Allen Lande - The Revenge
There are good albums and then there are great albums. Then there's this tiny little echelon of cds that fall into true masterpiece territory. Vocalists Russel Allen and Jorn Lande's collaboration with the brilliant songwriter/guitarist Magnus Karlsson was one of those rare discs that achieved such acclaim. Their feverishly awaited followup, "The Revenge" was expected to follow in its footsteps up the stairway of true greatness. At first glance, it fails. "The Battle" was a streamlined, gorgeous work that oozed quality from every musical pore. Thunderous, theatrical, bold and brilliant... the adjectives pour forth for all aspects of the album. The vocals, the song structures, the musicianship, the entire thing fell together with such perfection that it was a metalhead's dream. "The Revenge" shares similiar aspirations but is not as instantaneous as "The Battle" was. And therein lies its beauty. The difficult to pinpoint element that separates it from the previous disc yet aligns it squarely as its successor.

"The Revenge" is still technical, with the mesmerizing twin leads of Russel Allen and Jorn Lande. Both of whom deliver some of the best vocals of their respective careers. The guitars are sharp, creative and biting, weaving in and out of song structures that pull from the pomp of power metal, the technical excellence of progressive, the catchiness of melodic rock and a sense of cohesive structure that is a direct delivery from pure hard rock. Powerful combinations, and the resulting disc is one that manages to keep the banner flying while living up to its promise of greatness. It just takes a little longer for the listener to get there on this journey. And perhaps a few songs sound a bit too much alike for their own good, but the quality... there's no denying it.

Dennis Ward mixed the disc this time instead of the duties being handled by Karlsson and that gives it a more "rock" finish but still lets all the technical bits shine through. It lends it a rawness that the first album did not have. It was slickened to a perfection shine. But somehow this new production approach allows the album to breathe through all the progressive pieces that are scattered throughout. Keyboards are hot and heavy, volcanic and spewing forth for a polished, yet emotional touches. The album keeps drawing you back into its web, the vocals running through the paths of your mind, calling the listener to come partake in its magic once again. Many of the songs never seem to exhaust their welcome, others become familiar and fade, but several such as the two final cuts, are always a sheer exhilarating joy to spin again.

The disc is a long running one, twelve tracks in all. Six tracks are shared by the two singers and the other six are split evenly between the two. This is a clever way of presenting the disc, as it allows one to hear how well matched these two voices are paired together, but also gives the chance of seeing just how magnificent they are individually.

There is so much to love here, but its when Jorn and Russel are both on hand, sharing a song like its a musical battlefield, that the project feels its brushing closest to true perfection. The opener, titled "The Revenge" does just that. Its a powerful, rippling piece that resonates with an epic flourish and a devious opening. A tender piano, so soft and thrilling is just a lull in the furor that is bristling to break loose. The last two tracks are especially of note. "Who Can You Trust" is a smooth harsh rocker and "When Time Doesn't Heal" rips out your heart, sets it on fire and then dumps gasoline on it for good measure. It is so devoured by the fires of emotion that it becomes a ballad that burns. "Wake Up Call" is dynamic and pompous, a feature piece that utilizes both of these singers for maximum impact and then lavishly slathers on this chorus that is an instant killer. This is how metal should be created.

Jorn's solo excursion of "Her Spell" is a chancy catch and equally wicked, much like the call of the succubus that this song describes. A real man eater that entwines her victims by using the feminine whiles. Jorn lets loose on the track with nothing held back. You could imagine he had been tricked once before by an enchantress. "Master of Sorrow" stirs up the ghosts of his days channeling David Coverdale in The Snakes. A soulful, luscious ballad that is closely tied to its heavy bluesy rock roots. Russel breaks out on "Will You Follow" and the imaginative melodic powerhouse in the sing-a-long "Just a Dream", the latter shared with Lande as well. "Just a Dream" is a revelation, awakening the love of metal in hearts that have wandered from the fold. It brings you right back in, swift and powerfully stirring. Allen goes it solo for "Obsessed" as well, which has darker roots and his deep throaty voice of precision leaves a clean cut through the song. Symphony X fans will be on the edge of their seat. You can feel the frightening depth of this obsession that rules his life, and the awesome break for the chorus.

