ALLEN/LANDE - The Great Divide (Pre-View)

Friday, September 5, 2014
Russell Allen and Jorn Lande team for their forth partnership with the album The Great Divide.
To be honest, I wasn’t looking forward to this, even with the first three albums from the duo all ranking highly in my reviews and my great fondness for mastermind/songwriter/guitarist/producer Magnus Karlsson.
One reason is because Magnus is not involved in this at all. And secondly because taking over from him is Timo Tolkki, who has recently delivered two poorly received Avalon projects, both falling short with production as well as song writing.
Now I don’t have the writing credits for this album yet, but I do know that Timo produced and mixed it and he’s on the way to redeeming himself.
Despite missing that full frontal audio assault that Magnus gives us with his guitars and production, The Great Divide still manages to pack a good punch thanks to a tight Dennis Ward mix.
It’s well produced and is almost as heavy as its predecessors. Guitars still rule the day.
Vocally the album is every bit as impressive as Jorn and Russell deliver their usually high standard in vocals. There is less interplay between the two singers overall, but it’s great to hear both singing quality material with gusto.
Timo also delivers in the songwriting department. There’s some great melodic metal gems here.
You’ve already heard the opening track Come Dream With Me (, and some additional snippets via
That track is a pretty good indication of what’s to come on the record. There is some blistering rockers in Dream About Tomorrow, In The Hands Of Time and The Hymn To The Fallen.
Mid-tempo ear rattlers like Lady Of Winter and Solid Ground show off the guys at their very best and then there’s a huge metal ballad to close the album Bitter Sweet.
So lots to look forward to here. I’m going to spend some additional time with it before my final review, but initial fears have certainly been laid to rest.
The album is out October 17 in Europe and October 21 in North America. Pre-order from Amazon: