Allen/Lande – ‘The Showdown’
Released through Frontiers Records in 2011
Jorn Lande: vocals
Russell Allen: vocals
Magnus Karlsson: guitars, bass, keyboards
Jaime Salazar: drums
1.) “The Showdown” – This track opens with a simple keyboard riff. Underneath the keyboard riff there is a repeated string section. Two measures into the intro and Jaime plays a drum fill on his floor tom. The way Jaime tuned his tom gave it a kettle drum sound. After this drum fill they turned the string section up. This caused the intro to have almost a horror/thriller movie feel to it. There is a small floor tom fill connecting the intro with the musical verse. The drum line was done using a double bass drum pattern. Magnus kept the rhythm guitar riffs of the musical verse very simple. This mainly allows the vocals and drums to carry the song. There is a rhythm change for the musical verse. The lyric lines of the choruses give the song a huge hook. There is a double-tracked lead guitar solo after the second chorus. For the last couple of notes of the lead guitar solo and first couple of lyric lines for the next chorus where slowed down and arranged in an almost breakdown fashion.
2.) “Judgment Day” – This track opens with a very simple string arrangement. As the string arrangement progresses the guys add backing harmony accent over of it. The main musical intro kicks-in with Magnus playing notes on lead guitar as the string arrangement. Jaime is playing these huge drum fills underneath the intro. These drum fills give the intro a lot of power. There is a small guitar echo connecting the intro with the verse. There is a rhythm change for the musical verse. It sounded like several of the lyrics where double-tracked. The drum line for the verse was cymbals along with a snare pattern. There is a small snare fill connecting the musical verse with the musical chorus. Jaime switched from the snare drum pattern of the verse to a standard drum line with a ride cymbal for the chorus. The chorus had a very simple hook attached to it. For the second verse Jaime switched to a standard hi-hat rhythm instead of going back to the snare pattern of the first verse. There is a short musical section after the second chorus where the band slows the music down leading into the lead guitar solo. Jaime switched to a double-bass drum rhythm for the major lead guitar solo. I felt the lead guitar solo Magnus wrote for the song was very reminiscent to early Malmsteen. There is a minor lead guitar solo rhythm after the third chorus that runs through the rest of the song.
3.) “Never Again” – Just an amazing duet!!!!
4.) “Turn All Into Gold” –The intro to this track consisted of a fairly standard heavy metal intro arrangement. To connect the intro with the verse there was a minor lead guitar solo. This solo followed the notes of the rhythm of the intro itself. There is a rhythm change for the musical verse. The musical verse opens with a single rhythm guitar riff. This single riff is one hell of a mean sounding riff! After this solo riff there is a very short musical rest. After the musical rest there is a rhythm change underneath the first lyric line. This is a very simple metal riff. Same goes for the rhythm change for the musical chorus. After the second chorus there is a breakdown section that leads to a very short lead guitar solo. This solo leads to another breakdown.
5.) “Bloodlines” – This track opens with the special effects of rain. The musical intro consisted of a keyboard arrangement over the top of an acoustic guitar. Though the keyboard is the main instrument of this intro it is really there to fill-in the gaps left by the acoustic guitar. The drum line was done with a cross stick snare pattern. There is a small snare fill connecting the intro with the musical verse. There is a rhythm guitar change for the musical verse. The vocals for the verse are kind of reminiscent of David Coverdale’s (Whitesnake). There is a small snare fill connecting the pre-verse with the verse. However there is no musical change. There is a huge drum fill leading into the musical change of the chorus. For the chorus the guys dropped the acoustic guitar for an electric guitar arrangement. The chorus had a huge hook attached to it. The bass line of the chorus was amazing. There is a lead guitar solo after the second chorus. Sections of the solo were double-tracked to give it a twin lead guitar sound. After the third chorus there is a minor lead guitar solo. This solo leads to a breakdown section where the band slowly slows the music down through the coda.
6.) “Copernicus” – One hell of a ballad!!!!
7.) “We Will Rise Again” –The intro to this track opens with the electric guitar playing whole notes. As the note gets towards the end there is a keyboard riff that fills-in the gaps. There is a small guitar effect connecting the intro with the musical verse. There is a minor lead guitar solo over the top of the opening musical verse. This solo leads into a second lead guitar solo. There is a rhythm change underneath the opening lyric line. The third and sixth lyric lines had a small echo attached to them. The pre-chorus kicks-in with a pick slide. The vocal lines of the pre-chorus had a huge hook attached to them. The hook of the pre-chorus was nothing to the hook of the chorus! There is a minor twin lead guitar solo connecting the first chorus with the second verse. Holy Sh*t what a major lead guitar solo!! You just don’t hear great songs like this anymore!!!
8.) “The Guardian” – This track opens with a simple rhythm guitar riff over the top of I believe a keyboard. It is very hard because you can hardly hear it. The guys used the same rhythm for the pre-verse as the one for the intro. As the pre-verse progresses Jamie opens the drum line with a hi-hat and bass drum pattern. There is a small drum fill leading into a minor twin lead guitar solo. Instead of changing the rhythm for the verse the guys added a second rhythm guitar riff. The guys slowed the bpm (beats per minute) for the pre-chorus then returned it to normal for the chorus. There is a great hook for the chorus. Everything about this track is a 10!
9.) “Maya” – This intro consisted of a simple repeated keyboard bass note. There is no music change for the pre-verse. Instead of changing the rhythm they just added a right handed treble rhythm to the existing keyboard bass notes. The same rhythm arrangement continues through the verse. Instead of changing the rhythm of the keys the drum line kicks-in. I must say the keyboard arrangement was just a little bland however the drum line completely changing the keyboard sound & feel. There is a short musical rest and music arrangement change for the musical chorus. The main musical arrangement was kind of reminiscent to early eighties Survivor, only heavier and a lot better. The lead guitar solo starts slow then builds with intensity. The solo was very short. The coda consisted of a very simple keyboard arrangement.
10.) “The Artist” – This intro opens with two different string arrangements over the top of a keyboard arrangement. The drum line kicks-in with a huge tom-tom pattern. This leads into a lead guitar solo rhythm. There is a major rhythm change for the musical pre-verse. The rhythm change consisted of just keyboards. The lyric lines of the verse where double-tracked. There was a small drum fill connecting the verse with the chorus. The vocal change of the chorus gave the song a very intense feel. There is another great lead guitar solo after the second chorus.
11.) “Eternity” – This track opens with a keyboard arrangement over the top of a programmed drum rhythm. The programmed hi-hat and cross stick snare had an echo attached to it and went back & forth between the speakers. The band used the same music arrangement for the verse as the one for the intro. The song kicks-in with the full band for the musical chorus. The chorus had a huge hook attached to it. For the second verse the guys added a bass & drum line to the keyboard and programmed drum rhythm of the first verse. After the second chorus there is a small violin arrangement. As this section progresses the electric guitar kicks back in playing the same rhythm as the violins. This leads to the lead guitar solo. The lead guitar solo on this track was huge!!!
12.) “Alias” (European bonus track) –It sucks that this is a European only track because it is AMAZING!!!!!
The music of this release speaks for itself of this release!