Title: The Great DivideLabel: Frontiers Records
Great Divide' must be one of the most anticipated releases
in years, as once again the vocal might of Russell Allen and
Jorn Lande reunite, for this their fourth release.
major talking point on the net surrounding this album is the
fact that this is the first album not to feature the
songwriting and production of Magnus Karlsson, as in steps
with three critically acclaimed releases under their belts,
have Frontiers Records taken a risk on the former
Stratovarious guitarist? Well to be honest not a
chance, as Tolkki brings a certain heavier flare to this new
album. Not only does he write and produce the album,
but he also plays guitars and bass, leaving the drumming to
skinsman supreme Jami Huovinen.
album opens up in emphatic style with ‘Come Dream With
Me’ and instantly you know this album carries on the Allen
/ Lande stylings of the previous album, only this time there
is a more metal edge to proceedings, as you would expect
with Tolkki at the desk. The two giants of the Metal world
give an impressive, first class performance as ever as the
album continues with the excellent ‘Down From The
Mountain’ and the faster paced ‘In The Hands Of Time’.
mighty Tolkki brings a touch of the pomp and circumstance of
his Avalon project to the mix with the stunning ‘Solid
Ground’. A track full of soaring orchestrations, all
backed by the thunderous drums of Huovinen.
soaring anthems continue with the excellent ‘Lady Of
Winter’, before the tempo and pace are brought back up in
spades with ‘Dream About Tomorrow’. Although if I
had to pick one track from the album that really shows what
this album is all about, then it would have to be the
massive ‘The Hymn For The Fallen’. This song is
just pure power filled Melodic Metal ear-candy.
For me the album could have finished there and I would have been satisfied, but the album continues its impressive path with the towering anthem and title track ‘The Great Divide’. There is a touch more of the Melodic Metal side of things with the storming 'Reaching For The Stars’, before this superb release closes in style with the haunting ballad ‘Bittersweet’.
For those who doubted Tolkki's abilities to take up where Karlsson left off will have to eat humble pie, because this is one of the finest Melodic Metal albums you’ll hear this year, and one that take this series that one step further. All we need is for the pair to get together with a backing band and take the project to the next level with some live shows, because these songs and the previous three albums, deserve to be heard in the live arena.
Review by: Barry McMinn
Dream With Me
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