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Russell Allen
Atomic Soul
June 2005
Released: 2005, InsideOut Music
Rating: 4.0/5
Reviewer: Waspman

As vocalist for prog-metal heavyweights Symphony X, Russell Allen stands as one of the most respected vocalists in metal. The man’s powerful roar is perfectly suited to the formidable bombast of that band. No doubt, that is how most people view Mr. Allen – a prog-metal vocalist, and nothing else. This fact is no doubt part of the reason why he has chosen to spread his solo wings with ATOMIC SOUL – to show, both his other musical passions, as well as his full ability.

For sure, ATOMIC SOUL is going to shock the fans who are only accustomed to Russell’s prog-metal work. From the first blasting chords of “Blackout” (not a Scorpions cover), it is apparent that this disc will have nothing whatsoever to do with his day job. A slashing bluesy rocker, “Blackout” perfectly sets the stage for what is to come. Namely, the album is chock full of anthemic, powerful blues-tinged hard rock/metal songs, reaching mostly to the 70s for inspiration. You will hear bits & pieces of a number of bands, ranging from Lynyrd Skynyrd, to Led Zeppelin, to Bad Company, all the way up to (and especially) the mighty Badlands (allow me to take a moment here to give a big “FUCK YOU!” to the cocksucker who stole my copy of their debut – choke and die you fuckwad). Needless to say, this is about as far away from Symphony X as you can get without rapping.

Some highlights include the hard edged mystery of “Voodoo Hand”, the angry speed of “Seasons of Insanity” (Allen really shines on this one), and the victorious “We Will Fly”. As per usual for a solo album, there are a couple of clunkers, but the good far outweighs the bad on this album. Throw in some typically excellent performances from Allen’s Symphony X band mate Michael Romeo and the other guest musicians, and you get nothing less than an excellent 50 minutes of music. So even if you’re not a fan of Allen’s fulltime band, ATOMIC SOUL might just be worth checking out.
Track Listing

1. Blackout
2. Unjustified
3. Voodoo Hand
4. Angel
5. The Distance
6. Seasons of Insanity
7. Gaia
8. Loosin’ You
9. Saucey Jack
10. We Will Fly
11. Atomic Soul

Lineup

Russell Allen - Vocals, Guitar, Bass & Keyboards
Robert Nelson - Drums
Michael Romeo - Guitar
Michael Pinella - Keyboards
Jens Johansson - Keyboards
Jason Freudberg - Guitar
Larry Salvatore - Bass

Contact

N/A


Next review: » Russell Allen - Atomic Soul
Previous review: » Russell Allen - Atomic Soul

Russell Allen
Atomic Soul
October 2005
Released: 2005, Inside Out
Rating: 4.0/5
Reviewer: Anders Sandvall

This is the first solo album from the Symphony X singer Russell Allen. He finds his musical inspiration in Rainbow, DIO, Led Zeppelin and Black Sabbath but also from Badlands, Alice in Chains and Soundgarden. He has tried to combine all these influenced into one album and I can tell you that he has managed to do a brilliant album. The whole idea with this album was to make a pure rock album that shows off his roots and where he comes from but also to make music he haven’t heard for a while.



I’ve only heard a few songs with Russell’s main band but I can tell you that if you expect this to sound as Symphony X you’re deadly wrong because this is heavy 70’s hardrock and nothing else. The music is based on really heavy guitar riffs along with numerous of tempo changing in all of the songs.



Russell has recorded this album in the Dungeon Studio where Symphony X have recorded most of their albums. Russell is responsible for the production and he has created a perfect production that really fits the music perfect. He’s put the main focus on the heavy guitars and his excellent lead vocals, and if he decides to stop singing he can easily earn his way of living as a producer.



Russell is a multitalented artist, besides signing and producing he also plays guitar, bass and keyboards as well as written and arranged all of the 11 tracks on the album.



He’s a terrific song writer and all of the songs are each and everyone little masterpieces on 3 to 8 minutes. I’ve listened to this album for a while and it’s only getting better, it’s absolutely an album that’s going to last for a really long time.



There’s nothing remotely negative regarding this album, it feels like Russell have worked really hard with this album and it sure have paid off because this is altogether, eventhough I’m not so into 70’s retro hardrock, an outstanding album.
Track Listing

Tracklist
Blackout
Unjustified
Voodoo Hand
Angel
The Distance
Seasons Of Insanity
Gaia
Loosin’ You
Saucey Jack
We Will Fly
Atomic Soul

Lineup

Russell Allen – lead vocals, bass, guitars, keyboards
Robert Nelson – drums

Contact

N/A


Next review: » Rwake - Voices of Omens
Previous review: » Russell Allen - Atomic Soul





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