Power Quest was formed in March 2001 by keyboard player Steve Williams after he left London based Power Metal heroes Dragonforce. Former Dragonforce colleague Steve Scott was immediately recruited on Bass along with Southampton based guitarist Adam Bickers. Showing there was no ill feeling following the split from Dragonforce, Sam Totman assisted with guitars and would continue to do so right up until the second album Neverworld had been recorded. Following on from there the band has recorded another 4 albums including the one under consideration their latest and in some terms a comeback album Sixth Dimension released after a gap of 6 years since Blood Alliance of 2011. The line-up on this one is Ashley Edison – Vocals, Steve Williams – Keyboards, Andy Kopczyk – Guitars, Glyn Williams – Guitars, Paul Finnie – Bass, Rich Smith – Drums. The genre well it’s Best described as Melodic Power Metal with a Hard Rock edge played at a rapid rate of knots.
The album opens with ‘Lords of Tomorrow’, after 20 seconds of ethereal sounds rapid drums and a speedy keyboard attack burst in backed by chunky guitar reminding me at times of Theocracy whilst the tempo unsurprisingly has overtones of Dragonforce. A double kick bass drum of Rich Smith is the heart beat of the track accelerating proceedings as the vocal pulsates. There is a crispness and clarity in the quickfire vocal from Ashley Edison that draws the whole track together all in all a cracking start. ‘Starlight City’ is next up. The guitars of Glyn Williams and Andrew Kopczyk along with the bass of Paul Finnie are the highpoint of this science-fiction fable. The pace is still breakneck and a fine follow on to the huge opener. Majestic keyboards with a Celtic feel opens the Speed Metal battle hymn that is ‘Kings and Glory’ the first single from the album. The controlled vocal from Edison soars to realms only cats and dogs can hear, the backing vocals and chorus are so huge it makes the track three dimensional and the prog ending that evokes echoes Marillion. ‘Face The Raven’ opens in much more of an old school metal way and continues in that manner, reminding me of Early Maiden right down to the guitar trade-offs. Edison once again rips up and down the scales to the full extent of his vocal range. I have to say it really adds to the depth of the album and is one of my standout tracks. ‘No More Heroes’ in some sense is an apocalyptic Power Metal ballad. Right from the sweeping and luxurious keyboard opening it’s a straight on and Hard Rocking but also a highly stylised Melodic track that is a signature of the band. ‘Pray For The Day’ once again begins with a crystal edged keyboard flourish. You may think I’m Crazy but I hear melodic elements from Styx’s in this all in the best possible taste of course. It’s a strange amalgam that really works even though at first thought it shouldn’t. The album roars to a close with the epic track ‘Sixth Dimension’, co-written by Steve Williams and Richard West (Threshold), which looms large in many ways. Opening with a Symphonic Metal salvo and cathedral organ like keys this track features former Nightwish singer Anette Olzon who’s voice beautifully counterpoints Edison’s. It quickly develops a Science-fiction Space rock flavor which carries on throughout the track. It could be taken as a tale of a remainer of the ‘Rapture’ but the lyrics thankfully stay vague and avoid that cliché. Again, Melody is as prominent as the Metal and in some ways, sums up the full gamut of the band.
Now to finish. It can’t be a complete surprise from the review that I really liked this album. One thing I do have to say that this particular blend of Melodic Power Metal with a Hard Rock edge is a potent crossover and will attract many different kinds of Rock fans and yet it remains uncontrived, fresh and original. An album for many occasions and one that demands at least a second and third listening.
Rating: 9/10 Record Label: Inner Wound Website: http://www.power-quest.co.uk Release date: Out Now Highlight tracks: ‘Lords of Tomorrow’, ‘Kings of Glory’, ’Face The Raven’, ‘Pray For The Day’. ‘Sixth Dimension’
Words: Rob Birtley