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The Great Divide
November 2014
Released: 2014, Frontiers Records
Rating: 3.5/5
Reviewer: Waspman

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 song 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 song 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.
Track Listing

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
10) Bittersweet


Russell Allen: Vocals
Jorn Lande: Vocals
Timo Tolkki: Guitar, Bass, Keyboards
Jami Huovinen: Drums



Next review: » Allen/Lande - The Great Divide
Previous review: » Allen/Lande - The Battle

The Great Divide
November 2014
Released: 2014, Frontiers Records
Rating: 4.0/5
Reviewer: Erich

THE GREAT DIVIDE is an album that marks a new chapter for the super group Allen/Lande. Magnus Karlsson is no longer handling guitar duties, being replaced by Timo Tolkki. Tolkki has unquestionably altered the previous sound of the band, while remaining true to the overall direction. Most importantly, he has provided a soundtrack for each vocalist to shine on. Fans concerned with whether Tokki could deliver on par with Karlsson need not worry.

Album opener “Come Dream With Me” dispels all doubts about the quality of the new album. It is a melodic, connecting and memorable song with excellent guitars and vocal melodies. The two singers trade off verses often through the album and it works quite well. The guitar work is melodic but also heavy, Tolkki inserting more power metal tendencies like on “Down From The Mountain” which works well with Lande’s lead vocals. “Lady Of Winter” is a mid-paced tune that showcases Lande’s Dio-inspired skills crossed with Johnny Gieoli. Not to be outdone, Allen shows off his range on “In The Hands of Time.”

Musically this is melodic metal crossed with AOR, as most of the choruses are hook-laden and anthemic. Things do not ever move much beyond mid-paced and at the end of the day nothing is particularly heavy. However, everything is well written even though the title track ballad sacrifices some momentum. The production job from Tolkki is obsessively flawless, if a bit cold. Ultimately, it is the singers and the quality songs given to them that carry the day. Not much more to say, as fans of this project know what they are going to get and THE GREAT DIVIDE delivers.
Track Listing

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

10. Bittersweet


Russell Allen – Lead, Backing Vocals
Jørn Lande – Lead, Backing Vocals
Timo Tolkki - Guitars, Bass, Keyboards
Jami Huovinen - Drums, Percussion

Next review: » Allen/Lande - The Revenge
Previous review: » Allen/Lande - The Battle

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