Allen - Lande - The Revenge
Frontiers Records
Melodic Hard Rock / Heavy Metal
12 songs (63'33)
Release year: 2007
Frontiers Records
Reviewed by Marty
Guitarist and very gifted songwriter Magnus Karlsson is the new "king" of melodic hard rock / heavy metal. Taking a page from such past giants in the genre such as Gary Hughes and Bob Catley, he has created some truly wonderful bodies of work including several outstanding albums with Last Tribe and his most recent project, Starbreaker. Judging by his track record, one could easily predict the outcome of his project with vocalists Russell Allen (Symphony X) and Jorn Lande (Jorn, Ark, Masterplan). The Battle released in 2005 did not disappoint and proved to be one of the best melodic hard rock albums in many, many years. The quality song writing and brilliant execution of his ideas by both Allen and Lande saw both vocalists performing at the absolute peak of their abilities and was a musical "marriage" that was made in heaven. Two years later, we get the follow up entitled The Revenge and once again we see Magnus Karlsson performing double duty as both principle songwriter and musician; playing all of the guitar, bass and keyboard parts himself. Drums are once again by Jamie Salzaar (Flower Kings) and this time around, instead of mixing the album himself, Magnus Karlsson employed the services of Dennis Ward; whose mixing style gives the album a slightly harder edged and less polished sound than The Battle.

With The Revenge, we get six tracks that are duets between Russell and Jorn as well as three solo performances from each of the two. The similarities in their voices lend very well to a duet situation as well as adding to the consistency and flow of the album for the solo tracks. The sound of The Revenge pretty much picks up where The Battle left off with it's brilliant and catchy collection of solid melodic hard rock that borders on heavy metal with occasional driving riffs and pounding heavy drum work. Soaring vocals, catchy choruses as well as very tasteful guitar work are the building blocks of this album and this time around, Magnus really cuts loose with some great scale climbing shredding lead guitar. Piano is sprinkled throughout many tracks on this album to add atmosphere and overall, it adds a nice touch of melody. Track after track, the listener is hit with melodic hard rock of the highest quality and with two of the best voices in hard rock/metal today onboard, the vocal melodies are top notch as are the choruses to just about every track on this album. The title track The Revenge uses a very tight blend of guitars and keyboards with instrumental guitar interludes and lead work that absolutely shines. Master Of Sorrow begins with a haunting piano melody but gradually builds and gets heavier with both the vocals and lead guitar work soaring with melody. Gone Too Far also uses the same sort of arrangement of quiet and heavy interludes with Wake Up Call utilizing more "tribal" sounding guitar melodies and an overall heavier feel. Under The Waves also makes amazing use of the power of piano blended with heavy riffs to create a more atmospheric track that definitely has qualities that make it stand out from the rest of the tracks. When Time Doesn't Heal finishes the album and is a very powerful power ballad sung as a duet by both Russell and Jorn.

After the first couple of listens, to me this album was simply The Battle Part II. After a few more listens, I started to focus more on the solid song writing and performances as well as the harder edge and more prominent lead guitar work. Quite a few of the tracks have a similar feel and arrangement but filler tracks are non-existent here. Favorite tracks are simply a matter of personal taste. I still like The Battle more than this one but without first hearing The Battle, this album probably would've blown me away much in the same way as The Battle did. They set the bar extremely high with that album and it would be hard to top it. The Revenge is a more than worthy successor and is another winner from this partnership between Magnus Karlsson, Russell Allen and Jorn Lande....a definite blind buy for any fan of great melodic hard rock / heavy metal.

Killing Songs :
The Revenge, Master Of Sorrow, Her Spell, Gone Too Far and Under The Waves
Marty quoted 86 / 100
Other albums by Allen - Lande that we have reviewed:
Allen - Lande - The Great Divide reviewed by Joel and quoted 89 / 100
Allen - Lande - The Showdown reviewed by Erik and quoted 96 / 100
Allen - Lande - The Battle reviewed by Marty and quoted 95 / 100
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