Power of Metal.dk Review

The Great Divide
Style: Hard Rock
Release date: 17 October , 2014
Playing time: 40:31

The dynamic vocal duo; Jorn Lane (Masterplan, Jorn, Avantasia) and Russell Allen (Symphony X, Adrenaline Mob) is back with a new album entitled 'The Great Divide' and this time the production has made a major difference in it's formula, songwriting and production. This time is taken care of by Timo Tolkki, the former Stratovarius member. The three previous albums (The Battle 2005, The Revenge 2007 and The Showdown 2010) had another Nordic guitarist as the big engine and a big reason for the big success. Off course I am talking about the multi talented Swedish guitar player and songwriter Magnus Karlsson (Primal Fear, Last Tribe, Starbreaker).

Magnus Karlsson is one of my absolute favourite guitarists and he is also one helluva songwriter and this maneuver with replacing Magnus towards Timo created some (read big) skepticism from me. My negative reflections first: The sound picture is little different and the guitar parts haven't the same high quality skills as before and Timo's Finnish power metal touch shines through now and then and it doesn't feel as rock solid and tight as on the previous Allen/Lande albums. The positive stuff: Jorn sings better than he has done in years and in comparison to his own solo productions this album is far more enjoyable and digestible. Russell is the stronger vocalist of the two (in my world anyway) and Russell seems to have lesser singing time on this album than the big Norwegian vocal powerhouse.

The tracks feels very tailored to each singer and the variation in the songs feels quite interesting. My anticipated doubts are not fulfilled, no this album holds a passed with distinction level. Timo's previous two lukewarm albums are the 2 poorly received Avalon projects, both falling productionwise as well as song writing-wise, but nothing is recognizable here - this sounds more alert. With two awesome and powerful vocalists together with blazing guitars, most tracks are worth buying. There are some tracks, which stands out on the album like; 'Dream About Tomorrow', 'In the Hands of Time,' 'Come Dream with Me' and 'The Hymn to the Fallen'.

In the mid-tempo tunes like 'Lady of Winter' and 'Solid Ground', the guys show off their very best and then there’s a brilliant metal ballad (Bittersweet), which closes the album.

Surprisingly strong disc that will appeal to many rock/metal fans.
Line up:
Jorn Lande: vocals
Russell Allen: vocals
Timo Tolkki: guitars, bass, keyboards
Jami Huovinen: drums

Produced by Timo Tolkki

01. Come Dream with Me
Down from the Mountain
In the Hands of Time
Solid Ground
Lady of Winter
Dream about Tomorrow
The Hymn to the Fallen
The Great Divide
Reaching for the Stars
Label: Frontiers Records
Distribution: Target (Denmark)
Artwork rating: 89/100
Reviewed by: Patrik J Skoglund
Date: 15 October, 2014
Website: www.frontiers.it/album/5219