Release Date – April 14th 2023
Luke Appleton – Rhythm Guitar/Vocals/Bass
Rishi Mehta – Lead Guitar
Adam Harris – Drums
1 – Before Your Eyes
2 – A Thing Called Fate
3 – What Heroes Do
4 – Forever Viking
Luke Appleton – yeah you know. Absolva, Blaze Bayley and before Jon Schaeffer decided to take part in a ridiculous federal crime witnessed by millions he was bass player in the hugely successful Iced Earth. Appleton has released an acoustic EP and a full album previously. This was going to be another acoustic effort but he played the songs as an electric power trio and they sounded too good to not plug in. Ably assisted by Rishi Mehta (Babylon Fire) and Adam Harris (Dakesis) they form a tight unit.
‘Before Your Eyes’ kicks off with some fine lines from Appleton and Mehta and immediately has that Blaze Bayley kinda sound, heavy and melodic with Mehta displaying some excellent fretwork and some nice twin harmonies too. ‘A Thing Called Fate’ gets a bit proggy, to begin with before the crunchy riff enters and we’re banging our heads on a jagged rocker then we get an introspective chunky banger on ‘What Heroes Do’. The title track is dedicated to a close friend of Appleton known as ‘The Viking’. From what I can gather ‘The Viking’ was taken cruelly by COVID but Appleton produces a fitting tribute with some wonderful heartfelt words and some huge riffage as big as the man himself.
This is good and shows not just what a talent Luke Appleton is but also Mehta, Harris, and Luke’s brother Chris – who co-produced. Finely crafted songs that are beautifully constructed and played by world-class musicians. Oh, and they’re from the UK! Fans will have to play this until the new Blaze Bayley or Absolva records are released. Both are being worked on as we speak so fill your boots and play this to death.
Reviewed by: Smudge