Q5 - New World Order

Q5 New World Order cover
New World Order
Frontiers Music Srl
Q5 was born when members of two popular Seattle bands, The C.O.R.E.’s vocalist Jonathan K and guitarist (famous guitar tremolo inventor) Floyd Rose and TKO’s Rick Pierce (guitar), Evan Sheeley (bass) and Gary Thompson (drums) came together to form a new one to showcase their collective talents.
Their 1984 debut “Steel the Light” is to this day considered a minor classic of the scene and it landed them touring spots with many popular acts of the day, like Twisted Sister, Y&T, Lita Ford and others. Polygram through its Squawk imprint picked the band up for their 1985 sophomore release “When the Mirror Cracks”, but that album did quite disappoint when compared to its predecessor and the band dissolved, citing personal differences as the reason, shortly thereafter.
Some of the members resurfaced in 1991, namely Jonathan K and Rick Pierce with a new project called Nightshade that debuted with “Dead of Night”, which included drummer Jeffrey McCormack and bassist Anthony Magnelli as well. This album was partially comprised of material that was to be the third Q5 CD, and was quite warmly received. Nightshade released an additional two CDs over the next decade with somewhat variant lineup and that led to a reunion of Q5, when in 2009 Nightshade that was slated to perform at the “Headbanger’s Open Air” Festival (Germany), with Evan Sheeley now on bass, were asked to also perform as Q5 with a setlist obviously comprised of songs from the first two albums, to which they agreed. The fan response was overwhelming and it kept them going with “both” acts simultaneously, not that the lineup was too different anyway!
Another “Q5” show at Sweden Rock Fest a few years later, led the band to seek out permanent members – found in the shape of drummer Jeffrey McCormack (Former Heir Apparent, Fifth Angel) and guitarist Kendall Bechtel (former Fifth Angel)
The band’s newest line-up debuted at the “Rock You To Hell Festival” in Athens, Greece followed by a headlining performance in Cyprus but had yet to suffer a change in line-up since Betchel could not commit fully, meaning that someone else had to be found, in this case guitar virtuoso Dennis Turner, who completed the puzzle once more.
Well, it’s been more than twenty years from the last Q5 release and even as Nightshade, there’s still has been a while. This new album tries to recapture as much of the debut’s sound and feel as it can, but the two decades that have passed have caused some wear and tear and Jonathan K is not exactly as good as he used to be back then, even though he still sounds respectable. I suppose the album doesn’t have trouble to surpass the rather wimpy “When the Mirror Cracks” sophomore, but its melodic metal meets epic melodies with a bit of AC/DC type of rock n roll thrown in, seems unable to really beat or even come really close to “Steel the Light’s” awesomeness. You’ll end up liking more than a few songs, but it could still have been quite better.