Forever Viking

Luke Appleton

Let's start by saying you really should hate this multi-talented and highly skilled musician for […]
April 3, 2023
Luke Appleton - Forever Viking album cover

Let's start by saying you really should hate this multi-talented and highly skilled musician for being just so damn good!  But it is impossible. DAMN HIS EYES!  Not only does he play Guitar in one of the UKs Best and brightest bands ABSOLVA, who also are the force of nature that is BLAZE BAILEY'S backing band, but if that wasn't enough LUKE has played bass with ICED EARTH, and was in FURY UK with his equally talented brother CHRIS, and not only has time to be a Bass/Guitar tutor he, currently, has THE LUKE APPLETON POWER TRIO on the go, for which he sings, plays Bass and Guitar, plus has two fine Eps of Acoustic Metal to his name, and I have underpants older than he is!

This current EP "Forever Viking" was recorded as a "Power Trio" with Rismi Menta on Lead Guitar and Adam Harris on drums, both highly accomplished musicians in their own right. And add to the pool of stellar talents involved in this by adding Becky Baldwin on backing vocals on "What Heroes Do" (as opposed to her "day" job of bassist in FURY and recently fill that role for MERCIFUL FATE!), we have ourselves a rather interesting prospect here. Let's dig in...

Opening track and first single "Before Your Eyes" is a mid-paced rocker, which showcases LUKE'S distinctive vocal stylings very well. His voice is very clean, and has amazing diction, not a traditional Metal vocalist for sure, but very effective.  The song has an almost medieval feel to it and does feature a couple of rather good solos.  Production is crystal clear.

 "A Thing Called Fate" kicks off with some dirtier riffage than it's predecessor and features not only some soaring guitar action, there is, as should be expected a rather stunning Bass solo.

"What Heroes Do" is again a mid-paced, slow-burn, that I bet gets a bit of a faster treatment live than this presentation. Hopefully I get to find out find out before too long.   The rhythm section, as you expect and tight, and play off the guitars with precision. And the guitars are everything you would want from this very traditional style of Heavy Metal.  Enough flare, but not over-technical.  Yes there are flourishes here and there throughout the EP (back to a "A Thing Called Fate" for some tasty examples).

"Forever Viking" has a deeply personal feel to the lyrics, the EP being dedicated to the memory of Wayne Turnbull (The Viking), there is power in the delivery, and dare I say it a touch more emotion (that's not to say this is lacking elsewhere, but there is just an extra something on this one).  It is the perfect end to this set, which is in one way a shame, as it just means it is all over way too soon.

These songs all fit together well as an EP.  There is a shape and structure and a pace to them.  If this set is expanded to a full album, I would like to hear some faster tunes, maybe even some a bit softer.  I think this trio could manage both, unleash a nastier side and a softer one too.  There is a lot of promise here, and as this is a different approach from the acoustic songs, the next phase is going to be interesting in the max!

9 / 10

Almost Perfect








"Forever Viking" Track-listing:

1. Before Your Eyes
2. A Thing Called Fate
3. What Heroes Do
4. Forever Viking

Luke Appleton Lineup:

Luke Appleton - Vocals/Guitars/Bass
Rismi Menta - Lead guitars/Backing Vocals
Adam Harris - Drums
Becky Baldwin - Backing Vocals "What Heroes Do"

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