Allen/Olzon project has grown from another project of vocalists Russel Allen (Symphony X, Adrenaline Mob), Jorn Lande (Masterplan, Avantasia) and songwriter, guitarist and producer Magnus Karlsson (Promal Fear, Magnus Karlsson’s Free Fall) with a straightforward name Allen/Lande. This time, as it can be seen from the name, Allen and Karlsson called Anette Olzon as the second vocalist. All this resulted in an album called Worlds Apart.
To be honest, Anette’s appearing in this album was quite surprising: not a long time ago her band The Dark Element released their second album and she also told for many times that she is working as a nurse and her work takes most of her time. Ok, let’s put aside all these speculations and go to the album.
The half of Worlds Apart is a duo from Allen and Olzon, while another half of it divided equally between the vocalists: in three songs there is only Russel’s vocal, in another there – Anette’s solely. There is no claim on the songs where two vocalists sing together: Allen’s powerful, emotional voice contrasts greatly with tender and a little bit sad Olzon’s voice. But the songs, which they sing alone… It’s quite not understandable what are they doing here and what exactly connects them besides the project name. All in all it came out some kind of half-split, half-compilation.
“Hey, cut the crap! – will scream the reader indignantly and will be totally right, – What about the music?” Well, Worlds Apart is greatly produced and qualitative work. There is lots of symphony and keyboards, tough guitar riffs played frequently, some interesting solos here and there, epicness alternates with tragedy – sounds good, isn’t it? But don’t let it fool you: Worlds Apart is a Modern Metal with cheesy melodies and some poppy motives; all the other things are just add-ins.
The other problem of this album is its predictability. If you heard intro-verse-chorus, you heard the whole song and for rare exceptions it will not surprise you.
Nevertheless, there are certainly some good things in an album. “I’ll Never Leave You” sounds really solid, with heavy guitar sound, reminding Once from Nightwish. “Lost Soul” is also remembered with tough riff, which emphasized with symphony and melodic, catchy chorus. And in “One More Chance” Magnus Karlsson delivers an interesting guitar solo, like Yngwie Malmsteen redefines Shash’s solo from “November Rain”.
Anyway, I can’t call this album bad. Those who liked previous Allen/Lande albums will definitely like this album too. Delain and Nightwish fans or just those who love female-fronted bands will like it either. But the aforementioned predictability and some poppy melodies, even covered with symphony, don’t allow to the album to be something outstanding. Well, like one nuclear engineer said, “not great, not terrible”.
Worlds Apart will be released on March, 6 via Frontiers Music srl.
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