POWER QUEST – Neverworld

POWER QUEST - Neverworld


Frontiers Records
Release date: March 15, 2004

User Review
0/10 (0 votes)

It’s sort of nice when a band just spells it out for you. Take Power Quest, for instance. From their name, you’ll be able to ascertain you are listening to a power metal disk. From the “quest” part, you’ll figure on hearing songs about temples of fire, the edge of time, maybe even a well of souls. And you’d figure right. But while many power metal bands sound somewhat dated, even if they are new, Power Quest combines elements of bands like TNT and Stratovarious on their release Neverworld, to make for a commercial blend of power metal that is all polish and melody.

For some reason, and since these gents are from Southampton, it seems like the writing of Neil Gaiman rubbed off on them, ala his Neverwhere book and TV series, but that might be reaching …

Anyway, the CD starts with a triumphant and lengthy song called “Neverworld (Power Quest II),” nine minutes of precision power metal, with an emphasis on keyboards, machine-gun drumming and the clear and soaring vocals of singer Alessio Garavello. If you want to consider yourself a power metal band, you better have a guy who can nail those high notes, and even better if he can sound good doing it. Garavello does both.

“Temple of Fire” is another keyboard heavy track, this one is probably a little too Helloween-y for those looking for originality. Regardless of the joy being sprayed around on this one, the bass and drumming is something to marvel at. But, the lyrics are hard to understand during the verses, and besides the wicked scream at the end of the chorus a couple times, the song lacks any real staying power.

When you hear the keyboard intro on “Edge of Time,” it’s played differently, not just speedy note crescendos like a rabid solo. You like Kansas? Well, this sounds like something Kansas could easily have written. It has a more rock feel to it, sort of dumbed-down if you will, but definitely adds variety where you may have been fearful they wrote the same song over and over. They didn’t. Probably the best track on the whole CD.

Power metal ballads rule. Power Quest offers up the haunting “When I’m Gone,” a tranquil, beautiful song about … leaving. This is the band’s first attempt at slowing things down for the ladies, showing their precision works when they play pell-mell or in a subdued style. “And when I’m gone, the world carries on, and you must carry on too …” Sad but true.

Drummer Gavin Ward has his say in every song, but in “Into the Light” you find yourself wondering how the hell he keeps it up for such lengthy periods and just so freakin’ fast. He sounds like a machine. Besides the drumming, this song is somewhat forgettable as well, except for the guitars. Speed is of the essence on this one, and the music shines while the vocals are good, but not AS good, if that makes any sense.

They end it all with an 11-minute song called “Lost Without You.” This is sort of a, well, “pandering” probably isn’t the right word, but it’s a duet with Edenbridge’s Sabine Edelsbacher. This kind of thing is quite popular right now, and sometimes, the voices just don’t mesh. But, this song is largely music, a song that changes tempos, goes from mellifluous keyboards to razor-sharp guitar, and is by in large their “smartest” track.

So there ya go. All in all, a good CD that is better as a whole than if you just pick random songs, or even shuffle it. It’s good track 1-9, it has the fire and the fury of what power metal should have, and feels like you have just listened to a great tale as the closing notes fade away …

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