Frontiers Music s.r.l.
Release: 6 March 2020
Vocals – Russell Allen, Anette Olzon
Guitars, Bass & Keyboards – Magnus Karlsson
Drums – Anders Köllerfors
I’ll Never Leave You
What If I Live
No Sign Of Life
One More Chance
Who You Really Are
Who’s Gonna Stop Me Now
I really loved the collaborations between Russell Allen, Jorn Lande, and Magnus Karlsson so I was somewhat disappointed when I heard that Lande was sitting out this time around. He’s one of my favorite singers and was going to be tough to “replace.” Once I heard Anette Olzon’s name attached I was somewhat intrigued. I’m not the biggest Nightwish fan, but I very much enjoyed her Dark Element stuff. I’m always confident when Russell Allen is attached to a project, as well as Karlsson so I felt like this was going to be worth my time. Boy was that an understatement!
Going in you know that Worlds Apart was going to be just that, worlds apart from the Allen/Lande albums (including the fourth without Karlsson.) Allen-Olzon is a fantastic vocal pairing (as was Allen-Lande.) Right off the bat the songs are, I don’t want to say more positive, but there is not the darkness that some of the earlier albums hold (and even darkness isn’t the word I’m wanting,) Some of the music has a bit more orchestral feel to them as opposed to the darker, proggier sound with Jorn. Maybe that happened organically, or maybe that was an intentional structural way of writing to allow for Olzon’s history. Russell Allen steps out as the “lead” voice in this pairing where it always felt like Lande took more of a leading role in the past, and I think that benefits the music here as Allen has such a brilliant voice. His and Anette’s voice meld together perfectly. Of course, when Olzon takes the lead she has so much power to her voice you can’t help but be enraptured by it. Magnus proves why this is his project (no offense to Timo) as the songs are as powerful as the singers and catchy as hell. With songs like “Who You Really Are,” “I’ll Never Leave You,” and “No Sign of Life” you realize that, despite the change from Lande to Olzon, you have just as strong a collaboration.
As a Jorn Lande fan, I was skeptical going in, but as an Allen and Olzon fan, I knew that the project wouldn’t suffer; it would just be a different animal that requires no comparison of the two. Worlds Apart is a great album and the perfect showcase for the singers and the skills of Magnus Karlsson. I think if people give this one a fair shake, they will be pleasantly surprised.
Written by: Chris Martin