Allen-Lande - The battle 4/5

Reviewed: 9-30-05





Tracklist:

1. Another battle
2. Hunters night
3. Wish for a miracle
4. Reach a little longer
5. Come alive
6. Truth of our time
7. My own way
8. Ask you anyway
9. Silent rage
10. Where have the angels gone
11. Universe of light
12. The forgotten ones


‘The battle’ gives credit to the 2 singers with the band’s name but should really be considered to be a solo CD from Last Tribe’s Magnus Karlsson, as he wrote all the music and lyrics. Symphony X’s Russell Allen and Masterplan’s Jorn Lande are really more like superstar guest vocalists. Everything about the CD is very good, but it is important to know what it is before you buy it because it’s a little different from what some might be expecting. Like Masterplan, this CD shouldn’t really be considered to be metal. It is more like melodic Hard Rock and even AOR along the lines of the heavier parts of Journey, Foreigner or Styx at times. It is a very highly produced CD, which is a good thing for the sound of the CD, but it also gives the CD somewhat of a stale sound; again, sounding more like Masterplan than the rougher, more metal sound of Symphony X.

The one undeniably good thing about this CD is it has excellent, unrelenting melodies that will stick with the listener for days to come. Most of the tracks are midtempo, with there being no really heavy tracks and just 2 softer ballads, “Reach a little longer” and the finale “The forgotten ones”. It is a little difficult to differentiate many of the other tracks from each other as they all have a very similar sound. Although the CD is strong throughout, the middle section of tracks including “Come alive”, “Truth of our time”, “My own way” and “Ask you anyway” are especially strong. The latter track has a strong Royal Hunt feel to it and that’s another band whose sound this CD can be strongly compared to. The CD has a nice mix of guitar solos and enough keyboards to add to the sound, but not dominate the sound. The keyboards are used both as an occasional lead instrument and also, more often, for lots of background sounds. Of the 2 singers, Allen stands out more because his voice doesn’t get produced into the sound as much as Lande’s does. Because Lande has a more generic voice, his singing doesn’t separate itself as much as Allen’s, whose voice is able to bring its personality out more and stand out from the music rather than blending in.

This is undoubtedly a very good CD. Its sound is excellent, the tracks are memorable and the singers are at the top of their genre. Despite that, the CD is so highly produced that it has that sugary sweet sound that you have to be in the mood for. There are times that I put it on and really enjoy it, but also times when something more raw and powerful sounds better. Despite the negatives, you can put any of the tracks on this CD on and it will be an excellent track with a memorable melody; and whether you want to or not you will likely carry that melody in your head for days afterwards.



DAVID




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