After 5 long years, one of the reigning kings of making excessively happy power metal (alongside Freedom Call) has returned with a new release. One would expect that the band could muster more than 2 tracks of new material in that timespan, but Power Quest actually split up in 2013 and only recently returned. As a result, “Face The Raven” is more of a teaser of what is to come, as well as an introduction to the band’s new vocalist, Ashley Edison.
Much like when Dragonforce got a new singer, Power Quest opens up their first new release by allowing the man to unleash an unwieldy scream, instantly displaying his superiority over every other Power Quest vocalist. The title track that kicks things off is actually fairly uncharacteristic for Power Quest. This song isn’t as overtly happy as much of the rest of the band’s material, and instead sounds more like a typical power metal band. This might not sound like a ringing endorsement, but this track is probably my favourite Power Quest song to date (though to be fair, I don’t own all of their records yet). This isn’t so much because of the stylistic shift, but instead because of the sheer energy that this song has. This track brings the riffs, and is less reliant on keyboards than some of the band's other work. If you’re looking for an opening song that makes a statement, there is no better choice than “Face The Raven”.
The other new song, “Coming Home (Sacred Land II)” is a reminder that keyboardist Steve Williams is driving the ship for this band. This track is much more in line with Power Quest’s classic sound: the cheese is in full effect. Other than the change in singer, this song doesn’t do anything different from what the band is known for, and that is certainly a satisfying outcome after a 3-year hiatus. The final song is a new version of “Blood Alliance”. As soon as Ashley’s voice comes in, it is immediately obvious how much better he is than prior singer Chity Somapala (who is no slouch either). The big difference is that Ashley can enunciate more clearly, resulting in me picking up more of the lyrics to “Blood Alliance” on my first listen of the new version than in numerous listens of the old version.
All in all, “Face The Raven” is an exceptional comeback EP. It manages to bring new elements to the fold while still showcasing the band’s classic sound. The release also demonstrates that Williams picked the ideal singer to bring Power Quest forward. If the band’s next full length is as good as this EP is, Power Quest will be leaving another serious mark in the power metal world!
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"Face The Raven"
"Coming Home (Sacred Land II)"
4.4/5 or 88%.
Written by Scott