Allen/Lande - The Showdown
5 November 2010

01. The Showdown
02. Judgement Day
03. Never Again
04. Turn All Into Gold
05. Bloodlines
06. Copernicus
07. We Will Rise Again
08. The Guardian
09. Maya
10. The Artist
11. Eternity
12. Alias [bonus]

This is the third in a series of Allen/Lande albums and fans of Jorn Lande (Masterplan, Jorn, etc) and Russell Allen (Symphony X, etc) will love how their voices continue to blend together and complement each other. I hesitate to use words like "generic" because usually that has a negative connotation. This album IS generic heavy metal, just not necessarily in a bad way. It's fun metal music with some vocalists we love and wanted more from. Yeah, it's a side project for both guys, but this album kind of rocks and they certainly deliver performances near worthy of their primary bands. Each man has such richness to his voice and an inherent emotional quality.

What keeps this album from being really exceptional is too many mid tempo tracks. There's just no speed! Some lovely ballads and lots of tunes that rock, but nothing that really gets you up and moving. Both Jorn and Russell are used to pumping it up and singing over faster music in their other bands and projects, so I don't know why this one seems to drag a bit. Despite this lack of variety in tempo, there are plenty of memorable hooks, great performances, and a good vibe throughout. And despite the fact that we're obviously here for the vocalists, there are some skilled guitar solos by multi-talented Magnus Karlsson, who has played guitar, bass, and keyboards on all Allen/Lande albums so far.

I love the catchy track "Turn All Into Gold," lead by Russell Allen; its more epic chorus does provide a bit of variety that the rest of the album lacks. "Bloodlines" (lead by Jorn) and "Never Again" (a seamless duet with both guys) also were some impressive tracks. These three lie near the beginning of the album, though, and give you a bit of a push through the rest of the tracklist, but there just isn't enough momentum to keep you from checking your watch near the end of the album.

It's a good album, but unless you're really in the mood for it, it just feels like a lot of mid-tempo heavy metal. Sometimes I have listened to this and really enjoyed it, even rocked out a bit, other times it felt borderline tedious. You just need to be in the mood, and then this will do the trick. If so, let Allen, Lande, and friends serenade you.

Band profile: Allen/Lande
Album: The Showdown


Written on 06.12.2010 by
Susan appreciates quality metal regardless of sub-genre. Metal Storm Staff since 2006.

Twitter: @HeavyMetalSusan
More reviews by Susan ››


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MetalSpider - 06.12.2010 at 23:33  
I agree 100%...a great album but only if you're in the right mood. That's how it is for me with this album.
Carlonn - 07.12.2010 at 00:39  
Actually, I don't think you need a special mood for this album, I find it pleasent and intriguing just as it is. Also, I love albums done ií mid-tempo, it's my favourite, and I didn't find this one to be boring or slow in either moment, quite the contrary.
Ag Fox - 07.12.2010 at 02:26  
Haha, thanks for reviewing. I was kind of hesitating about whether to try this one out or not, but you just confirmed my suspicions on how it would turn out.
Jason W. - 07.12.2010 at 04:49  
Nice review The vocals do mix well together. Not the kind of music that will ever move me because it doesn't even try to be unique, but no real complaints about the musicianship either.
Susan - 07.12.2010 at 05:14  
Perfectly put, Jason. "doesn't even try to be unique" wish I'd thought of that line
BlankFile - 11.12.2010 at 06:38  
I like this project. Allen and Lande´s voices mix really well together and the songs are really catchy in all of the cds. This one is no exception, but for me its not the best of the 3 for what i´ve listened so far. Anyway i have to listen a few more times to see if it grows on me a bit more.
RavenKing - 11.12.2010 at 07:09  
I never heard this album. The only Allen/Lande album I ever heard is "The Revenge". Really not my kind of music.

When I listened to it, I didn't realize at first that both guys came from bands I don't like at all (Masterplan, Symphony X), as I don't care much for people involved in bands, especially bands I don't have any interest in. Had I known right from the start, I would not have bothered to give it a try.

For me Allen/Lande falls in the same category as Ayreon, in the sense that I know some people really love it and consider it great but, personally, I'll never see the appeal in this kind of project. For me, it's just excrutiatingly dull.
Angelic Storm - 12.12.2010 at 03:51  
I was hugely disappointed by this album when I heard it. Russell and Jorn have long been two of my fave metal singers, but the material on this album doesnt do either of their awesome voices any justice at all. They deserve much better material to work with IMO.
dioslefthorn - 02.02.2011 at 15:55  
This album is NOT "power metal", at least not to my ears, more like Heavy AOR hard rock/metal. With that said, i find this one to be the best and most catchiest of the 3 A/L albums. Only one crappy song on it , and as usuall , sung by Russell Allen, "turn all into gold". Just not a good song. I give the album a 9/10.
BlankFile - 23.02.2011 at 23:33  
Written by dioslefthorn on 02.02.2011 at 15:55

This album is NOT "power metal", at least not to my ears, more like Heavy AOR hard rock/metal. With that said, i find this one to be the best and most catchiest of the 3 A/L albums. Only one crappy song on it , and as usuall , sung by Russell Allen, "turn all into gold". Just not a good song. I give the album a 9/10.

I agree totally.
NLthrasher - 28.11.2011 at 04:44  
I really like this album, They don't try to be unique indeed but they do what they do best!

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