Russell Allen / Jorn Lande - The Battle

Russell Allen / Jorn Lande The Battle cover
Russell Allen / Jorn Lande
The Battle
Frontiers Records
This is a project I’ve been waiting for long – by the actual time of the announcement to be honest. You see, both singers are among my favourite ones in the 90s and 00s and I’ve been looking forward to listening to their collaboration... away from the norms of their formal bands. And I can tell you that my expectations this time have been met – not to say that the result is even beyond expectations. What is even more important? The fact that the two talented vocalists have differentiated the style of this musical labour in comparison to the approach they follow with their bands... something that proves that the release has a serious reason of existence and is not the typical “project-earning machine”, which follows suit what the musicians produce with their regular bands.
For those who might not know the two artists, I can only say that Russell Allen is the vocalist of one of the best, pioneering and intelligent bands of progressive metal, Symphony X (a band that has released only masterpieces). Jorn Lande made a break with the exceptional, astonishing, personal favourite, unearthly, inhuman band Ark. Then he formed with x-Helloween members the band Masterplan, which produced two very good power metal albums in the past couple of years.
The two talented musicians are accompanied here by Last Tribe’s guitarist Magnus Karlsson, who seems to “bind” with both of them, creating thus a magical chemistry. What kind of music the band plays?? Well, I can only call it melodic metal/rock. A mixture of melodic rock, fit in metal forms, with very catchy refrains, amazing melodies and above all (as expected) impressive vocal lines. The whole outcomes seems to be very modern, largely thanks to the flawless production by Anders “Theo” Theander (Pain Of Salvation, Last Tribe, Urban Tale). I can seriously tell you that this is possibly the best melodic rock album of the year. However you shouldn’t mistake its sound with those of bands like Journey, Harem Scarem etc. This here is... melodic hard rock, that is highly related to the metal legacy of Masterplan (it couldn’t have been much different taken the background of the two musicians).
Extra credit for the wonderful cover and artwork, designed by Rodney Matthews, the legendary painter who created Magnum’s “On A Storyteller’s Night”, Diamond Head’s “Borrowed Time” (with Elric of Melnibone), Asia’s “Aqua” and “Arena”, Praying Mantis’ “Time Tells No Lies”. A must buy for everyone.