Russell Allen is a name that is synonymous with powermetal. He is the voice behind projects that have produced some amazing albums. Symphony X, Allen/Lande, and Adrenaline Mob just to name a few. Next, you add in Swedish guitarist, songwriter, and producer Magnus Karlsson (Primal Fear, Magnus Karlsson’s Free Fall). Finally, you add in Anette Olzon (ex-Nightwish, The Dark Element). The final product is called Allen/Olzon, and their debut album is called Worlds Apart.
Worlds Apart starts with “Never Die,” a song that’s introduction could come right from the opening scene of a sci-fi movie. Your body floating amongst the stars with zero gravity, empty space surrounding you as the song’s introduction fades. The orchestration intensifies, and you begin to free-fall to an ever-increasing drum beats as the guitar is added to the mix. Now Russell Allen’s voice can be decerned. The pairing of the music and his voice fit perfectly together. The guitar solo begins four minutes into the song and it has hints of “Looks that Kill” by Motley Crue in it. The song comes to an end and the free fall is over but the journey has just begun.
It is not until the next track “Worlds Apart” that Olzon’s voice appears for the first time. The beauty and strength of her voice complement Allen’s as they sing in sync together throughout the album. “Worlds Apart” serves as audio foreshadowing for the rest of the album.
As the album continues it becomes difficult to pin down a specific song that stands out more than any other song. This is the sign of a great album. Instead, compare Worlds Apart to a road trip to your favorite places in life. There are the winding turns that you feel the pace slow to account for the turns. Then you hit a straight stretch and your speed naturally increases as you let the beat and passion of the music take you faster and faster. Regardless of speed, it is the journey that makes Worlds Apart a memorable experience. When the pace of a song slows, the beauty of their voices carries the song, and conversely as the beat increases their voices flow in harmonious splendor with the instrumental life beats.
The auditory voyage Worlds Apart by Allen/Olzon will be available on March 6, 2020, via Frontiers Music. Be sure to add this one to your journey as you continue through 2020. You find yourself referencing it throughout the year as one of the best.