I remember watching Power Quest a few years ago. I am sure they were supporting Helloween and it was at the Camden Palace, or Koko as it now is. My recollection is of cheesy jollity. To their credit, Power Quest have established themselves internationally in the power metal genre. The title of this album gives the game away that this is their sixth album since 2002. With “Mr Melody” Jens Bogren in charge of sound mastery, much is promised.
The thing about power metal is that there’s no point looking for that dark element because you won’t find it. Instead it’s all about being uplifted both musically and personally. “Sixth Dimension” represents this. “Lords of Tomorrow” is exactly this. Shuddering catchiness with a flamboyant solo epitomises the genre, but we’ve heard it all before of course. “Hold your high, you have nothing to lose”, warbles the vocalist. I guess expecting something scrunchy was never on the cards. “Starlight City” is more of the same but more harmonisation and this time a keyboard solo. Now we’re standing up for freedom, surrounded by serenity, enlightening the mystery. Oh, how jolly it is all is. To be fair, it’s played with great verve and precision.
I read that “Kings and Glory” is being released as a single and is a “traditional speedy power metal romp”. Well, yes it is. But aren’t they all? “We never will surrender” – haven’t I heard that line before? I can only conclude that this song achieves its single status thanks to its additional layer of cheese. I actually preferred the rocking rhythm of “Face the Raven”, which follows. The keyboard adds a dimension and there’s an impressive scream at the start but it’s the punchy riff that’s the thing. Ah, the ships have left the shore. I accept that “No More Heroes” needs to be seen as more than pretentious lyrics. Again there was a nice little keyboard touch but whilst I could see it was aiming towards epic spheres, but to be honest I found it rather dreary. Strange, and indeed pleasant, then that “Revolution Fighters” was more interesting and dynamic. “I am an invited guest” – I like the idea. There’s a tinge of darkness in this song, which whilst not at the cutting edge of originality, gives it a spark without detracting from its toe-tapping power metal credentials. “Pray for the Day” is again more thoughtful. The chugging rhythm is there, and inevitably we get the flowery guitar solo. Shame I found the song a bit flat, because I thought as a song it had more potential impact than most. “Coming Home” provides momentary uplift before reverting to a lyric-heavy song. “Time has come to stand as one”, the vocalist informs us. The lush guitar solo is delightful and there’s an air of happiness in there somewhere. “Coming Home” has too many parts for a five minute piece but it has the makings of a good song. The title track is the most interesting of all. Power Quest don’t throw away their power metal identity, far from it, but spread out into a more reflective prog mood, without going near the yuk territory of a power ballad. “Sixth Dimension” is a strong song, very powerful emotionally. It reminded me of Threshold in its mood and movements, which is not entirely surprising as Richard West of that band co-wrote it. This was a very welcome direction and I wish that the previous eight tracks had had such direction, interest and sophistication. “Show me how to fly to the sixth dimension”. The music replicates the lofty ideal.
Here Power Quest sound like themselves and everyone else in their genre, but at least they’re good at doing it. I could detect that they were trying things here on “Sixth Dimension”. I liked the album, but with the exception of the outstanding title track, it didn’t entirely move me and I wasn’t convinced that everything worked.
(7/10 Andrew Doherty)