Allen - Lande - The Great Divide
Frontiers Records
Melodic Hard Rock/Metal
10 songs (51:00)
Release year: 2014
Frontiers Records
Reviewed by Joel

Russell Allen and Jorn Lande are two of the most well known and respected singers in metal. With Allen you get a sense of strong melody and range, from brooding lows to melodic highs. With Lande you get everything from a bluesy David Coverdale/Robert Plant to Ronnie James Dio. With their previous three releases, a true AOR meets melodic power metal formula had been established. The true and tried formula was written and produced by the very talented Magnus Karlsson(who I am a big fan of his last solo cd and of Primal Fear). With The Great Divide the songwriting duties have been passed on to Timo Tolkki(ex-Stratovarius), someone who knows how to write great melodic songs, with his own signature style. I had some reservations as to how the music would sound. Would it sound like Tolkki's Avalon cds? Or would the music retain the same qualities of the previous three releases?

With a melodic guitar solo opening Come Dream With Me, there is definitely an AOR vibe with both singers trading off verses, with a chorus they share. Down From The Mountain is a faster song with Lande taking the lead on vocals on this song. His gravely but clear vocals are as strong as ever. In The Hands Of Time, has a marching drum beat, with Allen reaching to the highest of his range. This song definitely shows how powerful yet melodic Allen's vocals are. The largely melodic Solid Ground is next, and it perfectly fits the lead vocals of Lande. The first song I heard off the disc was the next song, Lady Of Winter, and in all honesty, I felt like it was copying a little bit from the Savatage classic, Edge of Thorns(one of my favorite songs). Though it is not an exact copy, the intro piano notes are eerily similar. The song does become its own thanks to the strong vocals. I believe the strong vocals on this song, like many others on the disc, are definitely the highlights.

Dream About Tomorrow is another mid-paced song with solid harmony vocals in the chorus. The Hymn To The Fallen probably has my favorite guitar riff on the entire disc, and it is one that definitely welcomes headbanging. The title track is next and it is a slower melodic song with Lande on lead vocals. I would definitely describe this as a dark melodic song, with some great melodic and legato guitar playing. Reaching For The Stars, will bring back memories of their earlier discography(The Battle specifically). Bittersweet is the last song on the disc, and is exactly as its song title would lead you to believe. It starts as a piano ballad with some great vocals. The song has the same kind of power, that Reach A Little Longer had when I listened to The Battle the first time.

I may still prefer Magnus Karlsson's songwriting on the previous Allen-Lande discs, but the disc does highlight what is most important, the two star vocalists whose name is on the release of the disc. For those who wondered if this would sound like another Tolkki side/solo project, it does not. The disc contains everything that made the previous three discs great pieces of melodic metal, and that is the performances of the singers involved, and music that fits their individual vocal styles perfectly.

Killing Songs :
Title Track, The Hymn To The Fallen, Lady of Winter, and Come Dream With Me
Joel quoted 89 / 100
Other albums by Allen - Lande that we have reviewed:
Allen - Lande - The Showdown reviewed by Erik and quoted 96 / 100
Allen - Lande - The Revenge reviewed by Marty and quoted 86 / 100
Allen - Lande - The Battle reviewed by Marty and quoted 95 / 100
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