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On disc: Allen / Lande



The Battle - Monika Schmidt - 9 stars
The Revenge - Claudia Ehrhardt - 9 stars
The Showdown - Claudia Ehrhardt - 9 stars


www.magnus-karlsson.com







The Showdown

The Showdown
(Frontiers Records - 2010)


Looks like Primal Fear guitarist Magnus Karlsson is writing songs nonstop. This is the 3rd album of Allen / Lande and it's another showdown of the two extra-ordinary singers. Jorn Lande was very busy with his solo band, Masterplan and some project while Symphony X fans are impatiently wait for a new album of Russell Allen and his mates.
The album opens up with the title track where both singer added their unique voices to. With Judgement Day they present a symphonic melodic metal tune with a catchy guitar line and which sounds a bit like Thin Lizzy... But also offers some Dio-ish keyboard passages.




At Never Again Russell Allen gets his first chance to shine - not talking about the opener which features both singers. And he is also in charge at one of my favorites - Turn All Into Gold which offers sharp guitar riffing and a melodic vocal line. Jørn Lande is taking over for Bloodlines, a song which start like a power ballad, but then explodes. After the ballad Copernicus and two rocking tunes you get another ballad, the fantastic Maya! For The Artist Lande takes over again and this symphonic track is another highlight of The Showdown. With the semi-ballad Eternity the album ends.
Magnus Karlsson demonstrated one more time his skills as a song writer and guitarist / keyboarder. Drums were done by Jaime Salazar. The title The Showdown could be interpreted that this is the last album of this cooperation, but perhaps it isn't. Anyway, fans of the singers and the ones who love the previous albums will dig The Showdown. But I can recommend this album to every fan of melodic metal! Well done!


9 stars

Claudia Ehrhardt
 

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The Revenge

The Revenge
(Frontiers - 2007)


Well, the name suggest that this is the work of singers Jørn Lande and Russell Allen, but actually they just added their vocals to the songs of Magnus Karlsson who not just wrote the songs, he also played all guitars, bass and keyboards as well as produced the album. Btw, on drums you hear Mr. Jaime Salazar and the mix was done by Dennis Ward.
Again the singers shared vocal duties - both had 3 songs they do on their own and 6 songs where they sing in a kind of duet style.
The album opens up with the title track... Starting slowly with some keyboard and strings.... A heavy rocker with fast drumming and powerful riffs - and tempo changes. On this one Jørn Lande as well as Russell Allen sing and the contrast between the voices - solo and in combination - makes it beautiful. The keyboard has some 80's touch... An emotional heavy rock song which gets a slightly oriental touch towards the end due to the guitar melody, but the it don't last. With Obsessed Russell Allen adds his first tune - a riff-based rock tune with some aggressive notes which stand in sharp contrast to the catchy refrain. A bit more powerful, but partly the backing vocals and the catchy refrain take off the edge. Jørn Lande is doing Master Of Sorrow - emotional balladesque tune. A powerful rock song which in the beginning is dominated by keyboards and Lande's voice, but then starts off - a roller coaster ride, coz they return to the opening theme - and back again. The song Her Spell would have fit to Masterplan, too. But that's nothing negative, only gives an idea about the song which is more based in melodic power metal. While the following Gone Too Far - sung by Russell Allen - is starting slow and balladesque, but then explodes! A powerful rock with a catchy hookline. An ear catcher!
But there is not one filler, but songs who are too familiar like Her Spell. The debut album The Battle was surprising the listener, coz it was something new and so nobody really knew what to expect. The Revenge is following the chosen path and it's only the absence of surprises. But definitely an album on a high level and it won't disappoint fans of the two singers and in general every hard rock / melodic metal fan should love it.
Listen to: The Revenge, Who Can You Trust, Will You Follow and Under The Waves.


9 stars

Claudia Ehrhardt
 

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The Battle

The Battle
(Frontiers - 2005)


This is literally a battle of voices - the voices of Jørn Lande (Masterplan) and Russell Allen (Symphony X). For quite awhile there were rumours about a collaboration of the two singers, but now the CD is in the stores. The 12 tracks are written by Last Tribe mastermind Magnus Karlsson who also played most of the instruments. The musical range lasts from AOR to melodic metal. Heavy guitar riffs and catchy hooks are the trademarks of The Battle. Half of the tracks is sung by them both and the others are split up for them. Especially Jørn Lande is showing again his excellent vocals, but also Russell Allen gets the chance to show more of his talent. Usually this kind of projects are only average and didn't feed the urge for some more. In this case I hope... pray for another album! Just listen and you'll be longing for more!
Check out Come Alive, Wish For A Miracle or the ballad Reach A Little Longer.


9 stars

Monika Schmidt
 

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           ©2008-2010 by Claudia Ehrhardt • E-Mail: contact@ice-vajal.com


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