The Intellectual Darkness


ABSENTATION is a Death Metal band from Syria. They are known as the first Syrian […]
By Liam Easley
February 11, 2019
Absentation - The Intellectual Darkness album cover

ABSENTATION is a Death Metal band from Syria. They are known as the first Syrian Death Metal band to ever release a full-length (that being in 2007). Since then, ABSENTATION has put out two more albums, one earlier this year. Their other full-length was released not even a year prior to this year's.

Syrian Metal tends to be pretty primitive, as the band members don't typically have access to a lot of metal music. ABSENTATION is no exception. The riffs are that typical but enjoyable chug-chug-riff-riff style that was used by bands like DEICIDE and OBITUARY. Examples of this can be found especially on "The Equation" and "Thoughtless Thoughts".

"Strings of the Others" is a definite highlight, as its crushing rhythms are complimented by the creepy lead work. The song has an atmosphere like a heavier AUTOPSY, and it features some of this album's finest songwriting. "Decimation of Illusions" is the other highlight of this album. Concluding the record, this track packs a lot of punch not just in its lead guitar but also in its "Echoes of Decimation"-era ORIGIN-like riffs (as in ORIGIN's normal riffs, not their tech stuff).

One thing Alghalayeeni needs to work on is songwriting. When it comes to tracks like "Strings of the Others," the songwriting is great. But with songs like "Reasons of Decay," I feel like this could have been a bit rushed. There are technical riffs on this track, but they don't really fit until he grunts, and the riff isn't palm-muted anymore. Also, the song goes into a breakdown that is very poorly transitioned into. The technicality seemed forced and so did the breakdown.

Of course, this is just one example, but it was a very obvious one. Also, he just released an album less than a year ago. However, I do understand that the material for both albums could have been written between the years 2007 and 2018. Also, the material doesn't really sound like it was rushed for the most part. But, hey, if GOROD wrote "Aethra" in six weeks, then who knows what's possible.

There are a few other examples of poor songwriting like some moments of "Endless Insanity" and the fact that almost every song on here fades out (a lazy way to end a song, if you ask me), but the overall product is fine. The two best songs on here are definitely "Strings of the Others" and "Decimation of Illusions" for their solid composition and lead work.

Overall, this isn't a bad record. I would have spent a little more time pondering the songwriting on a few tracks, but otherwise it's not bad. It has a production job similar to old school acts, and that makes it more primitive and raw, a quality that suits the sound. Alghalayeeni made a decent album.

7 / 10









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"The Intellectual Darkness" Track-listing:

1. Souls of Macabre
2. Age of Suffering
3. Thoughtless Thoughts
4. Strings of Others
5. Reasons of Decay
6. The Equation
7. Endless Insanity
8. Decimation of Illusions (A.M.A.H.)

Absentation Lineup:

Salah Alghalayeeni - Everything

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