|Tampa, FL area natives, The Absence, laid waste to an unsuspecting metal community with their debut Metal Blade album, From You Grave. After nearly two years of touring, the guys hit Mana Studios of Florida in February & March 2007 with Swedish producer Jonas Kjellgren (Scar Symmetry, Carnal Forge) to begin recording. The Absence's sophomore album, Riders of the Plague, is full of the band's brand of high flying guitar histrionics and melodies fans and critics alike have grown to love. Jamie Stewart's vocals are more aggressive and punctuated than ever before and Justin Reynolds' drumming is the perfect, tight backbone needed to hold together the band's speedy melodic onslaught.
The Absence spent much of 2006 touring with the likes of Dead to Fall, Ion Dissonance, Vader, Kataklysm, Grave, Nuclear Assault, Destruction, Through the Eyes of the Dead, Entombed, Dismember, Vivisect, and more. Each stop on every tour earned them legions of new fans. They even completed their first headlining tour in late 2006.
Riders of the Plague boasts a slew of guest performances. You'll hear their producer, Jonas Kjellgren, lay down some leads on "The Victorious Dead" and the "Outro", as well as some vocals on the track "Merciless". Fellow Scar Symmetry guitarist Per Nillson laid down some guitars for "The Murder" along with Santiago Dobles' (Aghora) lead and banjo. James Murphy (Death, Testament) throws down some guest leads on "Awakening and the "Outro". And Jonas Granvik (Without Grief, Edge of Sanity) helped out with vocals on "Merciless". The band also did a cover of Testament's "Into the Pit" with surgical precision. The cover of "Into the Pit" and the guest appearances add to the already tasteful and flavored melodic textures and tempos found all over Riders of the Plague.
In preparation for their new album Riders of the Plague, The Absence hit the road to be a part of the Summer Sacrilege Tour with Unmerciful, Sons of Azrael, and the mighty Vital Remains. The band then opened the Metal Blade Records 25th Anniversary Tour with label mates Cannibal Corpse, The Black Dahlia Murder, The Red Chord, and Goatwhore September through October 2007.
In the Fall of 2001, long time friends Patrick Pintavalle and Jamie Stewart grew tired of the stagnancy of their previous efforts with various bands and the demise of the once powerful Tampa Bay metal scene. Initially, The Absence was started as a means to exercise their love for European styled metal, especially Scandinavian. This would result in the two working together both on guitar, writing riffs and melodies. By 2002 the band began the grueling process of getting a set together for their first show, which came in the fall of 2002, opening for Atlanta's MASTODON.
In the spring of 2003, Patrick and Jamie found themselves with a dilemma- inner conflict within the band and distaste for the direction they were headed. The two tried their hand at a new band with Patrick's long time friends Peter Joseph on guitar and Jeramie Kling on drums. The four practiced together a few times- writing a handful of really good songs but never really went anywhere with them...at the time.
After a benefit performance with SIX FEET UNDER for metal guitar hero James Murphy, Patrick and Jamie finally decided to officially part ways with their drummer and second guitarist, which left them the task of finding new members. The two thought to ask Jeramie and Peter from their previous efforts to possibly join The Absence. When asked, the two responded with an almost immediate "hell yes!" Wasting no time, the four began immediately writing a slew of new songs and were picked up by Metal Blade Records in February of 2005.
The Absence recruited new drummer Justin Reynolds in early 2008 after the departure of Jeramie Kling.