POWER QUEST is one of those bands that should have been huge but somehow never managed to break through to widespread success, and after twelve years and five great albums, founder Steve Williams hung it up and retired the band in 2013. Fortunately for us, the itch to keep writing and playing POWER QUEST’S infectious style of power metal was too much, and as a result he reformed the band with a mostly new lineup and a fantastic new album, Sixth Dimension (out October 13 on Inner Wound Recordings), a disc that ranks right up there with classics like the debut Wings of Forever (2002) and Magic Never Dies (2005)!
This isn’t your father’s POWER QUEST – the music is still very melodic power metal, but the guitars have a new bite to them that wasn’t fully realized on the band’s previous releases. New guitarists Glyn Williams and Andy Kopczyk provide plenty of solid riffing alongside the over-the-top frenetic soloing that’s a hallmark of the genre. Paul Finnie (bass) holds down the low end with some great playing, and Rich Smith (drums) brings an interesting sound to the rhythm section; instead of just standard double bass power metal drumming, he incorporates some great classic rock and metal styles into his work that provides a nice punch to the songs.
Steve Williams’ synthesizers are amazing as always, and his songwriting is top notch – the lyrics and composition mature on each successive release, and Sixth Dimension is no exception. Additionally, with Ashley Edison now on lead vocals, POWER QUEST has someone with the talent to tackle a huge range of vocal styles, and it adds whole dimensions to the album. Ashley can go from a deeper growl to a soaring anthemic falsetto smoothly and with no stumbles. After hearing both Ashley and original vocalist Alessio Garavello performing with the band at ProgPower USA earlier this fall, it’s obvious that Ashley has the talent to perform the entire back catalog, as well as to stretch the musical possibilities for future releases.
Some of my favorite songs of all time are huge, happy power metal anthems, and tracks like “Kings and Glory”, “No More Heroes”, “Pray for The Day”, “Revolution Fighters”, and “Coming Home” fit that description perfectly. They’re interspersed nicely with some of the darker offerings from the disc, including “Face the Raven”, “Lords of Tomorrow”, and “Starlight City”. The final track “The Sixth Dimension” is a nice epic, and while it took me awhile to get into it, it has really grown on me over the last month; to be completely honest, it’s very reminiscent of very early EUROPE and it really comes together in a way that’s awesome.
Sixth Dimension is a great album, and if it’s any indicator about the future of the band, it looks like POWER QUEST isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. Pick this one up as soon as possible.
STANDOUT TRACKS: “The Sixth Dimension”, “Coming Home”, “No More Heroes”, “Face the Raven”, “Pray for the Day”