Register Forgot login?

© 2002-2019
Encyclopaedia Metallum

Best viewed
without Internet Explorer,
in 1280 x 960 resolution
or higher.

Privacy Policy

The End Of The Quest? - 50%

metal22, October 30th, 2013

This is not technically a 'bad' review, it is merely me wondering if these power metal kings are at the end of the road. After three flawless albums (Neverworld Especially) one had to face the inevitable: how long can Power Quest carry on in this manner before running out of ideas? Master Of Illusion answers the question. It is not a complete loss but for PQ standards? I'm afraid its just not the same. Occasional moments of melodic brilliance are overshadowed by the band's questionable step towards a heavier, harder sound. It seems that Master Of Illusion takes itself too seriously. Not that the band should't take themselves seriously, but Power Quest is about lost kingdoms and emotions like hope and freedom. By trying to make a 'mature' album they have lost that amazing PQ sound.

The album is definitely heavier than the others, and one has to wonder if Alessio Garavello has the voice to match. It is still as good as it always has been, but it doesn't work with the melodies that Steve Williams has created. For example 'Civilised?' has a hard rock feel to it, and Garavello's voice seems out of place. This may just be because fans have become so accustomed to his voice singing the 'old' style of Power Quest. Either way it just doesn't seem to work. The melodies in this album are generally pretty dull with none that stick in your head for weeks after. The trademark catchiness of the band is almost completely absent, but there are exceptions. 'Human Machine' has a cool keyboard part at the start, and some nice vocal melodies, although the lyrics are slightly...odd (the name says it all). Distant glimmers of the past make vain attempts to break out in songs like 'Hearts and Voices' and 'Master Of Illusion'. Unfortunately, whilst each of these tracks have reasonably catchy choruses, the other parts are lacking in creativity.

'I Don't Believe In Friends Forever', besides having a rather cringeworthy name is one of the albums low points. The start is utterly unsuited to not just Power Quest, but to anything. Totally unnecessary and actually quite difficult to listen to, especially as this shoddy writing came from the same band behind 'Temple Of Fire' and 'Far Away'. Quite saddening really. Thats the trouble with many of the songs here, the various different segments of each just don't go well together. It pains me to say it but even the musicianship is declining here, with the keyboards taking most of the leads. Not that I have a problem with that, but some of those much loved glimmering guitar harmonies would have been nice. But no luck there.

Now, on to the very scarce good points of the album. The song 'Kings Of Eternity' is the only track that is actually really catchy. It is a brief reminder of what this band once were: uplifting, heartwarming and highly original. Sadly it is but a brief flash of nostalgia in an otherwise frustrating album.

The aforementioned hard rock elements worked in songs like Edge Of Time and Magic Never Dies, but here they lack the intelligent composition that those songs had, and for that reason cannot be fully respected. While I hate writing reviews like this (especially of bands I love), I have to say it is ultimately a letdown. Maybe some will see past the confused melodies and think that this is the sound of a band diversifying, but overall I cannot help but think that Power Quest have boxed themselves into a corner.

Perhaps not a total loss but one would have expected much, much better. Stick with Neverworld.