The Brits have managed to get around in the past few years after having stuck in the modern swamp, with such promising newcomers such as IRON MAIDEN and SAXON, ehm, hold on a sec, something’s not right here… Oh yes, sorry, bands such as SHADOWS KEEP or DRAGONFORCE are working on getting the home of traditional Heavy Metal back onto the map.
POWER QUEST are another combo from the island, more precisely Southampton, which had released its debut “Wings Of Forever” via Underground Symphony in 2002. Together with ARTHEMIS singer Alessio Garavello they fit into the symphonic Power Metal of the Italian school and Nathanael asked in his review, how it would continue for them: “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.“
By now POWER QUEST also enlisted ARTHEMIS guitarist Andrea Martongelli, the band has signed with Frontiers Records and other than that has stayed pretty much close to its roots, which nurtures the suspicion that the British/Italian alliance rather is following Nathanael’s first option. The opener “Neverworld (Power Quest II)“ continues to do so, because here the gentlemen quite clearly operate in the Euro-Speed, even though they take out the tempo here and there, the whole thing with keyboard support is pretty close to the debut as well as the Italians…
“Temple Of Fire“ hits a comparable curb, very catchy, with quite some keyboards, fast, with high vocals, but you never could complain about POWER QUEST not having good melodies and songs, no, that is not that problem, the main hindrance is that they hardly have any sort of originality or memorability, but that just on the side… “Edge Of Time” then is keyboard-y Hard Rock as it has had its heyday in the Eighties, so they do diversify their sound at least a bit.
After that they also alternate between these two “extremes“, if you want, which already work at first listen, but unfortunately wear off just as quickly, a part of the songs is just lacking the longevity, which is a pity, as POWER QUEST show a few times that they really can do it.
The production of Karl Groom is clear and powerful, just the very few edges do not really help in catching the listener and also win him over for a longer time. So I am afraid that despite the well done songs they lack whatever it takes to bring a fan back to the CD time and again.
So “Neverworld“ is a nice, well done album, which unfortunately almost completely lacks the identity in the fast songs, in the slower, more rocking compositions, though, shows quite some strengths, which should maybe be a pointer to which direction they should go into to stay afloat in the future. (Online March 30, 2004)