Power Quest - Wings Of Forever
Underground Symphony
Melodic Power/Speed Metal
11 songs (56'06)
Release year: 2002
Power Quest, Underground Symphony
Reviewed by Marty
This is the debut album by this U.K. based band. Formed in 2001 by keyboardist and principle songwriter Steve Williams (ex- Dragonheart), he cites Stratovarius, Rhapsody and Freedom Call as some of his main influences. The band also features Steve Scott, bass (ex-Shadowkeep), Adam Bickers, guitar, Andreas Martongelli, guitar, Andre Bargmann, drums and Alessio Garavello, vocals. Guitarist Sam Totman (Dragon Force) provides some guitar work as well.

After a typical orchestrated and epic sounding opening track, the album rips into a series of fast, and very good melodic speed metal tunes. The speediness and the big choruses really bring Helloween and Freedom Call to mind. In fact, the first 5 songs all bear a similarity in sound, speed and feel to Freedom Call's Eternity album from last year. Lots of very spirited and memorable sing-along choruses highlight many of the tracks. The guitar playing is top notch with a good speedy and chunky sound and with three guitarists used for this album, the melodies, harmonies and solos are very in tune with the overall feel and vocal melody lines. Vocalist Alessio Garavello, has a good strong voice and even manages to sound like Michael (The Master) Kikse on some of the soaring choruses that are found throughout this album. Keyboards are used on almost all tracks and there's lot of the "trumpeting" sounds that I remember first hearing on Helloween's Eagle Fly Free and also used recently on the Eternity album by Freedom Call. There's also some great fast synthesizer leads that do battle with speedy and shredding guitar leads on most tracks and adds a different slant to the usual or obligatory guitar solo that you just know is coming up. The drumming is pretty much in the typical speedy double-bass style that is so often found in this style of metal. Some tracks feature a more slower hypnotic and pounding sound that really adds a nice dramatic effect and breaks up the monotony of having too many speedy songs one after another.

I was really geared up for what seemed like an amazing Melodic Speed Metal album until after the 6th track, Beyond The Stars. Track 7, Immortal Plains is a rather average and somewhat strangely sung power ballad that I really raised my eyebrows about. At first, I thought it was a different singer as the vocal lines are deeper in tone and almost baritone-like in sound. I could've forgiven that little miscue, but unfortunately, the album never regains the momentum that it quickly established right from the first track through to the sixth one. I would've preferred that they mix up the tracks a little bit to "disperse" the lesser quality tracks in amongst the more stronger ones. Even after listening to this album 3 or 4 times, I keep coming to the same conclusion. This album simply stalls and runs out of gas about mid-way through and stumbles to the finish line.

Judging by the quality of about half of the tracks on this album, I know for a fact that these guys can play very good speedy melodic metal. The problem seems to be in delivering an entire album of high quality material. All the elements are there as far as songwriting (for the most part), a great singer and really good, technical and very melodic guitar playing. Those aspects alone put this band a cut above the many other very average sounding new bands attempting to play this sort of metal. I probably would've scored this release a bit higher if it wasn't for the running order of the songs. I really don't like how they put all the best songs together right from the start. The sound and style of the tracks on the last half of the album bears only a slight resemblance to the tracks on the first half. Based on the quality of the songs that are really good, I'm certainly willing to give this band another chance with their next release, whenever that will be. I think they show lots of promise and the somewhat disjointed sound of the second half of the album I'm sure will all but disappear for the future and we'll have another major player, along with the likes of Stratovarius, Freedom Call, Sonata Arctica and Heavenly in the ever growing genre of Melodic Speed Metal.

Killing Songs :
Far Away, Glory Tonight, Power Quest Part 1 and Beyond The Stars
Marty quoted 74 / 100
Other albums by Power Quest that we have reviewed:
Power Quest - Blood Alliance reviewed by Kyle and quoted 91 / 100
Power Quest - Master Of Illusion reviewed by Marty and quoted 80 / 100
Power Quest - Magic Never Dies reviewed by Marty and quoted 80 / 100
Power Quest - Neverworld reviewed by Marty and quoted 90 / 100
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