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Allen/Lande: The Great Divide

Hard to believe it's now been nearly 10 years since the first pairing of two of metal's outstanding vocalists, Symphony X/Adrenaline Mob's Russell Allen and Norwegian powerhouse Jorn Lande, of Jorn & Masterplan fame. Working with guitarist/songwriter Magnus Karlsson (Primal Fear/Last Tribe/Starbreaker) on their first three releases, the duo have decided to switch gears here on this latest and have now partnered up with ex-Stratovarius guitarist Timo Tolkki, who produced The Great Divide as well as played all guitars, bass, and keyboards, with Jami Huovinen handling all the drums.

Despite these changes, the formula hasn't changed all that much, which for most will be a good thing. Allen & Lande have once again delivered a set of memorable, melodic power metal, long on soaring vocals and crisp, crunchy arrangements. Both share the spotlight on the powerful opener "Come Dream With Me", while Lande's commanding pipes shine on the roaring "Down From the Mountain". Allen allows his more melodic side to come out on "In the Hands of Time", which also features a sizzling guitar solo from Tolkki, while the iron lungs of Lande recall vintage Ronnie James Dio & David Coverdale on the epic sounding "Solid Ground". "Lady of Winter" is a gorgeous, majestic metal track with both singers mesmerizing amid potent guitar riffs and beautiful keyboards, and the grand "The Hymn To The Fallen" recalls vintage Rainbow and Whitesnake. The title track sees both singers saddled up next to each other for a powerful, passionate performance, and the duo literally 'reach for the stars' on the melodic rocker "Reaching For The Stars".

Great vocals also need some killer arrangements to make it all work, and Tolkki did a fantastic job here helping Allen & Lande put this all together nicely. However you rate Tolkki vs. Karlsson as far as guitar playing goes is up to you, but both were brought on board to help shape this project past & present, and did precisely what they set out to do. Overall, this is yet another quality release from two of heavy metal's current vocal stars.

Track Listing
01.Come Dream With Me
02.Down From The Mountain
03.In The Hands Of Time
04.Solid Ground
05.Lady Of Winter
06.Dream About Tomorrow
07.The HymnTo The Fallen
08.The Great Divide
09.Reaching For The Stars

Added: October 26th 2014
Reviewer: Pete Pardo
Related Link: Frontiers Records
Hits: 2447
Language: english

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