The Citadel – Passage Through Eternity

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The Citadel are new name to me, but it turns out the band was formed in 2002 and released their debut album, ‘Brothers in Grief’, in 2007. This 5 track mini-album is the follow up.

‘A Voice Within’ kicks off the album in a Doom laden fashion and melodic rock fans might begin to wonder what there is here for them. In fact, they need to stick with it, as by the time the chorus kicks it is clear these guys have sense of melody. On ‘Demon’s Eye’ the vocals do have a bit of a death growl going on at times, but do manage to keep a sense of melody as well. It was while listening to 3rd track, ‘Heaven’, that it hit me who these guys reminded me of. Maybe it is just because I’ve also been reviewed their new album, but I detect hints of Ten going on here. Imagine if Ten were mixed with a Doom outfit such a Candlemass (a random name pulled from my somewhat limited knowledge of the genre), then the result might sound like this. ‘The Storm Begins’ and ‘7’ complete the album maintaining the standard of the previous progressive power metal tracks. Maybe it is just my imagination, but I think the chorus’s get stronger as the album progresses.

This is an album that is better than the sum if it’s part. There aren’t any really stunning tracks here, but somehow they all seem to gel together in a neat little package. The result is a bit of surprise for me, as despite the doom elements in the background, I ended up quite enjoying this album.

Rating: 3 stars

Allen/Lande – The Showdown

“The Showdown” is the third installment from the team of Jorn Lande (Jorn & Masterplan) and Russell Allen (Sympathy X) on vocals with Magnus Karlsson (Primal Fear, Starbreaker) on guitars/keyboards/bass and song writing. Jaime Salazar completes the line-up drums.

I have to admit that whilst I have heard both 2005’s “The Battle” and 2007’s “The Revenge”, this is third album is the first time I have really sat down and spent some time listening to these guys.

And an impressive experience it is. In their day jobs Allen and Lande have proven that they are top notch singers and Karlsson has displayed some impressive song writing skills in his various projects. If you have heard the first two albums, then it is no surprise that we are dealing with melodic hard rock that sometimes has elements of symphonic metal. Title track, “The Showdown”, is a powerful opener and next track “Judgement Day” combines melody and power which is basically what this album is all about. The band then proceed to romp through a fairly consistent set of tracks that have a good balance of light and shade. In addition to that opeing duo, highlights include the heavy AOR of “Bloodlines”, “We Will Rise Again” and the more metal “The Artist”.

So we have another impressive addition to the Allen/Lande catalogue.

Rating: 4 Stars

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