Reviews of "The Absolute" taken from Virtuosity

Back after an absence of almost a decade, guitar virtuoso Borislav Mitic made waves in the late 90’s and turn of the century as the hot new wonderkid on Shrapnel Records. Hailing from Serbia originally but now having been a Canadian passport holder for the best part of a decade. Quite why Borislav seemingly disappeared from the scene is unknown aside from the odd trade show here and there but back he is with another impressive slice of instrumental goodness. More straight metal than his two more neo-classically flavoured predecessors the album shows that Mitic has lost nothing over the years, and gained a more worldly appreciation for the various formats metal can offer.

The opening title track is a nod to earlier classically routed works whilst “Secret Life” has a 90’s thrash appeal in the rhythm department before this notion is blown out the water when the lead melody comes up which is just a strong melody with nice doubling and harmonisation. “Hidden” is a highlight with its heavy dark vibe which leads to some fusiony liquid legato and long sustained note melodies. A little Vai in flavour at times thanks to some Lydian based licks moves this nicely into dreamy areas and overall its another highlight. “Within All Existence” has an early 80’s traditional metal feel which has a nice Michael Schenker-ish slant to it. The track is relatively straightforward in terms of complexity being just a good rocker at heart. “Promises” mixes strong metallic riffs with fluid lead work where Borislav lets the arpeggios and linear lines do the talking along with some good old fashioned wah inflected pentatonic drenched motifs. “The Prize Of Eternity” is again back to an 80’s sound and is one of the weaker tracks on offer, although there is still some nice playing to be found. “For The Chosen” sees octave harmonised lines work well over the dark Malmsteen gothic metal background. “Fighter Of Glory” is another track that seems to get lost amongst other material with it lacking the quality of other numbers, still some good lead work to be found. “Walking The Path” is back to the darker classical tinted sounds and again some nice rhythms in the basis of the track. Closer “To One Truth” ends the album on a high note with nice harmonised lead lines (this time in a major sounding tonality) before some exotic lead work brings about a nice contrast.

It’s nice to have Borislav Mitic back on the scene and "The Absolute" is a strong return. The album does lack a little power and depth in the production department, it does sound like a budget was adhered to, Borislav is credited with everything so I presume it was recorded at his home studio, the main issues are the obvious use of no real drummer means the drum work is a little stiff in places, and the overall sound is less full and very dry sounding compared to his self titled Shrapnel debut, but then in this day and age instrumental music doesn’t sell by all account so the restrictions have to be made somewhere – rest assured the playing is as good as it ever was. However, this is still a perfectly listenable album just don’t expect Vai big budget lushness. Metal head should dig “The Absolute” as should fans of Mitic’s earlier works so overall this is a worthwhile release and nice to see Lion Music getting a missed player back on the scene.

Hot Spots : The Absolute, Hidden, Promises.
Rating : 80%