Power Quest – Sixth Dimension: Album Review
Words: Anne Estella
Formed in 2001, UK melodic power metal outfit Power Quest saw a rebirth in 2016 after a three year absence, with a new lineup consisting of founding member Steve Williams (ex-Dragonforce) on keyboards, Rich Smith on drums, Paul Finnie on bass and Gav Owen on guitar, while Ashley Edison of Dendera took up the lead vocal position left vacant by Colin Callanan. The ‘Face the Raven’ EP was released in September 2016 to critical acclaim and the band played headline shows in Derby and London to celebrate their return.
Not wasting any time getting back into the swing of things and with five full-length albums already to their name, the band hit the road in 2017 with two new guitarists - Glyndwr Williams and Andy Lopcyck - playing at Sabaton Open Air Festival in Sweden, Evoken Festival in Japan and ProgPower USA, as well as an eleven date UK tour with Dragonforce and headline shows of their own.
The sixth Power Quest album, aptly named ‘Sixth Dimension’, was released on 13th October 2017 via Inner Wound Recordings and Marquee/Avalon Records. The album was recorded at Rogue Studios in London with producer Alessio Garavello.
For the first time ever, Power Quest has been made available on vinyl, with the ‘Sixth Dimension’ LP limited to 500 copies worldwide, of which 300 are black vinyl and 200 are gold!
The record comprises a collection of progressive power metal tracks fused with 80s-inspired pop synths. What you hear at first isn’t necessary what the get... Each track morphs into something slightly different, evolving within seconds from how it started life. What might begin as a fairly cheesy electro-synth-fest (opener Lords Of Tomorrow is a prime example of this) can quickly turn into a heavy metal crusade, with crushing hard rock riffs and drumbeats as fast and sharp as even the slickest thrash metal bands could muster.
Similarly, but in reverse, Face The Raven starts off with the foreboding toll of a church bell and chunky heavy metal riffs, before the melodic keyboards let you know that this isn’t the straight-up heavy metal track you thought you were listening to. Edison displays some very impressive vocals here, which never become screechy, even at the pinnacle of his substantial range. The entire record is laced with drama and mystery, dissolved in a concoction of well-structured verses and harmonies and is never lacking in momentum.
Some of the heavier elements on the record are undeniably reminiscent of influences such as Iron Maiden and the lyrics are often abstract and other-worldy, as you might imagine from an album entitled ‘Sixth Dimension’. Technically speaking there is little to fault here and Power Quest’s loyal fanbase will I expect, be very happy with this latest instalment of high-velocity beats, killer riffs and astounding vocal acrobatics.
So what next for Power Quest? The band began the year with an appearance at HRH Metal Festival and a UK tour with old friends Freedom Call in February. An appearance at Amplified Festival in July has also been confirmed. The most recent announcement from the Power Quest camp was that Dendera’s Bradley Edison, brother of vocalist Ashley, had joined the band, filling the bass position recently left open by Power Quest veteran Paul Finnie. Brad played several shows with Power Quest last year when Paul wasn’t available, so it’s no surprise that he was called upon to be his successor.
Ashley Edison has also been selected by Wigan-based rockers Bigfoot as one of seven special guest vocalists for their upcoming appearance at SOS Festival on Friday 13th July, following news of the unexpected departure of frontman Antony Ellis after nearly four years with the band. Ashley will be performing with Dendera at SOS Festival as main support to Absolva on 14th July.