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Allen / Lande The Revenge Frontiers Records
FRCD333
· Produced By: Magnus Karlsson

· Running Time: 63.33

· Release Date: Out Now

· Released:

· Musical Style: Melodic Meal

· Links: Frontiers
94%
Songs: 94%
Sound: 94%
You could be forgiven for thinking the Allen / Lande debut would be a one-off project. After all, the vast majority of these all-start projects are just that.
But credit too all involved – they are back for more and have the potential to start a true franchise here, as long as mainstay Magnus Karlsson can continue to deliver the songwriting and musical performance that has now delivered two great albums.
Singers Russell Allen and Jorn Lande of course are the icing on the cake. They mesh together perfectly – at times taking songs themselves, but for at least half the record, their vocals are entwined beautifully, creating a rich vocal tapestry for the listener to untwine thread by thread as they get to know the songs.
The debut was an almost perfect album. Powerful, emotional and extremely melodic for such a typically metal styled release.
The Revenge picks up from where the debut left off, using the same blueprint of power and melody, but at the same time it is also a little different – a little unique in its own way.
First of all, the sound is a little less melodic, less polished than the very slick debut and the production is also a little different. Dennis Ward mixed this record – to his usual high standards I might add – but that gives it a slightly different vibe than the debut, which was handled all in-house by Karlsson.
The songs this time around are less instant and less driven by soaring choruses. They are a little more complex and the record requires more time to get to know than the fairly immediate debut. It could be argued that from start to finish this record is missing a couple of bigger stand out tracks and perhaps a few more brilliant choruses.
But once again there are some absolute classic songs here and tremendous performances by all, but I think overall, the songwriting doesn't quite match the near perfection of the first release. For me, the album really kicks in with the powerful and utterly fabulous rock ballad Master Of Sorrow, sung by Jorn.
Preceeding that The Revenge and Victory (as good as they are) are very similar to what was already served up on the debut and the Russell Allen sung hard rocker Obsessed doesn't have the knockout hook to drive it home.
But following the ballad it really gets interesting. The double time intensity and raspy vocal from Allen on Will You Follow is great and builds a platform to even heavier and more intense duet Just A Dream, which is as good as anything from either album.
Jorn goes it alone again for Her Spell, which continues to impress, and Allen delivers maybe his best individual vocal of the two albums on the classic mixed tempo Gone Too Far.
Then there is the urgent and powerful anthemic rocker Wake Up Call, the track that blows the album apart with two dynamic performances and a maybe the best chorus of the record.
The Jorn sung Under The Waves is a little more reserved, but still a strong melodic metal track in typical Jorn fashion.
The guys re-unite in tandem for the album's last 2 songs. Who Can You Trust rolls along effortlessly, adding a little muscle to the album's sound and a strong chorus underlined by a double kick drum beat.
When Time Doesn't Heal is nothing sort of magic. Heralded by Karlsson as the best ballad he ever wrote, it could be just that. Both Jorn and Russell pour their emotions into the song which builds through its 6 minute running time to close the album with a fitting conclusion.
The Bottom Line
A little different perhaps, but not too far removed from the classic debut and while it may not quite be as strong a record as that, it is still head and shoulders above most other releases out there in the market place and is of course an essential purchase for all fans of the melodic metal genre, the two vocalists involved and mastermind Magnus Karlsson. I will anticipate album number three with continued enthusiasm!
Discography / Previously Reviewed
· The Battle
· The Revenge

Line Up:
· Jorn Lande & Russell Allen: Vocals
· Magnus Karlsson: Guitar, Bass, Keyboards
· Jaime Salazar: Drums

Essential For Fans Of:
· Masterplan
· Symphony X
· Starbreaker
· Last Tribe
Track Listing
· The Revenge *
· Obsessed
· Victory
· Master Of Sorrow *
· Will You Follow
· Just A Dream *
· Her Spell *
· Gone Too Far *
· Wake Up Call *
· Under The Waves
· Who Can You Trust
· When Time Doesn't Heal *

--*Best Tracks


05/09/07: Peter - sudfryslan@yahoo.com
Rating: 60
What the hell is wrong with this album... the sound is perfect, the musicians are all great...but the songs are just plain boring. The first album was perfect but except for the sound production The Revenge lacks about everything, it' s all more or less in the same tone, drags on without real inspiration.

It´s time for Jorn to get back to Masterplan.

The 60 rating is just for the great sound quality.

31/07/07: Edu - liquidsky@bol.com.br
Rating: 95
Just as good as the 1st album... very heavy with melody, what more do u want? Fantastic! Jorn is the best!

30/05/07: Figge - anderssonfigge@hotmail.com
Rating: 89
This is a solid piece of work but I was expecting more. A little more complex, heavier and more intense than the first album. I miss the infectious melodies, hooks and especially the instantly memorable choruses. A very good album well above average and at times you can hear/feel the magic of "The Battle" but not often enough. Some songs works better than others.

Best songs: Master Of Sorrow, Just A Dream and Wake Up Call.

23/05/07: sachmo3 - sachmo3@yahoo.com
Rating: 96
Glad I gave this a few spins before contributing a review! Initially, I was disappointed in the relative lack of instantly recognizable choruses of the debut's Come Alive, Ask You Anyway, Wish for a Miracle, etc. Having listened to this for a week, I believe this is a bit stronger than the debut - lead/rhythm guitars are more sophisticated throughout and Russell's and Jorn's vocals are much more true to form. Where on the debut they were a bit reserved in their vocals, here they sing truer to their respective Symphony X (Russell) and Masterplan (Jorn) alter egos. And finally, after a few spins, the songs from 1 to 12 are quite simply consistently better than on the debut. I'll be listening to this for a long time and look forward to #3!

