It is always good to get reacquainted from time to time with those lost classic albums that you haven't listened to properly in like years- particularly when they involve some of your favourite singers and musicians collaborating on "side projects" in between their own main gigs.
One such "side project" would be the musical supergroup ALLEN/LANDE.
Yes, THAT Russell Allen, and THAT Jorn Lande. Singing on the same album. At the same time.
I will pause here so that you can absorb the full awesomeness of that statement. You may need some time to do this- it's a lot to take in at once.
The only combination that could possibly be more EPIC would be a supergroup involving Bruce Dickinson, Rob Halford, and Geoff Tate (from back when he didn't sound, and act, like a bitch).
Oh, wait, that latter one already happened:
Anyway- there is, in fact, a truly terrific musical project out there called ALLEN/LANDE, which is basically the brainchild of guitar virtuoso Magnus Karlsson (from this little-known German act called PRIMAL FEAR- you power metal maniacs may have heard of it). I think he basically wrote most of the music for the first three albums.
Honestly, only the first one, The Battle, is really classic; the second one, The Revenge, is solid, but not nearly as good; the third one, The Showdown, is pretty naff. And the fourth one, The Great Divide, has Timo Tolkki on guitars- properly dosed and medicated and non-bipolar, apparently- and... well, it stinks.
But the first album... whoooooo boy. WHAT an album.
Don't take my word for it- check it out for yourself. There are like 8 instant classic tracks out of 12 on this thing, and the rest are very solid.
This album got played quite a lot back when I first acquired it, which I believe was sometime around when the Great Pyramid was being built...
Seriously, it's been a while since that album was released, and yet it's still a great slice of power metal crafted by true masters of the genre. It's just the right blend of heavy, cheesy, silly, over-the-top, and yet it still packs a real punch thanks to the incredible, yet melodic, guitar shredding.
The superb production job doesn't hurt either.
They sure don't make 'em like this anymore, sadly.