Allen/Lande - The Showdown review
|Release date:||November 2010|
01. The Showdown
02. Judgement Day
03. Never Again
04. Turn All Into Gold
07. We Will Rise Again
08. The Guardian
10. The Artist
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.
Written on 06.12.2010 by
Susan appreciates quality metal regardless of sub-genre. Metal Storm Staff since 2006.
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