Released by Frontiers Records
Release Date: February 8th, 2011
Genre: Melodic Metal
Russell Allen – Lead vocals
Jorn Lande – Lead vocals
Magnus Karlsson – Guitars, Bass, Keyboards
Jamie Salazar – Drums
1. The Showdown
2. Judgement Day
3. Never Again
4. Turn All Into Gold
7. We Will Rise Again
8. The Guardian
10. The Artist
12. Alias (European bonus track)
I’m sure this comes to no body’s surprise, I am a big fan of melodic music period. When I found out back in 2005 that two of my favorite metal singers joined forces to make a killer project titled Allen/Lande I was drawn in. Having been a huge Symphony X fan for years I had a new found respect for Russell Allen, as his amazing voice has been critically praised and recognized. Due to the fact that Symphony X ususally takes very long periods of time between records I found this to be the next best thing as an Allen fan.
No I won’t leave Jorn Lande behind because anybody knows his Dio-esque voice has forever made him a sought out commodity in the hard rock and metal world. After the guys launched a great debut record led by the creative songwriting and primed skills of axeman Magnus Karlssoon, I was looking forward to what know is their third studio release aptly titled “The Showdown”.
We dig into the showdown with a long but pure slab of melodic metal provided courtesy of “Judgement Day” with Lande belting out his typical wails and grinds. Leaving no tides unturned comes the power ballad of “Never Again” which has the duo of vocal heroes driving a mature melody in comparison to faster moving tunes from previous records. Some sweet keyboards drip forward on the melodic rock track “Maya” with Allen blissfully leading his way on this more laid back tune. You will undoubtedly notice the sound is typically the same as the structural formula doesn’t change much in terms of sound and production.
Incidentally this is what makes the record a wash, you heard it once you heard twice and by the third time you hear the same thing and it just doesn’t grab you as the first time. Both of these guys are amazing vocalists and sound great as always. Magnus shreds as he always does, but the songwriting drops in terms of quality here and for me that’s something that may need to improve if another release is even in the works. Even though the album demands your attention with the talent involved, I really think that both of these guys really fit the mold better for Symphony X and Masterplan respectively at this point. As it stands is just a fair trilogy release as it doesn’t come even close to their debut.
Written by Denys
Ratings Denys 7/10