Well it had to happen sooner or later! My first 5-star rating here on Rockeyez.com is courtesy of the new Frontier Records release by Allen-Lande entitled the “The Battle.”
This project is comprised of vocal God Jorn Lande (Masterplan, Ark) with the almost equally talented Symphony X singer Russell Allen, is also headed up by mastermind guitarist and songwriter Magnus Karlsson (Last Tribe). Up until this point I don’t think Karlsson has gotten nearly enough credit for his talents. As he also was the man behind the impressive Starbreaker project with Tony Harnell (TNT, Westworld) released earlier this year. I thought the Starbreaker album was impressive. Harnell was great on that record! I believed one of the best things about the album was the guitar playing. Now Karlsson returns with not one but two world-class vocalists! The album features songs performed by both singers Glenn Hughes / Joe Lynn Turner (HTP), individually as well as several “duet-styles`.” The songs are perfectly crafted and executed by all involved. There is not one-filler track on this disc and that is almost a rarity in this day and age.
The album starts with “Another Battle” which is one of the aforementioned “duet-style” tracks, with both singers kicking things off in impressive fashion. The song opens with a short keyboard intro, and then flows into a nice melodic rocker.
“Another Battle” is a great song, no doubt! The album really gets going with Russell Allen singing “Hunter’s Night.” The song is as catchy as they come and still maintains a powerful edge. The chorus is one that gets stuck in your head for days! The guitar solo supplied courtesy of Karlsson is absolutely massive. Sounds like something you might hear if Yngwie Malmsteen met John Petrucci (Dream Theater) in a dark alley!
For as brilliant as the previous song is, “Wish For A Miracle” may be just a little bit better. Lande handles the main vocals on this track, which it features a slight Dream Theater style melodic-progressive sound to start. It has an absolutely HUGE chorus! The guitar work is again totally a killer. Karlsson races along the fret board in a mightily impressive fashion.
Things mellow out on “Reach A Little Longer.” Lande handles this track with his usual heartfelt vocal style. This is great for this type of song! The song sounds similar to Lande’s solo work at times. It is another great song, and perfectly placed within the album to give the listener a little “breather.”
“Come Alive” gets things rocking with a chunky guitar riff intro that flows into an Allen sung melodic rocker. The songs continue to amaze with the great writing and ultra catchy choruses. Keyboards play a big part in the melodic proceedings on this album. They are not used to the point of overkill. The guitar solos continue to inspire. As I said earlier, Karlsson should be a household name for his guitar playing alone on this record. Then we could begin to talk about his song writing ability!
“Truth About Our Time” is a full on rocker! It has hints of British rockers Ten at their melodic best! The song, like all the others on this record, is pure class and nothing less.
More epic songs like “My Own Way,” “Where Have The Angels Gone,” soaring tracks like “Ask You Anyway” and “Forgotten Ones” round out the rest of the album; I could go on and on about this incredible album but I think you should get the point by now.
Bottom line is if you like classy, well-written, executed melodic hard rock, which includes some wickedly good guitar playing and outstanding singing. Then you will have a hard time finding better than “The Battle”… Now go check it out for yourself!
- Jorn Lande - Vocals
- Russell Allen - Vocals
- Magnus Karlsson - Guitars, Bass, Keyboards
- Jaime Salazar - Drums
- Another Battle
- Hunter's Night
- Wish For A Miracle
- Reach A Little Longer
- Come Alive
- Truth About Our Time
- My Own Way
- Ask You Anyway
- Silent Rage
- Where Have The Angels Gone
- Universe Of Light
- The Forgotten Ones