Allen / Lande – The Great Divide

Allen / Lande - The Great Divide

Jorn Lande and Russell Allen, two iconic vocalists of the progressive/melodic metal scene, started a collaboration back in 2005, in a melodic context to better highlight their far-reaching vocal abilities. Now, nine years later and three critically acclaimed albums, the duo comes back with a collection of ten pieces forged in a mould of passion and grandiose. The backing band has changed. Timo Tolkki, of Stratovarius fame, replaces Magnus Karlsson on guitar, bass and keyboards. And like Magnus previously, he also holds songwriting duties. Last but not least, Jami Huovinen, of Ring of Fire fame, is now the drummer.

As was the case with the previous albums of the duo, Jorn Lande delivers stunning vocal parts. His timbre is often compared to David Coverdale of Whitesnake (Jorn started his musical career with a band covering Whitesnake songs), the match is particularly obvious with regard to the rasp of his voice. The other feature of his voice is the passionate rage with which he performs the choruses, here making the comparison with the late Ronnie James Dio quite fair. The first thing that strikes us when listening to his vocal delivery on this new record is how amazing it sounds nearly twenty years after his debuts. Jorn keeps indeed the rage and the enthusiasm of his earlier days. His mate Russell Allen shares the vocal duties in his elegant way. His theatrical and less “throaty” performance is a good counterpoint to Jorn‘s aggressive notes. The voices complement each other in such a way that it is sometimes hard to say who songs when (the opening track is a good example). Russell seems to be more often present in the chorus and backing vocals than in the verses (“Dream About Tomorrow” for example), which is a pity because his performance on “In the Hands of Time” makes it one of the best songs on an overall good album. The newly hired multi-instrumentalist Timo does a really good job with his fiery guitar solos, and some classically-oriented keys (orchestral on “Solid Ground”, neo-romantic on “Lady of Winter”, baroque on “Dream About Tomorrow”). Besides, with his proven experience in power/neo-classical metal realm, Jami provides the right pulse to the songs.

With its fair balance of heavy metal anthems, mid-tempo AOR songs and heart-breaking balads, “The Great Divide” enchants us as much as Enchant divided us with their Great Divide.

Tracklist:

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 Hymn to the Fallen
08. The Great Divide
09. Reaching for the Stars
10. BitterSweet

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