Power Quest / Intense / Humanity
27 June 2004
Camden Underworld

Our decision to meet up in the Worlds End early with Sam & Herman of Dragonforce seemed like a good idea, though I
have to confess recollections of the gig are fairly hazy as a result.

On entering The Underworld we discovered it had been transformed into "Mini-world" with the main bar cordoned off due
to the small gathering, which was pretty disappointing.

I`m not sure what the delay was, but it seemed like an age until Humanity took to the stage. As a result both
they and Intense certainly had to cut their sets and during the wait there was little to do other than have a few

I`d heard one track by Humanity previously which was included on a Powerplay compilation cd. That song, which
curiously wasn`t played tonight, reminded me a bit of a less technical Evergrey and I got the same feeling from their
live performance tonight.

New song Faded Sky opened proceedings and the band seemed pretty tight and benefited from probably the best sound of
the evening. Second song Decay brought Paradise Lost to mind, with Simon Shedwell`s brooding vocals reminiscent of
Nick Holmes.

There`s a bit of Metallica in the Humanity mix, particularly in the guitar solos and they also impress when inserting
clean more subdued passages in their songs. My one criticism tonight would be that they should try and look like
their enjoying themselves more. It`s difficult to get enthusiastic about a band if they don`t look like they`re
enthusiastic about themselves.

This was only a short set of equally short song titles, but was well received and these guys would be worthy of your
time at Bloodstock this year.

Humanity set list:
Faded Sky / Decay / Repent / Blinded / Justify

What happened to the sound in the short break I have no idea but when Intense took the stage with One Twenty they
had seemingly no guitars and a snare drum sound straight from Metallica`s St. Anger. Things didn`t seem to be
improving much by Collision Of Destinies and I therefore headed near to the stage in order to at least pick up some
guitar from the on stage amps.

I`d never heard any Intense prior to this gig, but everything I`d read about them compared them to Iced Earth and I`m
not about to deviate from that. Intense`s take on power metal is in a very similar vein to Jon Schaffer`s mob with
the staccato sub-thrash riffing of Nick Palmer and Dave Peak. This is no copy band though and the addition of Ed`s
keyboards, which admittedly he seemed to be trying to destroy throughout, adds a further dimension to their sound.

Sean Hetherington puts a lot of work into Intense and the same is true of his live performance. He seems to possess
boundless energy tonight and to be fair the whole band seem to be enjoying themselves, particularly the bassist.
Adrian Lambert of Dragonforce was not present on bass tonight and I`m not sure who was or whether they are a permanent

Unfortunately the sound didn`t improve greatly through the set, which is especially frustrating when you`ve never
heard the material before. Hopefully they will get a better crack of the whip at Bloodstock.

Intense set list:
Intro - Premonition / One Twenty / Collision Of Destinies / Dark Season / Seeds Of Betrayal / War Of Angels

Finally to Power Quest. I`m still unsure about latest album Neverworld as I can`t work out what it`s trying to
be, though maybe that`s it`s strength. I was interested however to see how this material worked in the live

Pretty early on I was bouncing along to the catchy chorus of Temple Of Fire. Sacred Land, being my favourite from
that album, was equally well received with singer Alessio Garavello showing how high he can really sing. Garavello is
an un-typical looking rock frontman with his shaven head and flouncy shirt but you can`t fault his singing.

What I do find fault with is syrupy ballad When I`m Gone which sounds more like something Boyzone or Westlife would
come up with than a metal band and it`s this type of thing which confuses me about Power Quest. The other thing I`m
not especially keen on is Steve Williams 80s keyboard sounds. The beginning of Edge Of Time sounds like they`re doing
a Van Halen cover and I`m equally uneasy with the way this song jumps from minor to major key in the chorus.

So similar to my split decision on the album, Power Quest live had me one minute scratching my head and another
banging it.

At times it`s obvious that Williams and bassist Steve Scott used to reside in Dragonforce, or Dragonheart as they were
then and Sam Totman of that outfit has been influential in Power Quest`s development. During the encore which I think
was For Evermore, Totman is raised aloft on someone`s shoulders to cheers from the crowd. I say I`m not sure about
what the song was, as that someone lifting him was me! Well it seemed like a funny idea and certainly had me laughing
when I remembered I done it when I awoke this morning.

Power Quest set list:
Wings Of Forever / Temple Of Fire / Power Quest / Sacred Land / When I`m Gone / Far Away / Edge Of Time / Neverworld
(Power Quest Pt.2) / For Evermore

Thanks to Sean (Intense) and Steve (Power Quest) for arranging the photo pass.