|Review: Power Quest - Neverworld|
Label: Underground Symphony
Year released: 2003
Genre: Power Metal
Review online: April 18, 2009
Reviewed by: Bruce Dragonchaser
Rated 3.5/5 (70%) (8 Votes)
After their humble, frightfully unoriginal debut Wings of Forever, I was as surprised as any to see the then UK-based Power Quest embark on a mission as sophisticated as Neverworld, but in a progression that has defined their career thus far, it was a prudent move that keyboardist and band leader Steve Williams really shouldn't regret.
From the outset the crack in the band's sugary façade appears to have faded, as Neverworld is a different beast altogether, with the guitars stepping up a notch, the synth-leads becoming tighter and more structured, and the vocal patterns reaching insanely high levels of brilliance. Despite a very ropy production – an extremely 80s sound compared to their slick debut – Neverworld contains some of the band's most memorable tracks, including the unforgettable "Temple of Fire", the nursery-rhyme of "Sacred Land", and "Into The Light", a remarkably melodic manifesto of pure Power Metal perfection. Williams' song writing reached a towering plateau here, and with his love of cheesy AOR finally making an appearance in the Van Halen-esque "Edge of Time" and epic closer "Lost Without You", the Power Quest mould shifted into quite an exciting model, proving also that Italian vocalist Alessio Garavello's silky pipes could tackle a wide range of hook-laden material. The first official release to feature axe-slinger extraordinaire Andrea Martongelli, Neverworld was the album that really saw the international cadre come into their own, developing a sound and reputation that set them apart from many of their European competitors.
Frankly, Power Quest have never bested their sophomore effort, and as it seems that Williams and co. have dropped the fantasy factor of old, it's doubtful that they ever will. But one thing's for sure: if you missed out on this baby back in 2004, rectifying that debacle should be the first thing on your to-do list.
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