Allen Lande The Great Divide

" The Great Divide " sees a welcome return to two of rocks powerhouse vocalists in the shape of Russell Allen of Symphony X and Adrenaline Mob and Jorn Lande of Masterplan and his own band Jorn. This is their fourth cd together and the follow up to 2010's The Showdown but the first without Magnus Karlsson at the helm.He has been replaced by Timo Tolkki who left Stratovarious 6 years ago for a solo career and he takes over as producer, writer and plays all guitars,keys and bass on the cd along with drummer Jami Huovinen. He has done a great job on the production with everything loud and clear.Over the course of 10 tracks they have created a melodic Heavy Metal cd that takes 2 wonderful vocal talents on a journey.The album does have a Stratovarious feel to it with most songs relying on a keys or picked guitar riff over driving bass and drums before the main riff kicks in just before the first chorus. Light and shade even over driving bass and drums.First song " Come Dream with Me " starts with a lead guitar break before the first picked riff. Allen and Lande trade verses and the chorus over the mentioned big riff kicks in before the first chorus and an excellent guitar solo hits the spot. Tolkki's soloing is an album highlight always with a melodic tone throughout." Down From The Mountain " is just huge. A monster guitar riff with Lande's vocal howl on a song that you can imagine being played live with plenty of dry ice!! The vocalists trade lines during the chorus on a true heavy metal number." In The Hands Of Time " is a double bass drum led song with a solo excellent Allen vocal. Again the band all crash in before the chorus and it works so well. Another great guitar solo." Solid Ground " keeps the standard high with a keys start that leads to a big guitar riff with a slightly slower tempo. The 2 riffs entwine throughout with neither above the other on a Lande solo vocal that is pure class. " Lady Of Winter " is another solo Lande number on a ballad like song with a very melodic feel. Probably the closest to a Jorn solo song on the cd. The tempo increases for " Dream about Tomorrow " which is another shared melody vocal that the guys do so well. Melodic metal is the term for this song with a chorus that you want to hear over again. Tolkki again excels with the guitar solo." Hymn To The Fallen " has Lande doing his best David Coverdale impression at the start over a big riff before another shared vocal. You can imagine the vocalists pushing each other to the limit and saying watch me and going up another notch.The title track is next and for me is the only poor song on the cd. A great solo Lande vocal after an acoustic and electric picked start but the song is too slow and just needs some pace. It feels like it wants to kick on but just doesn't. An emotive slower guitar solo tries to pick the song the up but fails."Reaching For The Stars " is an Allen solo song which is a mid tempo stomper with a huge melodic chorus and another excellent guitar solo.We end the cd with another Allen solo number " Bittersweet ". Starting with a piano on a ballad with a stunning vocal that should be all over rock radio. Tolkki plays  an emotive guitar solo that compliments the vocal so well.Another success for Allen Lande with a partnership that goes right back to 2005. They compliment each others style so well and we should be thankful that nearly a decade later they are still putting out quality product.

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