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Power Quest - Master Of Illusion - 55%

ThrashManiacAYD, October 18th, 2009

Power Metal in the sense of bands like Power Quest at times seems to me to be the greatest oxymoron in music given the inherent lack of power in their musical output in comparison to all the other real Metal genres. The synth-led, highly melodic tunes on "Master of Illusion" follows the same style of at least 95% of Power Metal these days: plenty of virtuoso keyboard and guitar solos, guitars given a backseat role against the synth and saccharine vocals bearing no similarity to the aggression and dominating power of the rest of Power Quest's Metal brethren. The dismally weak "Human Machine" typifies these traits. Never even mind the lack of originality in the field, appreciation seems to be given to those who can produce the happiest, not most original, albums.

"Civilised?" represents the album's highlight largely due to the heavier role played by the rhythm guitars in the chorus, of course being much more pleasing to these ears, though as it is said all good things must come to an end, this 'power' is inexplicably replaced by lead synth that sounds as it was inspired by Sonic the Hedgehog soundtracks of yore, if not lifted directly from them. Little else can be said about the remainder of the album that hasn't been said before about Power Metal as it drifts by with its happy riffs and choruses making me increasingly angry and annoyed. "Kings of Eternity" and "Master of Illusion" sound reminiscent of Europe in that they are entirely-synth lead, and crap. As probably expected given they both found their feet in London at the same time, Power Quest reek of Dragonforce in the likes of "Never Again", making me wonder why on record they haven't risen anywhere near to the level of the 'Force. "Master of Illusion" isn't the worst record I've ever heard but I can't see it ever spinning in my stereo again, and more importantly, at this stage in their career it's difficult to see where Power Quest's fourth album can push them to in either the congested European or American Power Metal markets. For Power Quest's sake it must be hoped they can belatedly catch the coattails of Dragonforce-mania as "Master of Illusion" just does not have the muscle to forge a path for the band on their own.

Originally written for Rockfreaks.net