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POWER QUEST/ Neonfly/ Primitai
Purple Turtle, Camden, London 5 May 2011

Photos by Noel Buckley

Power Quest, photo by Noel Buckley

A new venue to me, the Purple Turtle with a decent sized stage and lighting rig, holding around two hundred or so. The turn out tonight on Power Quest's first night of their mini-UK tour was not too bad, around half full. In the audience were a couple of members of Dragonforce and Power Quest's old vocalist Alessio Garavello.

First up we had Primitai who played a set of straight ahead, traditional metal. They certainly came across as enthusiastic but lacked any memorable tunes, fair play to them though as they got a good reaction from the crowd.

Neonfly, photo by Noel Buckley

Neonfly are one of that rare breed, a UK based power metal band and on first listen damn fine they are too.

They have had an EP released previously (with TNT's Tony Mills on guest vocals) and have their debut album out soon, featuring relatively new vocalist Willy Norton. He has a high vocal register and looks like a young Steve Perry, in fact the band do one song that sounds like a metalised version of Journey, one of the set's highlights.

Like headliners Power Quest, Neonfly can mix musical styles so one minute you have melodic power metal, then some rocked up AOR/meldoic rock followed by prog metal. A band to definitely to keep an eye on over the coming months.

I have never seen Power Quest headline a show, having previously seen them only as support or on a festival bill. The instrumental 'Battle Stations' gets the night underway before 'Rising Again', one of many sings aired off the excellent new album 'Blood Alliance' tonight. A good choice of opener as its frantic pace sets the stall out nicely for the night ahead.

Power Quest, photo by Noel Buckley

Vocalist Chitral 'Chitty' Sompala is a perfect fit in the band, adding a new twist to the older songs like 'Power Quest' (great to hear this played live), 'Human Machine' and 'Another World'. He fair belts it out on 'Wings Of Forever', one of those sing-a-long metal anthems that the band do so well.

Personal favourite off the new album, 'Better Days', sounds immense live, losing a little of its AOR sheen but still a belter of a song. The title track to the new album is another stand out allowing each member of the band to flex their musical muscles.

Power Quest, photo by Noel Buckley

Power Quest, photo by Noel Buckley

Sound wise it was very loud (although that maybe is my age showing) and overall very good apart from a few times you struggled to hear Steve Williams' keyboards. I am not too sure if they played much after 'Wings Of Heaven' as public transport was a calling, always a downside to any gig going past eleven.

Power Metal remains strangely one of the smaller metal genres in the UK, although it is massive in Europe and crowds do come if one of the scene's leading lights come over to play.

Hopefully Power Quest can add to their loyal fanbase and this year's Bloodstock festival is an ideal opportunity. The band rarely disappoint and good to finally see them in a headlining capacity. The Quest must go on...

Review by Jason Ritchie

Photos by Noel Buckley

Interview by Mark Taylor

Featured Artist 2011

Power Quest, photo by Noel Buckley

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