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ALLEN/LANDE The Revenge Frontiers(2007)

Symphony X's Russell Allen and Jorn Lande (Masterplan/Ark) return with a follow-up to 2005's 'The Battle'.

Magnus Karlsson (Starbreaker) again handles production, song writing and plays guitars/bass/keyboards. Of the twelve songs on here they take three apiece on their own and duet on the remaining six songs.

Like the debut the riffs come thick and fast with the opening track 'The Revenge' really hitting the spot and the vocals of Allen and Lande combine so well together, a key factor in making these albums such a hit.

'Wake Up Call' is a wondrous romp with a Thin Lizzy guitar motif, whilst Jorn Lande shows why he is so good at the slow building songs as can be heard on 'Master Of Sorrow'.

Russell's solo highlight is the hard rock meets metal of 'Obsessed'. The final track 'When Time Doesn't Heal' again sees the two vocalists' team up and produce a seminal power ballad. The clear sound and keys make for an epic listen.

Well produced throughout with some jaw-dropping guitar soloing at times, this second album is almost as strong as their debut. However, 'Just A Dream' is a bit too similar to the title track of 'The Battle'.

If you liked the first album you will love this believe you me although it is not as instant as the first album and takes a few plays to really get into the music. Hopefully there will be a third instalment.


Review by Jason Ritchie

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***** Out of this world | **** Pretty damn fine |
*** OK, approach with caution unless you are a fan |
** Instant bargain bin fodder | * Ugly. Just ugly

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