21/05/07: restless one - rocksteady.com
Rating: 93
" Master of Sorrow" is the standout song, and by far the BEST on The Revenge.

21/05/07: Dave - zothyria@hotmail.de
Rating: 99
This album is just awesome! Jorn Lande's voice is better than ever and the shredding is masterful as on the debut. What I love on this album is the ability to create very melodic songs without ever drifting into AOR (which I do not like too much). Just listen to Master of Sorrow - a type of power ballad, miles away from any kitsch. This album clearly beats the debut which I loved as well and I just hope they will release at least a 3rd one. Anyone loving a slightly softer type of Masterplan with Lande will get addicted to this album. Essential!

19/05/07: Michel - strutr@hotmail.com
Rating: 0
Great album, naturally everything that jorn does is great, it took me a bit longer then the other album to appréciate the melodie, my feverate track are the revenge, her spell (did you hear the melodie in the solo Woah !!)but mainly i like the album all the way through

19/05/07: Andreas - tagesreise@aol.com
Rating: 85
Great Tracks: "Wake up Call" (it was a big mistake! not to choose this track as the CD-opener, because also the song-name aside its great hookline-quality would have fitted perfect), "Gone Too Far", "Victory" and "When Time doesn´t heal".

The song "The Revenge" in Comparison with "Wake up Call" is a stable and somehow good song but not a track that catches your interest and attention towards this CD. In the worst case listeners will press the open-button during their first listen in CD-Shops and not figure out the great tracks that are to come later on.

The positive "shock" of the CD-debut of Lande & Russel was that 4 or 5 Killertracks were placed in a sequence 1 - 2 - 3 - 4 - 5. All Killers!

On this new output you have to search!!! for the best songs. But they are there! Surely the debut was an edge stronger - but show me one other album of 2007 with this hookline-quality of "Wake up Call", "Gone Too Far", "Victory" and "When Time doesn´t heal".

19/05/07: Sava - svemirski_modulator@yahoo.com
Rating: 86
Great album but debut was much better!

18/05/07: Scott - scottatomicman@hotmail.com
Rating: 95
WOW This is a great album , i agree that it takes a wee bit longer to get into compaired to the battle but growers are always the best albums anyway:) There´s a whole bunch of great tunes here , my favs at the moment are :- The Revenge,Victory,Master of Sorrow (best track here imo) , Just a Dream,Her Spell (love the guitar solo here!),Gone too far (Russell´s best tune here!),Wake up call (brilliantly different sounding!),Under the Waves and the final epic ballad When time doesn´t heal . Jorn as always is absolutely outstanding on this cd and the other guys put in a great performance too:)

16/05/07: JasonR - papa_bear70@hotmail.com
Rating: 90
Not as instant as the debut and yes it does sound very similar at times to songs on the debut but the sheer vocal talent and smooth production make this another winner.
Whether 'd like a third album like this is another matter...

16/05/07: muadebe - bowlingjunkiemt@yahoo.com
Rating: 95
The first few spins I thought that maybe this was not nearly as good as The Battle. Of course it was still easy to listen to over and over again. The more I listened, the more it grew on me. I started hearing subtleties in the music. My favorite song would be a particular song, then a different song, pretty soon I was looking forward to each song. Currently really into Wake Up Call and Under The Waves. Every song is solid. As good as the first disc easily, the difference is the first disc sounded great on the first spin The Revenge grows. I hope they do another!

14/05/07: cutter - cutter33_us@yahoo.com
Rating: 90
If not for the horrible 2nd song "Obsessed", this would be almost perfect. The songs are a bit heavier than "The Battle" and i think more instantly "memorable". The guitar solos on this are SMOKING!!! I had no idea Magnus Karlson could shred like this. The best tracks are "Master of sorrows","When time doesn't heal", "Under the waves", "Gone too far", "Who can you trust" "Victory" and "MY revenge". Much better album than "The Battle". Congrats Jorn and Russell and Magnus!!

14/05/07: backbone - nalle1964@hotmail.com
Rating: 60
I don't agree with the review at all, I expected much more from these guys.
The songs are nothing special, only 2 good songs in my opinion.
and the performance is not bad but not spectacular either,

14/05/07: Wardys3 - micktward@ozemail.com.au
Rating: 89
IMO this rates the same as the debut. Although The Revenge has less shine and to some degree fewer classic and singalong chorus' where it has made up some ground is in the darkness of the songs and overall heavier approach. For me this is fine as enjoying the heavier side of Jorn in particular (Masterplan/Ark) this is more to my liking.

Main complaint is the obvious attempt at reproducing The Battle with lead song and title track being a complete rip off of much of The Battle album. Seriously I can't imagine how either Lande or Allen could have sung this without tripping over their own lyrics and melody come chorus time by singing the wrong song.

But things improve and there are some real highlights here to chew on... Master of Sorrow reaks of ballad of the year and is incredibly sung by Lande, Allen kicks ass on the stomping Just a Dream, best song IMO goes to Wake Up Call which showcases both singers at their best, Under the Waves is a great number as is Will you Follow.

So overall this is as strong as the debut but likely won't get the votes the debut got due to a little less shine etc, and the fact that it doesn't have the advantage the debut had of being released upon an uneducated audience.

The second album syndrome? Nup, this is great MELODICROCK and how this genre should be. Put it up there with the debut and the Leverage album and the Masterplan stuff. Highly recommended!


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