Absolva - 'Beyond Live'

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Absolva - 'Beyond Live'

A good, if short at around the hour mark, step into their world.

A year on from the release of their excellent debut, 'Flames Of Justice', Absolva make a quick-fire return with the 'Beyond Live' DVD (also available as a standalone CD) capturing the band's headline set at Belgium's 2013 Wizz Fest. Rising from the ashes of Fury UK, guitarist/singer Chris Appleton and drummer Martin McKee teamed up with bassist Dan Bate and second guitarist Tom Atkinson (who played on 'FOJ' and does feature here, but judging by his billing on this DVD and absence from the promo-shots for 'Beyond Live', would appear to no longer be a full time member of the band...?) to create a fantastically convincing take on traditional Iron Maiden and Judas Priest values.

There's little in the way of pretentions about Absolva, this is fists in the air, long sweaty hair stuck to the face, riffs blazing, drums pummelling stuff and 'Beyond Live' represents those values perfectly. Obviously filmed on a tight budget, this is not a high end production set, five or six cameras capturing all the up and at 'em action. However it leaves a strong sense of what this band are like in the flesh, riffing for all they're worth and drawing in the crowd with their energy and enthusiasm. Great songs help too and 'Flames Of Justice', 'Breathe', 'Empire' and 'From Beyond The Light', where Appleton and Atkinson's synchronised fret tricks are displayed to the max, are great songs. While the pair of new tracks 'Killing Season' and 'In Some Wild Universe', previewed from the band's forthcoming album, bode well for the future.

In terms of sound, this is a warts and all presentation of Absolva, Appleton's vocals sometimes strained, but never out of control, while impressively if there's a dropped note or missed beat, I didn't spot it. In terms of bonus material, the only feature is a "Behind the scenes with Absolva" section, which as expected is good fun, if non-essential.

If supporting cracking home-grown Metal is something you're interested in (if not, why not???), then Absolva are a great place to start and 'Beyond Live' a good, if short at around the hour mark, step into their world.

Steven Reid

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