Power Quest - Neverworld 5/5

Reviewed: 6-18-04





Tracklist:

1. Neverworld (Power Quest part ll)
2. Temple of fire
3. Edge of time
4. Sacred land
5. When I'm gone
6. For evermore
7. Well of souls
8. Into the light
9. Lost without you


Every so often a CD is released that shines above the rest. This is one of those CDs. I was excited to receive this, but didn't know what to expect. Their debut 'Wings of forever' gets regular spins thanks to the high level of excitement with the faster songs, but the slower songs seem unfocused at times. The debut is great, but we really get something special with 'Neverworld'. The focus is clearly shown throughout the entire CD. Do you remember the first time you heard Stratovarius or Kamelot? What about Nightwish or Sonata Arctica? Well, I do remember those times, and I will remember 'Neverworld' as one of those times.

We start out with "Neverworld (Power Quest Part ll)", a lengthy song that sends visions of what the rest of the CD is going to sound like. The few tempo changes are nice, and the outstanding keyboard work begins immediately (and continues flawlessly for the entire CD). We pick up the speed with "Temple of fire". The catchy lead guitar definitely highlights the song and the excellent vocals really begin to show. I like the vocals of Alessio Garavello in his Italian band Arthemis also, but the singing style and flow is very different with Power Quest, probably better in my mind. We slow down just a bit for Track 3 "Edge of time". This is such an awesome song! I get the feeling I used to get when listening to some of the great 80s hard rock bands on this one. Tons of passion and a brilliant chorus. Track 4 "Sacred land" picks up the pace again, reminding me of Sonata Arctica. We hit the ballad at track 5 "When I'm gone", and again I get that strong passion feeling similar to the highest level of 80s hard rock. A great song for the mid-point of the CD. Aaaahhhh, finally! Track 6 "For evermore" is my favorite song of this year! This is the most memorable song I've heard in a while. I can't stop the chorus "I can see angels in the sky, I can see demons down below..." from entering my head constantly throughout the days. Extremely catchy guitar and keyboard solos perfect this amazing song. Track 7 "Well of souls" and track 8 "Into the light" continue with the great vocals and playing, as this is a very consistent CD. I think there's a guitar solo on every song! The last track "Lost without you" has the nice variety in tempo that we heard in track 1. With guest vocalist Sabine Edelsbacher from Edenbridge on this song, how can they go wrong? A nice finish to the CD.

For comparisons, Power Quest seems to connect the sounds of the Italian bands like Labyrinth, Vision Divine and Highlord, with the Scandinavian bands like Sonata Arctica and Stratovarius. But what sets Power Quest apart is the memorable choruses (with a slight 80s hard rock touch), amazing guitar solos, and perfect fit between the vocals and the music. Vocally, this is one of the best CDs out there, and the keyboard work is awesome! There's something refreshing with this CD, and I love the direction they've gone. With their great songwriting ability and clear focus, these guys are very promising for the future. This has my vote for best power metal CD of the year!



CLINT




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