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Allen-Lande – The Showdown: Review

December 15, 2010 Leave a comment Go to comments

On November 5, the long-awaited Allen-Lande album was released. It features Russell Allen (Symphony X, Star One) and Jørn Lande (Masterplan, Ark, Beyond Twilight) in a head-to-head vocal battle trying to best one another. The lyrics and music were written by the album’s multi-instrumentalist, Magnus Karlsson, and Jaime Salazar is back on drums. Little has changed with the band’s lineup, as well as the musical style. However, the quality has shown a disappointingly slight drop.

The Music (rating: B+)

  1. The Showdown
  2. Judgement Day
  3. Never Again
  4. Turn All Into Gold
  5. Bloodlines
  6. Copernicus
  7. We Will Rise Again
  8. The Guardian
  9. Maya
  10. The Artist
  11. Eternity

As earlier stated, The Showdown has a very similar feel to its predecessors. It has the might of power metal, but lacks the booming bass drumming. There are symphonic additions to give it an epic feel at times. But the main focus is obviously the dueling vocals of the two singers, Allen and Lande. Despite the music and lyrics being written by guitarist Karlsson, the attention is on the vocalists. Not much has changed since the inception of the band.

There is nothing too wrong with the album at all. The biggest minor issue would most likely be the fact that it has all been done before, and better too. The Showdown is of similar quality to The Revenge, but neither are as awe-inspiring or interesting as the debut album, The Battle. However, The Revenge has an upper-hand on this release merely because having come before The Showdown, it makes the latter of less necessity. Why listen to this new release when The Revenge is available?

Well, the main justification is that with this album you get more of the same good stuff. This is undoubtedly a solid release and a safe, enjoyable listen to fans of the band or style. The vocals are great (as expected from the all-stars) and unfortunately overshadow the well-done guitar work by Karlsson. The bass and drums are both mainly supportive, but still add to the good listening. Though the songwriting seems more basic and generally accessible in comparison to earlier releases, it is still done so in a tasteful way. There are catchy vocal lines and string arrangements, but they are not as memorable as those from The Battle. With this record, everything is done as expected by the band at a respectable level, but not at one that rivals their debut album.

All in all, The Showdown is a good release. Fortunately/unfortunately, to quote myself earlier, “you get more of the same good stuff”. Nothing is really new in this album, nor is it better. Albeit, everything is safe and quite enjoyable. However, for those who have yet to hear The Battle, this album will not be high on the priority list. Nonetheless, there are no regrets going into or coming out of this record.

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