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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

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