ALLEN/LANDE - THE BATTLE (2005, FRONTIERS) Russell Allen - vocals
Jorn Lande - vocals
Jaime Salazar - drums
Magnus Karlsson - guitars, bass, keyboards
Oh boy, the anticipation began for this album long before I had heard a single note. Look at the musicians involved and I'm sure any other melodic metal fan would soon be standing in a puddle of their own drool. After you've mopped up your mess the mind begins working on what they might conjure up together. Both Allen and Lande have a background in progressive metal. Would this collaboration follow the same path? Karlsson has done the neoclassical styled Last Tribe, and of course Starbreaker with Tony Harnell. Considering Karlsson is the guitarist and main instrumentalist the songs do bear a resemblance to Last Tribe and some of the more melodic moments of Starbreaker. The odd Symphony X and Pink Cream 69 moments crop up which strengthen 'The Battle' as being a contender for album of the year.
With the talent available you might ask how the songs are split amongst the vocalists. The answer is each does three songs and six are duets. And what a great bunch of tracks we get. The ballad 'Reach A Little Longer' can only be described as beautiful. Has Jorn ever sounded this good. I doubt it. 'Wish For A Miracle' is one of the standouts, with a slightly progressive edge and both singers going for gold! The same result occurs on 'Come Alive'. Again Jorn and Russell excel. And the chorus. A wet dream!!! Mr. Allen sounds right at home on 'Hunters Night', a Michael Romeo style riff that precedes yet another engaging chorus. Russell's coup de grace is 'Ask You Anyway', a power ballad with fantastic keyboards and lead work from Magnus. One of the most interesting tracks is 'Where Have The Angels Gone', which has a Journey meets Masterplan sound. Well, that's how I hear it anyway. Drenched in melody and definitely a sing-a-long track. Seeing that both boys shone on their respective ballads, it comes as no surprise that when they get together on the soulful 'The Forgotten Ones' it is just as memorable.
There have been some, well, let's just say, interesting reviews for this album so far. In comparison to everything that those involved have done before 'The Battle' is, in my opinion, as good as if not better. I guess they would have to walk on friggin' water to please some people. Me, I'm not that demanding. And who needs to be when you get an album this genuinely brilliant!!!
01 Another Battle
02 Hunter's Night
03 Wish For A Miracle
04 Reach A Little Longer
05 Come Alive
06 Truth of Our Time
07 My Own Way
08 Ask You Anyway
09 Silent Rage
10 Where Have The Angels Gone
11 Universe Of Light
12 The Forgotten Ones
All written content on this website is copyrighted.
Copying of material without permission is not permitted.
This is one hell of an album and one that surpasses all the build up and hype that has come it's way. Power & melody in equal measure, topped off with truly outstanding material and some of the best choruses I have heard in a long long time. Check out 'Come Alive','Truth Of Our Time', 'My Own Way', 'Where Have The Angels Gone'& 'Forgotten Ones' for proof. Truly Outstanding