Power Quest + Death Valley Knights + NightMare World
@ The Underworld, London
October 29, 2017
Review and photography by Torbjørn ‘Toby’ Jørstad
Sunday night’s power metal line-up at The Underworld in Camden saw none other than local heroes POWER QUEST returning two weeks after opening for DragonForce, this time as headliners. Bringing with them retro heavy metallers DEATH VALLEY KNIGHTS and prog-power band NIGHTMARE WORLD, nothing but excitement filled the air outside as people were queuing up to see Power Quest’s the last show of the year.
First up are local progressive power metal act NightMare World. The London metallers’ debut album In The Fullness of Time was released two years ago vie Pure Legend Records, and we were treated to (almost) the full album from start to finish during their 40-minute slot.
The band, led by vocalist Pete Morten, deliver a solid opening slot, much to the joy of both themselves and the audience. Morten runs down into in the crowd for a quick inspection of his bandmates’ performance during the third song, “No Regrets”.
The band easily fits in with the theme of the night. Their joyously fuelled power metal, shifting between melancholic synth segments and aggressive riffing is not too far from the headliner of the night’s style. In fact, vocalist Pete Morten did sing for Power Quest between 2009-10.
“I will be down there and party with you soon!” Morten says, before the band ends their set with album closer “Euphoria”, a melodic catalyst coated in intricate progressive elements.
“The journey has just started, there’s two other great bands tonight!” Morten exclaims as the song ends, before adding that he is “fucking knackered”. The crowd seems pleased enough, left chanting for another song, although their wish is unfulfilled.
The Mara (tape)
1. In Memoria di Me
2. The New Crusade
3. No Regrets
5. Burden of Proof
6. Damage Report
Winning the award for the night’s most entertaining soundcheck are London-based heavy metal band Death Valley Knights. Listing their common interests on Facebook as “Rock, Beer, Rock, Beer… long walks on the beach…” and citing Priest, Maiden, ‘Tallica and Motörhead as their main influence, what is there not to like?
Frontman Jake Thorsen and his brothers in arms prove themselves to be true masters of showmanship, and carries on the entertaining aspect of their soundcheck throughout their whole set. The throwback to the 80s is very much apparent, with Thorsen himself rocking a Motörhead shirt while playing music Lemmy (R.I.P.) undoubtedly would have appreciated.
Their high energy, testosterone-fuelled set is impressive both in terms of musicianship and showmanship, and it’s safe to say a few members of the audience probably became proud owners of the band’s new EP Vallhalla Vintage after the show.
Unfortunately, the sound was at times during their set very unbalanced, and the bass especially drowned out both the guitars at one point.
The single “Be The Grizzly” is well-received by the crowd, who seemingly appreciate the heavy metallers more for each song.
As the band finishes, we are left with Thorsen’s final words of wisdom; “get pissed and buy our shit!”
The excitement on the tiny ground floor of The Underworld’s club stage reaches an all-time high for the night, as the lights go out and tonight’s headliner Power Quest take to the stage. Kicking straight into “Lords of Tomorrow” off the new album, the band generously showers the crowd with tasty melodies and furious riffs from the very beginning.
“Find My Heaven” gets the crowd going instantly, before “For Evermore” showcases vocalist Ashley Edison’s impressive vocal range. Besides having a fantastic voice, Edison also possesses a stage presence many frontmen would be jealous of. Moving all over the small stage, interacting with his bandmates and audience, he easily and rightfully steals the spotlight several times throughout the show.
Bassist Paul Finnie is back after missing the band’s show with DragonForce, and does a great job together with guitarists Glyn Williams and Andrew Kopczyk. Founding member Steve Williams is comfortably in his position behind his keys, and seems to greatly enjoy his time on stage.
Edison does a headcount of how many people already got their new album Sixth Dimension, before announcing the single “Kings and Glory”. The song even conjures a small moshpit at one point, although short-lived.
The setlist contains a good mix of old and new songs, from the title track of their 2016 comeback EP Face The Raven, to the emotional power ballad “Immortal Plains” from the debut album, and the ever so uplifting “Cemetery Gates”.
Two fans from Japan, having traveled all the way to the UK just to catch the band’s UK gigs are applauded, together with a 14-year old girl joyously seeing the band.
The sheer energy and passion put in by drummer Rich Smith is remarkable, and by far just as entertaining to behold as guitarists Williams and Kopczyk’s constant shredding. “Magic Never Dies” is a great example of this, and becomes a personal highlight of the night.
The classic anthem “Far Away” from the band’s debut album ends their regular set, as the band briefly leaves the stage before returning for “Temple of Fire”.
Although undoubtedly an enjoyable concert, the biggest let-down of the night comes in the fact that “Neverworld, Pt. 2” did not finish the show, despite being listed on the setlist. Hopefully a tune to be brought out when the band returns to The Underworld in a few months.
1. Lords of Tomorrow
2. Find My Heaven
3. Face the Raven
4. For Evermore
6. Kings and Glory
7. Power Quest, Pt. 1
8. Cemetary Gates
9. Immortal Plains
10. Revolution Fighters
11. Better Days
12. Magic Never Dies
13. Far Away
14. Temple of Fire