Absolva – Anthems to the Dead

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On 6 July 2014
Last modified:6 July 2014


A hard hitting follow up to Flames of Justice, well produced and packed with different elements, October 31, Skid Row, Metallica, Motley Crue, The Cult all blending perfectly to form Anthems to the Dead.

@louelladeville_ @planetmosh review of Anthems to the Dead by Absolva released via .@Rocksector

Absolva, British metal three piece released their third album Anthems To The Dead via Rocksector Records on the 5th May 2014. Although this is their third album it’s their second studio album. Debut studio album Flames of Justice was released in November 2012 followed by a live CD and DVD Beyond Live in September 2013. Not bad going for a band who only formed in May 2012. Front-man Chris Appleton and Sticks-man Martin McNee played alongside Chris’ brother Luke Appleton in metal band Fury UK. When Bass-man Luke left to join US greats Iced Earth Chris and Martin were joined by Dan Bate on Bass and Tom Atkinson on guitar to form Absolva. Tom subsequently left but Absolva have continued to go from strength to strength as a trio. Although they are joined on a few of the tracks on Anthems To The Dead by Doug Scarratt of Saxon and Luke Appleton of Iced Earth* YouTube videos have been released for the tracks Never Back Down, the first single to be released and also for second track Victimiser. The album was recorded at Axis Studios in Doncaster with producer Matt Elliss.

Absolva - Chris, Martin & Dan
Absolva – Chris, Martin & Dan

Opening track Devil’s Mouth opens with some hard hitting drums and some screaming riffs accompanied by a few mighty metal screams from Chris along the way. A great opener which would wake the dead is followed by Victimiser a cross between October 31 and Metallica, say For There is War meets Seek and Destroy. Next track and first single Never Back Down was a little mellower but not much, I picked up elements of Skid Row’s Youth Gone Wild in this one. You may agree, you may not watch the video below and make your own mind up. Title track Anthems to the Dead starts with some fast drumming, quite heavy then slows down a little before speeding up again and incorporating some powerful riffs. You can’t get complacent listening to this one, one minute fast, the next slow to keep your ears paying attention!

In Some Wild Universe with the chorus ‘Into the Abyss’ has yet more screaming riffs and some staccato drumming. The Altar and the Cross is the shortest track on the album at less than three minutes long. A bit of a metal ballad, powerful singing but much gentler acoustic style guitar playing. Live for the Fight then ups the tempo again, with flavours of punk meeting flavours of metal say The Exploited merge with Motorhead and Iron Maiden! Bullet drumming opens Killing Season and I can hear Dan’s backing vocals clearly on this track, which blend nicely with Chris’ strong vocals, another track which reminds me a little of October 31. Taste the Blood has a Motley Crue Too Young to Fall in Love vibe. Soul Remains is another powerful track and whilst I don’t claim to have an expert ear I could definitely pick up the dual guitars of Chris and Doug Scarrat in this one. This brings us to the final track, and one which said they were particularly proud of when I saw them in Manchester on the last date of their UK tour. Silent Sacrifice is the longest track on the album at over seven minutes, and certainly one to be proud of with elements of greats like Iron Maiden and Metallica, some bullet drumming and some She Sells Sanctuary by The Cult riffage. A sacrificial offering to the fans? Maybe but certainly not silent! A hard hitting follow up to Flames of Justice, well produced and packed with different elements, October 31, Skid Row, Metallica, Motley Crue, The Cult to name but a few all blending perfectly to form Anthems to the Dead. My highlight tracks Taste the Blood and Victimiser.

Absolva undertook an extensive UK tour recently but there are already some more UK tour dates lined up for the end of this year with a headline appearance at SOS Festival on Saturday 19th July 2014 and an extensive European tour in the Autumn.

Absolva - Anthems To The Dead (Album Cover)
Absolva – Anthems To The Dead (Album Cover)

Track List:

1. The Devil’s Mouth
2. Victimiser
3. Never Back Down
4. Anthems to the Dead
5. In Some Wild Universe
6. The Altar and the Cross
7. Live for the Fight
8. Killing Season
9. Taste the Blood
10. Soul Remains
11. Silent Sacrifice
(*Doug Scarrat plays lead guitar on tracks 3 and 10, whilst Luke Appleton plays rhythm guitar and harmony lead guitar on tracks 1, 3 and 11)

Artwork by Mike Collins of Lungfull Design. Photography by Steve Brinkman.

Band Members:

Members Chris Appleton : Lead Guitar & Lead Vocals
Martin Mcnee : Drums
Dan Bate : Bass Guitar & Backing Vocals

Links & Tour Dates: –

Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/absolva

Website: http://www.mwaweb.com/absolva_home.htm

PlanetMosh Review: http://planetmosh.com/absolva-sound-control-manchester-31st-may-2014/

Planetmosh Interview with Chris Appleton: http://planetmosh.com/chris-appleton-absolva-interview-july-2014/

SOS Festival: https://www.facebook.com/events/797885070236701/

European Tour Dates: https://www.facebook.com/events/575089835916460/

UK Tour Dates: https://www.facebook.com/events/330541613770372/

A hard hitting follow up to Flames of Justice, well produced and packed with different elements, October 31, Skid Row, Metallica, Motley Crue, The Cult all blending perfectly to form Anthems to the Dead.

About Louise Swift

I first went to a gig in 1981, Gillan at Leeds University. I've been a regular gig goer ever since. I haven't kept count of how many gigs I've been to over the intervening years, but it's a lot! My favourite bands are AC/DC then, in no particular order, Anti-Nowhere League, Slaughter and the Dogs, Towers of London and Dirt Box Disco. I tend to like Glam/Punk and rude offensive lyrics, not sure what that says about me but as Animal would say 'So What!' The question was recently put to me - did I write for any online publications? My reply - No, but I'd like to! Planetmosh was suggested and I found myself offering to review Aces High Festival. Easy peasy I thought! Well not quite, if a jobs worth doing it's worth doing well! I had sixteen bands to research. I found I actually enjoyed that and it kept me too busy to be making lunatic comments on Facebook! ;) Then I felt a bit inadequately qualified. I mean, who am I to comment on others, when my musical expertise extends to being able to play a mean Greensleeves on the recorder and a passable Annie's song on the flute! Haven't picked up either instrument for years! What I do have, however, is over 30 years of experience as a gig goer, so I can comment on what I like and what I don't! It's only my opinion and, if I don't like a band it doesn't mean they are bad, just not to my own liking. I admire anyone who has the guts to get up on that stage and have a go!