Chris Appleton is putting brief periods of Absolva down-time to very good use by producing this stunning solo acoustic album, “Restless”. Named so due to his apparent inability to take a break and pure love for making music and taking it on the road, “Restless” is a definite down-shift from what we are used to hearing from Absolva, but it’s certainly not lacking in quality and passion. If you’re the kind of metal purist who would assume that an acoustic album would fall into the trap of sounding a bit “samey” you’ll find plenty of variety on here that will help you change your mind.
The album opens with the folk-influenced, sea-chanty charm of “Seafarer” and continues with the exuberant “Crazyhead”. The title track is a frantic acoustic guitar instrumental and a stark contrast to “Wonders Of The World”, which is a particular stand-out song, notable for its eerie synths and piano-led melody. It’s a collaboration with Luke Appleton (Of Iced Earth/ Fury UK fame) and is a haunting triumph despite being a huge departure in sound from anything else on the album. There’s also the familiarity of stripped-down cover versions of Fury UK’s “I See Red” and Absolva power- ballad “Only When It’s Over”, which are sure to please die-hard followers of Chris’ career. Finally, his reworking of Ozzy Osbourne’s “Mama I’m Coming Home” is a fitting conclusion to this solo effort.
As well as his brother, the aforementioned Luke Appleton, who contributed guitars, orchestration and composing skills on a couple of songs, there is also able support from talented Belgian vocalist Wizz Wizzard, whose style compliments Chris’ perfectly. This album is a treat for fans of Chris’ existing work and a great jumping-off point for those who are still unfamiliar. A great aural representation of the restless mind of an artist.
This album is a treat for fans of Chris’ existing work and a great jumping-off point for those who are still unfamiliar. A great aural representation of the restless mind of an artist.