Sunday, October 15, 2017

Album Review: Power Quest - Sixth Dimension

I've talked about it before, but power metal is in a weird place right now. The boom from the earlier part of the millennium is now gone, and many of the bigger names in the genre have evolved into something that isn't quite power metal anymore. Couple that with many of the newer bands being a heavier strain that isn't quite what we remember, and the traditional sound isn't out there as much as it once was, and isn't being done as well either. By simply being traditional, a band like Power Quest is actually being different, which is an odd conundrum, if I've ever heard one.

The opening "Lords Of Tomorrow" does throw a curveball or two our way. It's as power metal as power metal can be, but the way the riffs speed up to Dragonforce levels for a flash of a few seconds, only to die back into the normal rhythm, is something that I don't know I've heard much of. It does give the song some ebb and flow, which can be difficult when double-bass drums carry the majority of every song.

That song gets things off to a cracking start, but it's not long after that we start to get into the problem that has pushed me further and further away from the genre that really got me into metal. Power metal has a formula, and when a band adheres so closely to it all the time, the music becomes rather stale. The thing about power metal in particular is that the music is carried often by the speed and rhythm alone, which means there aren't many memorable riffs to be found. In that case, if the vocals don't deliver the sharp hooks, there isn't anything else to save the songs.

That's sort of where we find ourselves here. Everything on the album is well-executed, but it's so by the book that it's tedious to listen to, since I have a pretty darn good idea what's coming before we get there. The actual musical ideas, both in the guitars and vocals, aren't good enough to overcome the predictability we get again and again. As far as power metal goes, sure, it's not bad. I haven't heard a lot of traditional power metal that's been released recently, but Power Quest isn't far off the mark of the good stuff. The problem is that missing the mark at all, when perfection is still directly competing with the entire history of the genre, means each mistake is magnified.

"Sixth Dimension" isn't bad at all, but it's not exciting or memorable. It's power metal in the power metal mold, which is great for serious power metal fans. For everyone else, it's an album that will confirm whatever it is you already think about power metal.

No comments:

Post a Comment