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POWER QUEST Blood Alliance Napalm Records (2011)

Power Quest

This is the fifth album from Power Quest who looked to be close to calling it a day a year or so ago. But they made a few line-up changes the most notable being vocalist Chitral 'Chitty' Sompala (ex-Firewind/ Domain) joining.

He really suits the music which for the most part is the heaviest the band have done to date but fear not PQ fans they still have the galloping melodies and keyboard solos to tire even the most ardent air keyboards player!

Kicking off with the instrumental 'Battle Stations' the next song 'Rising Anew' is a quick fire power metal belter and a fitting song considering the band have come back stronger. I will admit the next song 'Glorious' doesn't quite do it for me but the next song, 'Sacrifice' has a massive metal riff to get things started before the keys and guitar solos fly in. This is how melodic power metal is done.

'Survive' gives the keyboards of PQ main man Steve Williams a turn in the limelight before quite possibly one of the best songs to date by the band, 'Better Days'. If there is one song that shows what a voice 'Chitty' has it is this one. Coming across like PQ meets Journey, from the opening chords to the final ones it is a song made for airplay and playing live.


Power Quest's Steve Williams gives us the lowdown on the new songs ...

One of the major advantages of the new line up is that 5/6 of the band are based in the UK which means we now rehearse together every month.

This proved to be a huge benefit when preparing for the recording of the album. In fact we pretty much halved the recording time this time out which is a testimony to how well prepared the guys were.

The opening track Battle Stations is a an instrumental and I challenged Andy and Gav to come up with something fast and furious to introduce the new line up on record. I think they came up with an absolute belter!

Rising Anew is a speedy power metal romp which is about PQ being back from the dead. It also refers to the fact that we had been written off in some quarters and the song is a response to that but also a nod to our fans too (For you my friends we carry on). This song looks set to be the new live opener, preceded by Battle Stations.

Glorious is one of the fastest tunes we have done for a long time and is a real feel good type of song. All the elements you require from a 200+bpm power metal anthem are at work here.

Sacrifice is a ballad wrapped up in a more metallic sound. From the opening riff this song stomps along and Chity's vocal lifts the song to new heights. Love the solo section here.

Survive is almost like a distant cousin of 'Sacred Land' (from the Neverworld album). Full on speed is at work again here but lyrically this is a song about the environment.

Better Days is a classic stadium rock style song forged in the same fires as 'Edge of Time or 'Children of the Dream'. The vibe of the song is all about doing your own thing and living your own life the way you want to.

It has a cracking solo from Andy Midgley and a real Journey vibe about it in places. I can see this one becoming a live favourite.

Crunching the Numbers is perhaps the most surprising song on the record. Lyrically it's all about the recession and was one of 3 songs I co-wrote with Andy Midgley (the others being City of Lies and Blood Alliance).

It has a very progressive Dream Theater-esque middle section and one of the catchiest solos I have heard from a long time courtesy of Gav Owen.

Only in My Dreams is the ballad of the album, albeit with a more Malmsteen type feel than previous PQ ballads. Guest backing vocals on this song (and Better Days) from Nick Workman (Vega). Again Chity really raises the emotional stakes on this tune.

Blood Alliance, the title track clocking in at 9 minutes but never seeming like more than 5 when we play it.

This song is equally about the new alliance within PQ but also refers to the idea of secret societies which have existed for centuries, passed down from father to son.

The solo section of this song and the ending are memorable moments for me as well.

City of Lies is the album closer and the lyrics are loosely based on the tale of Dick Whittington, at least in the early part of the song.

Paul Finnie co-wrote the lyrics to this one with me. Another song that's really fun to play and the blast beat section in the middle I'm sure takes people by surprise to start with.

Right at the end of the song, sounding like an old gramophone recording, is the reprise of the chorus from the song 'Power Quest' (which also featured at the end of Neverworld too) played on piano. A fitting way to connect PQ past and present I felt.

'Crunching The Numbers' sees no let-up as the metal is turned up again. A timely lyric about the recession, it features an interesting instrumental mid-section reminding me of Dream Theater and Enchant (great band whatever happened to them?).

The title track is another chance for the band to spread their progressive wings and the song that perhaps harks back most to their earlier albums.

'Only In My Dreams' is the ballad of the album, although the speed of the guitar solos and drums makes it heaver than your average rock/metal ballad. 'City Of Lies' rounds of the album, a fast power metal trip but listen out for the piano outro, something different to end the song on.

Power Quest have come back stronger and have made a very good choice in getting 'Chitty' Sompala in on vocals. What I have always liked about this band is that they play very catchy melodic power metal but also manage to throw in a few musical surprises each time.

This time around they have added a more metal edge to some songs and in 'Better Days' have produced a very accessible song that is one of their best to date. The Quest must go on and rightly so on this evidence...


Review by Jason Ritchie

Power Quest are Featured Artist at Get Ready to ROCK! in April.



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***** Out of this world | **** Pretty damn fine |
*** OK, approach with caution unless you are a fan |
** Instant bargain bin fodder | * Ugly. Just ugly

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