Review Summary: Power Quest break out of their mold to produce some of their strongest material yet.1 of 1 thought this review was well written
You could be forgiven for previously steering clear of this band. Their heavily keyboard-driven melodic Power Metal certainly wasn't everyone's cup of tea - but fans would tell you that these guys are horribly under-appreciated in the Power Metal world. Blood Alliance is a bold attempt to bridge the gap between these two groups.
Power Quest has gone through a radical shakeup over the past few years since Master of Illusion
, emerging with five new members, with only one - founding member & keyboardist Steve Williams - remaining. The new lineup:
- Chitral "Chity" Somapala (Vocals)
- Steve Williams (Keys)
- Andy Midgley (Guitars)
- Gavin Owen (Guitars)
- Paul Finnie (Bass)
- Rich Smith (Drums)
Perhaps the most interesting change to their lineup lies with ex-Firewind
singer "Chity" Somapala. Gone are the very high-pitched vocals of previous singer Garavello, and in their place are lower, smooth vocals which fit nicely with the band's new style.
"New Style?" I hear you cry. As announced prior to the album's release, Power Qust have taken what was perhaps their trademark style of very melodic tracks and catchy choruses and placed it in the heart of new material with heavier guitar work and influences from the 80s (Better Days
are perhaps good examples of this). This blend works fantastically and is a refreshing change from their previous work. But a fair warning - they're still quite keyboard-driven and the album still contains Power Metal cheese - which could unfortunately act as a barrier between people and their wallet if they wanted to pick this up and try it out.
The album opens with 2 minutes of guitar-shredding, kept surprisingly interesting throughout, before the first 'real' track kicks in, Rising Anew
, blasting your ears with the gusto and enthusiasm typical of the band's playing, and later on, the choruses that will yet again haunt your brain and be the things you hum whilst otherwise unoccupied for some time.
Continuing in the same vein, your ears will be kept very pleased for half an hour or so, then you'll hit Crunching the Numbers
. After a curious - if strangely compelling - intro the track gives you heavier guitar work and even some Jorn
Lande-esque cries later on in the track. The lyrics are perhaps less abstract than is typical, discussing (as you may have guessed) the "Credit Crunch" and recent financial crisis. A devisive track maybe, but it's one I certainly enjoyed immensely. The title track, whilst clocking in at just over nine minutes, seems to shoot by and is certainly kept fun for its duration.
If I had to note a concern about this album, it would be simply that one or two of the tracks may pale into mediocrity with too many repeated listens and over time, with similar styles and generally "standard" lyrics, such as Sacrifice
("Sacrifice my life, to be with you tonight"
). The rest of them, however, are just as catchy as those displayed on previous albums.
Power Quest's new lineup has hailed a truly excellent album which breaks out of their previous mold (and hopefully out of previous comparisons to DragonForce
which have plagued them), producing music which retains enough of their old styles and enough of the new to keep their fans happy as ever and hopefully draw some new listeners into their style. If you've found Power Quest simply too cheese-filled before, now would be an excellent time to sample them again and see if Power Quest Mark II is to your taste.
- Rising Anew
- City of Lies
- Crunching the Numbers