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|Absolva - Anthems To The Dead (2014) Album Review|| |
Absolva - Anthems To The Dead (2014)
Rocksector Records -- Running Time 50:09
I honestly think that within the next twelve months a new definition should be added to all dictionaries, and it should read this;
(1) "Ridiculously hard working, super talented and brilliant three-piece UK Heavy Metal band".
I'm really not messing about here! Six months on from the release of Absolva's excellent live DVD and CD Chris Appleton (Vocals & Guitars), Dan Bate (Bass) and Martin McNee (drums) have been the backing band for Dave Evans on his latest solo EP, have been the backing band for Blaze Bayley on a huge European Tour, playing songs from his entire career (including Iron Maiden) and Chris has even found time to play on the Wizz Acoustic EP. If that wasn't enough they are now returning with Absolva album number two 'Anthems To The Dead' and are just about to embark on a huge UK tour to promote it. That is SERIOUS commitment and makes me out of breath just thinking about it!
With all that going on you might perhaps think that it's left them few hours in the day to try and improve on their own superb debut album 'Flames Of Justice' (which is only 18 months old itself). Well think again because' Anthems To The Dead' is bigger, faster, heavier and catchier with Absolva themselves sounding more potent than ever. If you could bottle the professionalism, attitude, fun and music that these three guys provide then there wouldn't be the need for drugs!
'Anthems To The Dead' starts with the almost thrash feel of 'The Devil's Mouth' and you know from the off this album is going to be a winner all the way. Chris's distinctive vocals are getting better and better and his guitar playing proves that he is an extreme talent. Martin is a fabulous drummer, in fact, as a drummer myself, I am in awe of his style and Dan thunders on the bass which is clearly audible throughout the albums fifty minute duration.
Not content with providing us with eleven spell binding tracks Absolva have also invited a couple of guests to make appearances. Not surprisingly, Chris's brother Luke (Iced Earth) turns up on three tracks but not playing the bass as you would expect. Luke is also a very talented guitarist and that's what he plays on 'The Devil's Mouth', 'Never Back Down' and 'Silent Sacrifice'. Also appearing, and another huge plus for me, is Doug Scarratt of my favourite band Saxon. He plays lead guitar on 'Never Back Down' and 'Soul Remains' and his excellent soloing is instantly recognisable to me! I would also like to point out Chris's fabulous acoustic guitar and vocals on the shortish, but beautiful ballad 'The Altar And The Cross'!
In my review of the debut album I mentioned that the production didn't quite capture the feel of the band live, but there are no issues surrounding the sound this time. Matt Elliss (Axis Studios) has done an outstanding job, artwork and packaging is once again of a high standard and as I regularly do now with Rocksector Releases, I purchased a fan pack which includes patch, postcards and personalised, signed photo from the band and was excellent value!
Absolva have exceeded my expectations with 'Anthems To The Dead', which is very aptly entitled because it's full of anthems. Can they better this? Well that's going to be difficult but this band have a habit of surprising me so I suspect they'll achieve it with their eyes closed!
Review written exclusively for Brutiful Entertainment by Rick Tilley