Released: 2002, Underground Symphony
It should be stated up front that originality or lack thereof does NOT bother me. To me the craft; namely the tone, tempo, technical proficiency and construction of the songs, AND the delivery, presentation execution are more important than originality. Having made that clear, Power Quest are a new power metal band from England. And I think they are fantastic. There are on the esteemed PM label Underground Symphony and it is no surprise because they have perfected the ‘Italian’ sound.
Are they original? Not really but I don’t care because just about everything about this band is dead on flawless. Opening with a soaring and majestic, instrumental introduction called ‘Prelude to Destiny’ from the very first note, I KNEW that it was my destiny to love this band and album! The intro with swirling keys and a high pitched scream that goes waaay up in the stratosphere this five piece, kicked my ass.
Every classic and mandatory element of good metal is in this band, pounding double kick drums, blazing guitars, soaring vocals, some harmonized gang-vocals, songs about glory and destiny and tight performances. Vocalist Garavello is actually from Italy and the band has some strong history with ex-members of Dragonforce, Shadowkeep, Demoniac, and Arthemis.
There are solos both keyboard and guitar all over the place, the vocals are very high and clear, the melodies and harmonies so infectious and everything is fast! Every song is a winner and ‘Glory Tonight’ has a chorus that put a smile on my face a mile-wide and could blast away any clouds. The bar has been raised so high in terms of technical talent it is hard for many modern rock bands to even try this style with any degree of success.
Jaded cynics and critics who are not favourable to this style (derogatively referred to in some circles as Flower Metal or Ballerina Metal) will likely blow this off as another clone and if you are one of those fans who demands originality in order to enjoy music, you may want to pass. It’s a shame because if this came out in 1987 it would be talked about with the same reverence as Helloween. However some fans tend to judge things as ‘heard it before’ and arbitrarily dismiss things without actually listening carefully and consequently missing all the interesting and unique features that each and every band possesses. If you are a fan of Airborne, Sonata Arctica or countless other wonderful speedy keyboard driven bands buy this today!
Watch for their new CD later this year (2003) tentatively called NEVERLAND. I believe to my sheer delight that Underground Symphony has picked up some distribution (in Canada at least) so it might be easier to find. Check out my reviews of two other bands (Mesmerize and Shadows of Steel) on this label and visit their site at http://www.undergroundsymphony.com