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Allen / Olzon — Worlds Apart

Allen / Olzon
Worlds Apart
by Kelley Simms at 09 May 2020, 4:35 AM

ALLEN / OLZON is a new melodic metal project featuring powerhouse vocalists ex-NIGHTWISH singer Anette Olzon and SYMPHONY X vocalist Russell Allen.On its debut full-length release, “Worlds Apart” (released March 6, 2020 through Frontiers Music s.r.l.), the duo is joined by guitar wizard Magnus Karlsson (who also performs on bass and keyboards) and drummer Anders Köllerfors.
The majestic album opener “Never Die” immediately catches the listener’s attention with its bombastic symphonic swirls, hypnotic rhythm section and cinematic atmosphere. This track features Allen only on lead vocals, whereas following track “Worlds Apart” introduces Ms. Olzon for a proper duet with the payoff consisting of the powerful and uplifting chorus. The contrasting and diverse juxtaposition of Allen’s raspy croon and Olzon’s operatic swoon go well together.

Throughout the album, there are some tracks where only Allen is spotlighted, and then there are some tracks where only Olzon is the sole lead singer. However, the tracks where their trade-off vocal histrionics, call and response verses and combined soaring choruses — such as on “Worlds Apart,” “No Sign of Life,” “My Enemy” and “Who's Gonna Stop Me Now” — are the best tracks on the album. The lone Allen tracks are notably the heaviest, with “Lost Soul” and “Who You Really Are” standing out the most, while the cleaner, melodic ballad-esque tunes such as “I’ll Never Leave You,” “One More Chance” and “Cold Inside” are dutifully handled by Olzon.

Although the name on the album is of these two powerhouse vocalists, the man who really steals the show is guitar wizard Magnus Karlsson, who’s fingers are on fire with fret-burning lead solos and chugging riffs. Karlsson also wrote the tunes and recorded/produced the album. There’s a solid familiarity and chemistry between the group, as Karlsson also plays in the ALLEN/LANDE project. However, there’s not a lot of memorability or lasting hooks to any of the 11 tracks here.

Frontiers Music is pretty well known for putting together these types of musical projects, and Allen and Olzon prove to be a rather good match. Although “Worlds Apart” is well put together and well-produced (some may say a little too over-produced?), it doesn’t feel like a regular band who write, rehearse and create songs together as a whole. Plus, I don’t get the sense that there’s a desire to tour or play shows together, either. However, there’s a little something here for the more seasoned progressive metalheads who are into SYMPHONY X and the like, as well as lovers of symphonic rock/metal in the vein of DELAIN, WITHIN TEMPTATION and NIGHTWISH.

3 Star Rating

1. ‪Never Die
2. ‪Worlds Apart
3. ‪I’ll Never Leave You
4. ‪What If I Live
5. ‪Lost Soul
6. ‪No Sign Of Life
7. ‪One More Chance
8. ‪My Enemy
9. ‪Who You Really Are
10. ‪Cold Inside
11. ‪Who’s Gonna Stop Me Now
Russell Allen — Vocals
Anette Olzon — Vocals
Magnus Karlsson — Guitars, Bass and Keyboards
Anders Köllerfors — Drums
Record Label: Frontiers Music


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Edited 28 January 2023

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