Absence Betrayal - Difference - Album Review - Symphonic Gothic Black Metal from Irkutsk, Russia

Absence Betrayal - Difference - Album Review - Symphonic Gothic Black Metal from Irkutsk, Russia
Absence Betrayal - Difference - Album Review - Symphonic Gothic Black Metal from Irkutsk, Russia

Today, we delve into the captivating world of Absence Betrayal, an intriguing melodic black metal band hailing from Irkutsk, Russia. Their powerful second studio album, "Difference," released in 2019, showcases their unique blend of symphonic and gothic influences.

Absence Betrayal - Devotion (Official Video). Music Video Credit: Eastern Siberia Production

Absence Betrayal emerged on my radar approximately a month ago through online exploration, and their second full-length album, "Difference," immediately piqued my interest. What sets "Difference" apart is its unexpected ideas and incorporation of various musical styles throughout the album. While some songs offer familiar guitar riffs and vocals, others surprise listeners with orchestration, piano interludes, electronic beats, and melancholic or black metal elements. This experimental approach encapsulates the band's early period of exploration, demonstrating their willingness to step beyond the conventional boundaries of their genre.

Comprised of a vocalist and a guitarist, the collective structures the album primarily around their symphonic black metal influences, reminiscent of Dimmu Borgir and Cradle of Filth. However, it's important to note that this statement doesn't encapsulate the entire album. "Difference" is only their second full-length release, and the band has already begun to carve out their unique identity. The overarching atmosphere remains dark, moody, and emotionally charged, regardless of the intensity. In fact, it is one of the most emotionally driven black metal albums I have encountered in quite some time.

As you may recall from my previous articles on Metalhead Community, many metalheads are growing weary of bands that imitate one another. Absence Betrayal demonstrates a keen awareness of this sentiment and actively combats it through their songwriting approach. By listening to "Difference" from start to finish, listeners will be treated to a remarkable array of diverse ideas and styles. Such a comprehensive musical journey is a rarity in the metal realm. While I refrain from criticizing any artist's creative choices, I believe that innovative bands like Absence Betrayal will undoubtedly make a significant impact on the genre's future.

As someone familiar with Slavic culture, I hold deep respect for its creativity, lifestyle, and dark vision. Absence Betrayal, in my opinion, not only distinguishes themselves through their music but also through their unwavering commitment, hard work, and determination. The path of an artist or a band is undeniably arduous, and Absence Betrayal's ability to release two full-length albums within two years, along with professional music videos, is commendable. Such dedication is often the driving force behind the success of immensely popular bands.

Absence Betrayal, performing live on stage. Credit: Unknown

In terms of the technical aspects of the album, it is challenging to discuss the overall production due to variations between songs. Understandably, different songs may not have been recorded or mixed simultaneously. However, despite these differences, there is an overarching coherence and consistency in the general atmosphere. Notably, the eighth track, "Nowadays," incorporates electronic elements, while the fourth track, "Devotion" (also my personal favorite), exemplifies atmospheric and symphonic black metal styles. Additionally, the seventh track, "Nostalgia," embraces a melancholic approach. As previously mentioned, each song possesses its distinct taste and production style. Overall, I would rate the sound quality as above average. "Difference" presents a more accessible version of traditional symphonic black metal, perhaps indicative of the band's desire to develop their unique sound or appeal to a broader audience. In either case, their efforts are deserving of our respect.

Considering all these factors, I hold a positive outlook on Absence Betrayal and their future endeavors. "Difference" undoubtedly represents a bold step forward in their musical journey. While this album may not be the defining moment they are striving for, the overwhelmingly positive feedback they will receive is certain to motivate them to continue writing and creating music. I firmly believe that Absence Betrayal has a substantial chance of becoming a successful band, not only within their native town but also on a larger scale. With their unwavering determination and commitment, they need only maintain their high standards and focus on developing their authentic musical style.

Please explore the links below to learn more about the band, follow them on social media, and subscribe to their channels to show your support and stay updated on their upcoming releases.

Absence Betrayal, performing live on stage. Credit: Unknown

In conclusion, the Metalhead Community Team wholeheartedly congratulates Absence Betrayal for their remarkable work on "Difference." We extend our best wishes to the band as they continue to pursue their musical journey. Thank you for reading.

Absence Betrayal, Difference (2019) album front cover image. Credit: Unknown


Official Website

Absence Betrayal - Nostalgia (Official Video). Music Video Credit: Eastern Siberia Production

Absence Betrayal, performing live on stage. Credit: Unknown

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