After a couple demos, one in 2006 and the other in 2009, this Italian band are ready to unleash their debut of thrash metal that gives a nod to traditional heavy metal.
Lords Of Metal [75/100]:
The fact that Italians and heavy metal go well together is of course well known for a long time. From now on we can also add the name Absinthium to the list of interesting Italian metal bands. These guys have been around since 2003 and have only released two demos prior to their debut, ‘One For The Road’. Listening to this album it becomes clear that we’re not dealing with rookies here and that the quartet has taken the necessary time to complete their first official album.
Absinthium plays power metal with a quite obvious thrash edge, which remind me of bands like Iced Earth, Annihilator and more recent Megadeth, but also the later Angel Dust quite frequently. The quality of these bands is not matched, but they are also not copied shamelessly and Absinthium has more or less created their own sound. The songs are well composed and have the necessary variety to stay interesting from start to finish. The most striking point about this band are the solid guitars. The riffs are very strong and guitarist Franco Buonocore delivers many strong melodies and solos and constantly makes sure to keep you focused. Also on vocal matters the band has a good vocalist in Alessandro Granato, who stands his ground on both the high and lower regions. During the higher pieces he does sound a bit forced from time to time, and he definitely has the kind of voice you’ll have to get used to, but he does offer enough variety and the fact that he can sing is no matter of discussion.
I must however say that I’m not equally convinced with all the songs, and especially in the slower, somewhat progressive pieces (for example ‘Circular Saw’) the Music threatens to collapse a bit. Despite the sufficient amount of variety the music sometimes does tend to become a bit monotonous and despite the good songwriting, I do miss real highlights here. The production value of the album is also a bit on the dull side, which keeps the music back from blasting out. But altogether ‘One For The Road’ is a solid and sturdy debut by these gentlemen, and definitely worth to giving it a try.