
The production is really good. It's a bit too polished for my tastes, but it fits this style of music like a glove. Good job on Peter Joseph and Patrick Pintavalle's part.
Enemy Unbound is a really good third album by The Absence. If they could develop a bit more of a distinct and diversified sound, I could see them easily becoming one of the leaders of the melodic death metal/metalcore genre. As for now, Enemy Unbound is a very enjoyable release, well worth 3.5 stars.