Hailing from England, POWER QUEST are one of the newest additions to the ever growing list of speedy, neo-classical Power Metal bands. However, this should in no way dissuade you from properly enjoying this release as, just like me, you are a sucker for catchy Power Metal and cannot get enough of it.
If any of my previously stated assertions are correct, read on, as a failure to do so may cause you to miss out on a release that is sure to satisfy the hunger for Power Metal inside us all.
Following the mandatory instrumental intro ("Prelude To Destiny"), we are then properly introduced to POWER QUEST's sound with "Wings Of Forever". While this song does fulfil every single Power Metal cliché in the book (speedy, symphonic keyboards, soaring riffs, and high-pitched wails), one cannot help but feel the intense urge to run around with arms in the air while head banging ferociously when listening to this track. In fact, the next two tracks ("Far Away", "Glory Tonight") are just as speedy and addictive as their predecessor, which should leave any devoted enthusiast exhausted by the time "Power Quest (Part 1)" begins. After a brief spoken monologue, this song then continues at a more mid-paced tempo, which is quite welcomed considering the relentless nature of the three prior tracks.
By the time "Beyond The Stars" begins, one cannot help but be reminded of the previously mentioned relentlessness, as this song picks up right where "Glory Tonight" left off. Though nothing new is brought to the table, I am still amazed at the speed and technicality of the guitar solos, which should easily cause any naysayers to promptly shut up. With "Immortal Plains", the band then delivers the album's only power-ballad. The catchy chorus as well as the use of female vocals should again please genre fans with no great difficulty. "Follow Your Heart" once again sees the band playing in a more mid-paced fashion; however, this song unfortunately fails to grab the listener in a way similar to the previous tracks. This leads us to "Freedom Of Thought", the last real track on this album. Once again, speed is the name of the game (a fact highlighted by the lightning fast solos found halfway through), though more reserved passages are thrown in for variation.
When the instrumental closer "Distant Lands" completes this debut effort, one cannot help but wonder where POWER QUEST go from here. The way I see it, they have two options: either continue making catchy, enjoyable, yet predictable Power Metal and be inevitably lost in the pack, or work extremely hard to create a follow-up release that will make the Metal community take notice. If you are craving a healthy serving of speedy Power Metal in the same vein as DRAGONFORCE, then you've come to the right place, but if originality is what you seek, then I'm afraid you're out of luck. (Online August 8, 2003)