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Since they disbanded in 2003, Floor have managed to cultivate a bit of a cult following among metalheads. With a sublime blend of doom metal heaviness and power pop melody, the Florida band blurred the lines between metal and pop until they seemed like nothing more than a suggestion. Now, 12 years after the release of Floor's brilliant self-titled debut, the band return with Oblation, an album that finds the droning trio seamlessly picking up where they left off over a decade ago. Although frontman Steve Brooks used the band's signature guitar sound built on sonorous detuned guitars as the jumping-off point for his next project, Torche, this album showcases the two groups' different approaches to using the same tools. Where Torche is more energetic and intricate, Floor is simple and direct, using their signature drone as the focus of the songwriting instead of an accent to it. Floor's real secret weapon, however, is the legendary "bomb note," a shuddering explosion of sludgy distortion that comes from hitting a guitar string that's detuned until it's barely hanging on. On "Find Away," the sound works almost like the bell on a typewriter as it provides a visceral punch that seems to reset the songs opening guitar lines. In a way, the bomb note serves as a kind of musical punctuation, creating little musical asides that remind us that no matter how heavy a song is, it can always get a little heavier. Not many bands get a decade to grow and readjust between their debut and their sophomore album, and even fewer return from such a break as good or better than they were before. Floor, however, are that rare band that have managed to channel a decade's worth of personal and artistic growth into evolving their sound while somehow making the whole thing feel as though it could've been released the year after their landmark debut, making Oblation an album one that not only lives up to the band's legacy, but is a meaningful contribution to it.

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