They Say :- Although they may have trodden a more extreme path for most of their careers, the men behind the awesome Absolute Power have their roots elsewhere. And those roots are the backbone of this extravagant example of pure, unadulterated heavy metal.
The paths of Simon Efemey (producer of Paradise Lost, Crowbar and the Wildhearts among others) and Shane Embury (Napalm Death, Brujeria and Lock Up) have crossed countless times over the years. These encounters invariably led to much misty-eyed, intoxicated reminiscing and head banging to heavy metal of the 1970’s and 1980’s. Eventually they collaborated- both bringing songs from their individual back catalogues- to form something new. These new ideas were the beginnings of Absolute Power. Their mission was to record songs that would resurrect the vibe and atmosphere of the old school, using today’s sounds and technology to produce new tracks in the spirit of the genre.
What began as a nostalgia-trip has evolved into a full-blown mission: spreading the rebirth of old school metal to the masses. So far, the few that have heard the product of all those years of heavy metal worship have been fanatical. Real, powerful heavy metal is a cause that people are all too willing to get behind; none more so than Absolute Power themselves.
We Say :- There will always be a place in the musical firmament for proper anthemic heavy metal. You know the sort of thing… huge riffs, sing along choruses, dumb lyrics and an album sleeve with the devil / a demon / flames on it. Well it’s nice to report that all of these things, and much more, are present and correct in self titled debut release from metal supergroup Absolute Power.
Absolute Power are a group of like minded individuals who have set out with one mission… to recapture the true “denim and leather” spirit of proper heavy metal that has largely been lost in a sea of whatever-the-latest-fashion-is-core of an era which mostly values image over substance. Subtle it isn’t as the band pound out classic beats and solos like the bastard offspring of Biff Byford and King Diamond.
Better known for his bass duties with grindcore legends Napalm Death, Shane Embury is joined by legendary rock producer Simon Efemey as the main force behind the band. The line-up completed by John Walker on guitar and Ian Treacy on drums. Friends and acquaintances have also been dragged in to lend their talents to the project, including Russ Russell, Brian Tatler of Diamond Head, Tim “Ripper” Owens, Paul Harrington (Anaal Nathrakh’s live guitarist) and Ash Smith of Nekkrosis.
The involvement of such rock scene luminaries meant that this homage to the bands who influenced them was never going to be a bad record. As soon you see the cover illustration you know exactly what to expect, and from the very start of the opening track you know that the sleeve hasn’t lied to you.
It’s a particular strength of this album that the songs do capture the spirit that the band are aiming for really well, and they undeniably know how to write cheesey metal anthems with massive sing-along choruses which fully live up to the expectations set by titles like Sea Of Horns, Full Metal Roar and Land Of Steel.
The issue with trying to recapture the spirit of a bygone age is that, by definition, it’s already been done. As a “nostalgia trip” it definitely works, but as for “spreading the rebirth of old school metal to the masses” I’m not so sure.
That’s not to say this isn’t an album worthy of your attention. This is a metal album made by metal fans for metal fans, pure and simple. If you still own a cut-off denim jacket and think music reached it’s peak in the 80s with Mercyful Fate then you’ll quite probably love this, but I just don’t think it’s the sort of thing you’ll be returning to a year down the line.