ASKA - Absolute Power
March 30, 2009, 11 years ago
Those of us in this industry (however perfunctory) for any period of time can get jaded, seemingly unimpressed by an endless string of releases from new faces, and often returning to old standbys. However, once in a great while a band/album/performance comes along, knocks us on our ass, impressing the Hell out of us and recalling why we got involved with the music in the first place. Such was the case recently with south Texas veterans Aska. In existence for nearly two decades, issuing five full-lengths and gigging in 37 countries around the globe, the outfit remains an enigma. George Call (guitar/vocals) currently fronts the better known Omen, but the Aska live show and hook-laden, quality material made me a believer instantly. Somewhere between Iced Earth and the holy German triumvirate of Accept/Grave Digger/Running Wild, at least on stage (via leather and synchronized stage moves) Aska is a headbanger’s delight. On this CD, the band use grandiose stylized intros (rather than just launch into the crunch), be it the Braveheart clip to start the atypical Celtic-flavoured ‘Warrior Poets’ or the Middle Eastern rhythms of instrumental ‘Martyrer’, which proceeds into the prayers to Mecca of ‘Freedom’. Lyrics, as usual, reflect a historical bent, with the Vikings (‘Longships’) or ancient Rome (‘Legions), plus failed relationships (‘Her Ghost Remains’, ‘Until Death Do Us Part’ and ‘Vowbreaker’). While the record can’t fully translate the band’s onstage energy, the Texans will venture to Germany for the Keep It True festival in April. Check out www.askband.com before reading about them in overseas mags or foreign internet sites.