"The Revenge" is metal as it was meant to be heard. Trembling in passion, terrifying in its thunderous visions of epic grandeur, bolted to reality and left to daydream of the future. There is a metallic thrill at its heart, and you can clearly hear the careful, measured pieces being laid out masterfully by its creator even in the simplest of tracks here. Some might still lay claim to "The Battle" being the superior result of this project, but where the previous album was instant and lovely, "The Revenge" continues to grow and linger at the edges of your mind. This is an album that truly skirts the edges of perfection. Allen/Lande's second collaboration is just as enthralling as the first, and as time will tell truth of it, perhaps even holding an even more enduring spell.

Written by Alanna
Sunday, June 10, 2007
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Ratings

Alanna: 9/10

Members: 8.62/10 - Average of 4 ratings.



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Profile pictureModulator

Rating: 9/10
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This profile has not added a picturePombo

Rating: 9/10
only two words can describe it - "AMAZING". hehe!!... · Read more ·
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Rating: 8.5/10
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Rating: 8/10
I waited for this release to arrive like a child for Christmas. It does grow on you and... · Read more ·

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RevelationZ Comments


Comment by Little Drummer Boy (Anonymous) - Thursday, June 21, 2007
Magnus Karlsson just keeps pumping out projects that are gold. W/ BATTLE, "Where have the Angels Gone" was the clear cut fav on that one. Nothing wrong with that since it was still a outstanding project. With REVENGE however I have yet to find a fav one on it for the simple fact it is such a compelling release! Upon 1st listen I feel that THE REVENGE is following in the same footsteps of true greatness along side of BATTLE. I really can't say more regarding THE REVENGE as you seamed to cover it all in this passionate indepth review.

On another note: I can only think of 4 other artist that have pulled off continuing releases of compelling story lines from one CD to the next. Shadow Gallery (however was not released sequentially), Rhapsody, King Diamond and Kamelot. If I have missed anoyone that have released fantastic continuing sagas let me know because I will pick it up.


Review by Tommy (Member) - Sunday, June 10, 2007
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Comments: 74
Ratings: 31
I waited for this release to arrive like a child for Christmas.

It does grow on you and there is a strange charm to it's less accessible flow, but I'm missing a handful of "out of this world" tracks that the first one had (Wish For A Miracle, Where Have The Angels Gone, Come Alive, Reach A Little Longer)

Favourites on this one include the energized Wake Up Call, which is truly spectacular, the mystic Under The Waves, the groovy title track and the tear dropping When Time Doesn't Heal while the dual vocal attack in Just A Dream sends shivers down my spine (second verse = wow!).
Overall quality is top notch even though Will You Follow and Her Spell never really gets the magic flowing.

Some really heavy guitar riffs to enjoy too with Obsessed and Who Can You Trust as the most obvious crushing examples.

The production and performance is a joy all through and I recommend both these two discs for fans of melodic Metal/Rock. This project is one of the best things that has happened in a long time.

Rating: 8/10

Posted by Tommy
Sunday, June 10, 2007

Review by Pombo (Member) - Tuesday, August 11, 2009
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Comments:
Ratings: 2
only two words can describe it - "AMAZING". hehe!!

Rating: 9/10

Posted by Pombo
Tuesday, August 11, 2009










Review by Alanna

Released by
Frontiers Records - 2007

Tracklisting
1. The Revenge
2. Obsessed
3. Victory
4. Master Of Sorrow
5. Will You Follow
6. Just A Dream
7. Her Spell
8. Gone Too Far
9. Wake Up Call
10. Under The Waves
11. Who Can You Trust
12. When Time Doesn't Heal


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Style
Metal/hard rock

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