It’s always nice to be there right at the start of something special. Well, the 2012 SOS Festival was the venue for the first ever show by new British metal band Absolva.
In case you haven’t been paying attention to the latest metal news, Fury UK were put on hiatus when bassist Luke Appleton got his dream job offer, filling the vacancy with iconic US band Iced Earth when Freddie Vidales left. When the news of Luke’s once-in-a-lifetime opportunity came through, the big question for fans was what that meant for Fury UK.
Although Chris Appleton and Martin McNee did briefly consider getting in a replacement Bassist, with a unit as tight as FUK it was difficult to see how anyone else could fill the, not inconsiderable, void left by Luke’s departure. Chris and Martin clearly felt the same way, and thus Absolva was born.
Speaking to Chris before the debut show, it was clear that he was enthusiastic about the new band, which sees the surviving duo joined by joined by Tom Atkinson of Vice and Point Blank Fury’s Dan Bate.
Absolva didn’t have it easy in terms of bands they had to follow onto the Radcliffe Civic Hall stage. Evil Scarecrow had set the bar ridiculously high (as they always do) and Hanging Doll has also played a stormer.
So…. No pressure then….
The hall was packed, and there was a genuine air of expectation as the band came on stage with Chris in the centre of the stage (which must have been novel for him)…. And when was the last time you saw two Gibson SGs at the same time 🙂
There are a few bands in the UK trying to bring back “traditional” heavy metal (and a few of the “traditional” bands in the form of their lives), Absolva are launching themselves into a fairly crowded market, so on the basis of this performance do they have what it takes ?
Are you kidding… Of course they f’kin do.
Considering this was a band who have not played live before, playing material that no one had heard before, it was as assured a performance as you could ever hope to see. Now I must declare a preference at this point for proper, shredding and soloing heavy metal with well written songs and killer hooks, all of which Absolva supply in absolute bucket loads.
Musically they tick all the right boxes. Think Priest’s killer harmonies mixed with WASP’s crunchy riffs and you get the idea. In an era of scene and fashion Absolva doff their cap to neither. This is how Metal should be played, loud, fast and heavy.
For all the success that Fury UK were starting to enjoy, Chris was born to be a proper heavy metal frontman, and if there were any nerves for this debut they certainly didn’t show. The band even threw a bone to the substantial number of Fury UK fans in attendance by slipping in I See Red early on, but the majority of the set was killer new stuff from Absolva’s upcoming debut album.
Having got this one successfully under their belts, the band are perfectly poised to take their metal to the masses at Bloodstock Open Air, and if today’s performance is anything to go by then you should certainly add these guys to your “must see” list. Absolva were was definitely one of the highlights of the weekend and considering that the material is new and the band don’t yet have the polish that comes from playing live together the omens for the future are spectacular.
Can’t wait for the album….