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The Great Divide
Released: 2014, Frontiers Records
After three enjoyable albums lead by the song writing talents of Magnus Karlsson (Primal Fear, solo, Last Tribe, etc. etc.), the Allen / Lande project has a new ship’s captain: none other than Mr. Timo Tolkki. Of course, THE GREAT DIVIDE is still a showcase for the vocal talents of Russell Allen (Symphony X, Adrenaline Mob), and Jorn Lande (solo work and a million other bands), so those that enjoyed the previous albums need not fear.
As soon as “Come Dream With Me” begins, the change from Karlsson to Tolkki is obvious – the songs is pure mid-paced Timo Tolkki, like you’ve heard on any album he’s done since the mid-‘90s. A listen through the rest of the album bears this notion out as well – THE GREAT DIVIDE is basically a Timo Tolkki album with Allen and Lande singing. That’s not a bad thing though, as Tolkki’s writing on this album is actually quite a bit better than on his last solo album (ANGELS OF THE APOCALYPSE). The one-two punch of up-tempo ass kickers “Down From the Mountain” and “In the Hands of Time” are excellent, and the type of songs that I want to hear more of from Tolkki. There are a few clunkers (ballads), particularly towards the back end of the album, but the uniformly outstanding singing from the co-lead vocalists keeps things interesting throughout.
If you’re a fan of either of these vocalists’ previous work, then I have no doubt that you will enjoy THE GREAT DIVIDE. Similarly, Tolkki’s fans will find much to revel in here. I would love to hear these three collaborate on more albums; even share some of the writing as the potential is spectacular. Even if they don’t work together after this, this album is definitely worth power metal fans’ time.
1) Come Dream With Me
2) Down From the Mountain
3) In the Hands of Time
4) Solid Ground
5) Lady of Winter
6) Dream About Tomorrow
7) Hymn to the Fallen
8) The Great Divide
9) Reaching for the Stars
Russell Allen: Vocals
Jorn Lande: Vocals
Timo Tolkki: Guitar, Bass, Keyboards
Jami Huovinen: Drums
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