Florida’s THE ABSENCE came onto the scene in 2005 with their crushing, Erik Rutan-produced Metal Blade Records debut, “From Your Grave.” The album and its two follow-ups, 2007’s “Riders of the Plague” and 2010’s “Enemy Unbound,” showcased the perfect mixture of heart-wrenching melodies and skull-pounding aggression, truly making them one of the premiere bands of the melodic death metal scene. THE ABSENCE further ensconced their reputation via several tours supporting some of the biggest names in metal, including Cannibal Corpse, The Black Dahlia Murder, Goatwhore, Kataklysm, Destruction and Entombed.
And then they seemingly disappeared.
Despite some setbacks in personnel coupled with a desire by some band members to explore new terrain recording/performing with additional groups or working in related fields producing or handling live sound/tour managing for others, THE ABSENCE was merely put on hold until the time was right to return. Last year, the regrouped outfit of singer Jamie Stewart, drummer Jeramie Kling (Infernaeon, Necromancing The Stone) and bassist Mike Leon (Soulfly, ex-Havok, ex-Arsis), along with the addition of celebrated guitar duo Joey Concepcion (Jasta, Armageddon) and Taylor Nordberg (Soilwork, Ribspreader), teased fans with the facemelting “Septic Testament.” The reaction was phenomenal and motivated the band to continue writing and recording their epic return, and be absent from the scene no more.
THE ABSENCE's new album, “A Gift For The Obsessed,” further proves why All Music Guide called the group “the greatest Swedish melodic death metal band ever to emerge from Florida.” Mixed at Sweden's Panic Room (Watain, Scar Symmetry) and mastered at the country's Ghost Ward Studios (Katatonia, Opeth), and featuring a striking layout by HKB Design (Sepultura), the album deftly mixes melodic death and thrash with incendiary guitar playing, pyrotechnic drumming and a sense of renewed hunger. Over its 10 blistering tracks – including a cover of Suicidal Tendencies' “You Can't Bring Me Down” featuring guest vocals by Soilwork / The Night Flight Orchestra front man Bjorn “Speed” Strid – the group not only shows no signs of rust whatsoever, but also sounds more potent than ever.
THE ABSENCE is now managed by the legendary Jon “Jonny Z” Zazula and his partner Marsha, who founded Megaforce Records (which helped to launch the careers of Metallica, Anthrax, Testament and other seminal acts), for CraZed Management.
Fresh from a successful tour of the western U.S., the Northern California-based death metal/core quartet APOTHESARY – praised by No Clean Singing for their “impressive, hard-charging melodic death metal with a shitload of technical flair and enough pummeling brutality to leave bruises” – has finished recording their sophomore full-length. Titled “Accept Loss Forever,” the album, described by the band as an “ode to suffering,” will be issued by M-Theory Audio on July 7. More details about the release will surface in the coming weeks.
Taking advantage of a break in the busy touring schedule of his other band Hatchet, guitarist Clayton Cagle and his APOTHESARY bandmates – guitarist/vocalist Jared Eandi, drummer Greg O'Neill and bassist Brittany Shankle – spent much of April on the road in support of their acclaimed 2016 EP “Sensory Overload.” Hailed by MetalSucks as a “fine blend of death metal and thrash,” the release was previously supported by a tour that saw the group play alongside the likes of Psycroptic, Motograter, Soil and American Head Charge.
That was all just a precursor for “Accept Loss Forever,” which Cagle describes as an emotional and cathartic album that painstakingly captures the group's evolution, musically and personally. “'Accept Loss Forever' is the true definition of 'coming of age,' as some of its material dates back to 2012 – when our average age was just 17 – and spans over half the life of the band,” he explains. “That makes these songs special, because they're the most accurate representation of our growth both as a band and as human beings. Every significant moment of our transition from adolescence to adulthood has a place on this record, and I don't know where I would be right now if I didn't have this outlet to help put life in perspective. It is my hope that the music on this record helps someone else in the same way it helped me, and the rest of APOTHESARY, to write. We can't thank the M-Theory team more for believing in us enough to make this release a reality.”
APOTHESARY self-released their first album, 2011's “A Harsh Reality,” while its members were still in high school. During summer breaks, the group embarked on DIY-booked tours to spread their name by playing shows with the likes of Killswitch Engage, Dark Tranquillity, Fear Factory, Dying Fetus, Helloween, Suffocation and Warbringer. The band has subsequently released two EPs, “They All Carry Ghosts” and “Sensory Overload,” that showcased new and old-school death metal influences blending to concoct something simultaneously brutal, melodic and adventurous.
APOTHESARY will next perform live on May 27, when they will headline the seventh annual Metalfest of Middletown in Northern California. Later this summer, the group will share the stage with M-Theory label mates Helsott and Sicocis at Hollywood's legendary Viper Room.
Avenger of Blood moved operations from San Jose, California to Las Vegas, Nevada to better suit the band personally and professionally. The band found a strong following of fans and the onslaught continued as the band went on to play the 1st installment of Minneapolis Mayhem and various other shows proving to new fans that Avenger of Blood was a force to be reckoned with.
In March 2005, the debut album "Complete Annihilation" was released on now defunct JCM Records, and received excellent reviews worldwide. The album was recorded at Maurotone Studios in Las Vegas between the end of 2004 and into February 2005. Following the release of the album, Avenger of Blood played Northwest Deathfest 2, Minneapolis Mayhem 2, Millennium Music Conference 8, Monsters of Metal and more. Avenger of Blood continued to show fans that they were one of the best Thrash bands around.
After returning from a few shows in the Bay Area, the band went back to Minneapolis to perform at Minneapolis Mayhem 3 and Avenger of Blood went on to record two new songs for the "Speed Kills...Again" compilation CD, which was released on Heavy Artillery Records in May 2007. This recording showed progression and maturity, giving a preview of the things that were to come. Avenger of Blood was signed to Heavy Artillery Records and recorded their second full-length release at Sound Vision Production Studios, and "Death Brigade", was released worldwide on CD and Vinyl in January 2008.
In 2008, a few line-up changes occurred when both Eric Greaney and Shawn Loureiro exited the group for various reasons. New members were brought in to finalize the new lineup. Avenger of Blood managed to get a new song written and recorded for the Relapse Records "Speed N' Spikes 7" series Vol 5 entitled "Hell Patrol".
Shortly after the release of the split 7" with Witchaven, Avenger of Blood was put on hold because a break was definitely needed due to unreliable members and their drama as well as the band being very unhappy with the song and the direction the band was headed.
After a 3 year break, the band reformed and was able to record "Spawn of Evil" that was released for free over the internet. Shows were played featuring a leather, spikes and blood performance.
A new album was recorded with Ryan Butler (Exhumed, Nightrage, Landmine Marathon) at Arcane Audio in AZ, entitled On Slaying Grounds.