The Absence

Riders of the Plague

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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.

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