Rather embarrassingly this is my first contact with POWER QUEST, a group often referred to as a baby DRAGONFORCE given the amount of time spent by DF personnel in the PQ camp. Although to be honest the super fast extreme Power Metal displayed by DRAGON FORCE is light years away from the shiny, machined polished Melodic Metal of POWER QUEST. There’s the occasional foray into Power Metal (un)sensibilities but for the most part this is overtly keyboard driven Melodic Metal with much pomp and with a vocalist who will divide opinion in equal measure.
For those yet to seek out the much vaunted POWER QUEST sound it sits comfortably between STRATOVARIOUS, SONATA ARCTICA and the obsequious HELLOWEEN. There’s riffs a plenty but instead of crunching they glide, whereas STORMWARRIOR might want to break down the door POWER QUEST simply want to knock first and then wait for a reply.
There’s little gusto but much spectacle and ceremony. For me the reliance on keyboards overshadows the guitar to the album's detriment, Alessio Garavello although an impressive singer will grate after repeated listens. Amazingly he makes Michael Kiske sound flat.
Even with some fine guitar work, well arranged songs and no end of talent I just get the feeling that POWER QUEST is sitting on the fence when it comes to the Metal. Instead of taking the bull by the horns they seem content to deliver a steady stream of commercial Melodic Metal which will endear them to hundreds but not thousands.
A definite opportunity missed.
(Online May 17, 2008)