Frontiers Records [Release date 20.10.14]
Russell Allen and Jorn Lande return under the Allen-Lande moniker after a four year absence with “The Great Divide”. This time around however, song writing and guitars are courtesy of one Timo Tolkki…hmm…this bit worries me after his recent Avalon project failed to live up to my expectations.
Jorn Lande has been fairly prolific over the last few years with a string of excellent albums released under his own name whereas Russell Allen’s band Symphony X have been fairly quiet with only the heavy “Iconoclast” to show.
Things kick off in typical Tolkki fashion with Come Dream With Me but the vocals on display raise it to a higher level. Down From The Mountain and In The Hands Of Time follow in similar fashion.
Lady Of Winter is one of the best songs on display here reminding me of a Dio-era Rainbow ballad. Dream About Tomorrow has a very neo-classical feel to it and could also be a “metal” hymn for want of a better analogy…
Hymn To The Fallen is an absolute classic with highly emotive performances all around…even at a good five minutes plus the end comes too soon.
Title track The Great Divide in an epic in all senses of the word and Bitter Sweet wraps things up nicely from its vocal only opening through the bombast of the chorus and back again.
After a sluggish start “The Great Divide” turns into an excellent album and my doubts about Tolkki’s involvement were slowly pushed under the carpet after repeated listens. The quality of the songs improves as the album goes on and the shared vocals of Sir Russell Allen and Jorn cannot be faulted at all.
Better than I dared to hope… ****
Review by Phil Berisford
The latest Josh Taerk live session was streamed on Sunday 26 September. This marked the start of a new monthly series. Josh’s next session is Sunday 31 October.
David Randall presents a weekly show on Get Ready to ROCK! Radio, Sundays at 22:00 BST (GMT+1, repeated on Mondays and Fridays), when he invites listeners to ‘Assume The Position’. This show was first broadcast on 26 September 2021 and includes the Top 10 albums at www.getreadytorock.com for that week.
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Featured Albums w/c 18 October 2021 (Mon-Fri)
09:00-12:00 TAO Prophecy (Tarot Label Media)
12:00-13:00 LEVERAGE Above The Beyond (Frontiers)
14:00-16:00 JOE TILSTON Tightrope (Our Records)
Power Plays w/c 18 October 2021 (Mon-Fri)
ABOVE SNAKES Nothing To Lose (indie)
FRANKIE AND THE WITCH FINGERS Cookin’ (Greenway Records)
LEADFINGER The Fall Of Rome (Golden Robot)
FEMEGADES Stealing Numbers (Regent Street Records)
TIGERSIDE Any Contact (indie)
INDYA Love Like Champagne (indie)
EDGE OF DESTINY Forsaken (indie)
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