Released: 2011, Feto
The self-tilted debut by England’s Absolute Power has got to be one of the most ‘Metal’ album covers I’ve seen in years. A giant stone hand, throwing the horns, bursting from a churning sea, being struck by lightning, surrounded by warriors in front of a backdrop of an erupting volcano! Absolutely magnificent! I can tell you the songs within are pretty much the audio equivalent of that front cover art scene! The only possible complaint I might have is that the band could have chosen a better name for the album. The bands Aska, Blitzkrieg, Pro-Pain and Powermad all have albums called ABSOLUTE POWER. Hell even Manowar has a DVD out called THE ABSOLUTE POWER! Still if the name fits, might as well use it.
Absolute Power (the band) have the look down pat and the music matches with muscle and might. ABSOLUTE POWER (the album and band!) is true Metal to the very core. The production and delivery are quite unlike anything I have heard in a long time. It’s hard to put my finger on, perhaps it’s the drums way up front in the mix, but whatever that indescribable X-Factor is, it sounds great! Regardless, it’s full, loud and ear-catching.
One of the highlights on the album is the vocal style of Simon Efemey. He sings, shouts and roars with over-the-top passion and earthly conviction. Is he technically the most proficient singer? Not necessarily but I’d rather have a sincere and hyper-kinetic vocalist than a passionless Tate/Kiske clone anyday. Efemey sounds on a few moments like Kane Roberts believe it or not. There are some guest vocals on ‘Raging Pursuer’ and on first listen I just knew it had to be Rob Halford. Upon further inspection it is actually Tim ‘The Ripper’ Owens singing his heart out! Superb!
There are a few really stand out tracks like ‘Secrets’ where the band slows down just a hint and hit you with a really infectious chorus, almost melodic Metal in delivery and execution, with a very appealing lyrical phrasing. Album closer ‘Faster Than The Speed Of Evil’ has got to be a contender for ‘Coolest Metal Song Title Of The Year’. It has my vote. Elsewhere across the 40 minute platter of power, the bulk of songs churn and burn through a mid to fast pace Manowar territory with crunchy guitars and the requisite pounding drums. The true Metal lyrics need to be experienced to be appreciated on tracks ‘Sea Of Horns’ and ‘Land Of Steel’.
I suppose I should mention that this is a side project of Mitch and Shane from Napalm Death. They should drop their main band and do Absolute Power as their full-time gig as this album blows away anything they have ever done in Napalm Death. ABSOLUTE POWER is a fantastic debut, lots of fun old school vibe; a 2011 up-ratchet of the classic NWOBHM sound.