Q5 – NEW WORLD ORDER (Frontiers 2016)

Q5 are back. One of the leading cult heavy rock bands of the 1980’s have today released their first new studio album in whopping 30 years with “New World Order.” The band returned in 2014 for a supposed one-off reunion show at Sweden Rock Festival. That show turned into a full blown return as the group felt they still had chemistry and something to offer, now the true test comes in form of a brand new studio product.

Whilst still recognizable Q5, the band sounds dirtier, more AC/DC influenced here than on their 1980’s heyday. Whether this is something the fans will embrace, as always depends on your preferences. Those longing for “Steel The Light” part two won’t get it here, and the those in favor of subtle melodies, harmonies and commercial aspect might not get into “New World Order’s” grooves quite as easily. However, to expect the group to simply carry on where their left off in 1985 is unrealistic, and Jonathan K’s nowadays crispier sounding vocals are impressive enough here on their own.

“We Came Here To Rock” sounds like a Saxon-title and damn, if it doesn’t also musically remind us of Yorkshire’s finest. Next up “One Night In Hellas” is faster and gorgeous, with good solo work. Purists may cry the absence of Floyd Rose but Misters Pierce and Turner offer just the right style of guitar histrionics to support arrangements. The first single and video “The Right Way” is simple, instant and carries a hook that is solid enough. But the album really comes into its own during later gems such as ”A Prisoner Of Mind” and title track where hard rock meets those famous melodies, and excellent rhythm provided by bassist Evan Sheeley and drummer Jeffrey McCormack. Elsewhere there are also signs of American epic metal on “Unrequited (A Woman Of Darkness And Steel)”. Not every song is a hit and there is a slight mid-way slump before the album recovers with above mentioned epic and “A Prisoner Of Mind.” Bonus track “Get Next To You” is a good way to finish off even if Jonathan’s vocals are somewhat low in the mix here.

Production is basic, not too high-end but guitars and drums at front as it should be really. The band sounds heavier than before but this is to be expected. The whole package is quite a revelation to hear in these over-produced, digital times. Q5 might not be rattling the chains of today’s also reunited Dokken or kings of melodic rock, Def Leppard – but it is proof that without them the metal world would be much more boring place.

3halfk

Ville Krannila

1. We Came Here To Rock
2. One Night In Hellas
3. The Right Way
4. New World Order
5. Tear Up The Night
6. Halfway To Hell
7. A Prisoner Of Mind
8. Unrequited (A Woman Of Darkness And Steel)
9. Just One Kiss
10. Fear Is The Killer
11. Land Of The Setting Sun
12. A Warrior’s Song
13. Mach Opus 206 (Instrumental)
14. Get Next To You

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