POWER QUEST Neverworld |
(Frontiers/Now & Then FRCD180 (2004)
Power Quest’s debut album, ‘Wings of Forever’ was one of the better power
metal albums I’ve heard and it contained the certified classic ‘Far Away’.
Live the band are full on and a delight to watch and so to say I was looking
forward to this release is an understatement! Steve Williams (keyboards),
Steve Scott (bass), Alessio Garavello (vocals) and Andrea Martongelli
(guitar) are joined by drummer Andre Bargmann for ‘Neverworld’ (Gavin Ward
is now onboard for live shows). Threshold’s Karl Groom handles production;
Clive Nolan (Arena/Pendragon) also guests.
This time round the band have fewer manic power metal romps and branch
out into melodic metal territory (and even hints of prog rock on one
track!). Opener ‘Neverworld (Power Quest II)’ starts off the album in fine
style - big chorus, plenty of guitar, driving keys and double time drumming.
Some very tasty keyboard touches on this track as well. ‘Temple of Fire’ is
pure power metal - fast paced, catchy chorus and guitar riffs you can cut
your self on. The mid-section guitar parts are stunning and the bass/drums
nicely underpin the whole song. The only slight drawback is I can’t always
make out Garavello’s vocals, such is the speed of delivery at times.
Now for some prog rock - ‘Lost Without You’ has a long instrumental run in, with keys
and power chords first, before going into gentle guitar (very Marillion to
these ears). The ten minute epic is a duet between Garavello and
Edenbridge’s Sabine Edelsbacher. The guitar and keyboard riffs that kick-in
after three minutes are sublime and crop up again throughout the song.
Sometimes the simplest refrain works best. This is the track of the album
without a doubt.
The above are just personal highlights and there really is no filler in
sight. Crystal clear production and good to keyboards used as a lead
instrument rather than just an add on like many metal acts.
Along with Intense’s ‘Second Sight’ (darker and less keyboard driven), an
essential metal album to own in 2004. Power Quest may never sadly become a
household name in the UK, where power metal has a small, but dedicated
following but Japan and Europe will be happy hunting grounds. Two words -
Review by Jason Ritchie
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