Markus' Heavy Music Blog

My world of music - est. 2013

symphony x

LEVEL 10 - a new allstar band with Russell Allen and Mat Sinner

Veröffentlicht am 27. November 2014 von Markus W. in Level 10, Silent Force, Sinner, Symphony X, Heavy Metal, Hardrock, Classic Rock, News, Allen-Lande, Primal Fear

Another metal allstar band will release their debut in 2015. Russell Allen (Symphony X, Allen/Lande) teamed-up with Mat Sinner (Sinner, Silent Force, ...) and started Level 10. But it's not only those two guys that make the band special. The guitarists are Roland Grapow and Alex Beyrodt are on board as well and the line-up is completed by Randy Black on drums and keyboarder Alessandro Del Vecchio.

The album will be released on January 27th via Frontoers and comes with twelve songs. Here comes the tracklist:

  1. Cry no more
  2. Soul of a warrior
  3. When the nighttime comes
  4. One way street
  5. Blasphemy
  6. Last man on earth
  7. In for the kill
  8. Voice of the wilderness
  9. All hope is gone
  10. Demonized
  11. The soul is eternal
  12. Forevermore


Check out a first teaser via the link below:

LEVEL 10 - a new allstar band with Russell Allen and Mat Sinner

CD review ALLEN/LANDE "The great divide"

Veröffentlicht am 9. Oktober 2014 von Markus W. in AllenLande, Jorn, Symphony X, Hardrock, Heavy Metal, CD Review, News

(8/10) What do you expect when you hear that there is a new album from Allen/Lande on its way? Exactly - classic metal with pathos and melodies. And this also what you get. Actually I could stop writing here and now, but that would be a bit too easy. There aren't that many things that changed from the last album. This is good news.

The Norwegian/US band/project releases in a constant way records on a high level. What started in 2005 with "The battle"  became a successful collaboration over time. Something that is new this time is the fact that the two extraordinary singers are working together with former Startovarius member Timo Tolkki. Looking back on the latest creative outputs of the Finish guitarist I had my doubts about the new Allen/Lande record. But after listening to "The great divide" those have been swiped away.

Allen/Lande's newest record is a logical continunation of the"The showdown" from 2010. The guys are focussing on their trademarks, which are melodic metal anthems with heavy guitars, spacious keyboard arrangements and amazing hooklines. Those are reflected in songs like the opener "Come dream with me" and "Dream about tomorrow" very well. Esp. the last mentioned one shows some bigger parallels to the mighty Ronnie James Dio. Not unexpected, but always nice to listen to.

Another highlight for me is the five minutes long "Lady of winter". It is a slow pounding tune with an epical approach. The way the song is build-up, incl. the piano parts, remind to Savatage - at least I had to think about them when I heard the song the first time. "The hymn to the fallen" shows the two guys from a more Whitesnake-like side. Also a melodic metal track per excellence with a harmonic verse and a catchy chorus. The song is a real hymn, not only due to the title.

Last but not least to mention the title track. "The great divide" is a slow and sphereful song. It is from the pace almost doom with a Sabbath-riff.

The other songs can easily keep the same high level. "The great divide" is another really cool album from the two well-known singers. And it is after all the downers from Tolkki finally an album that shows that he can do better than what we have heard from him.

Fans from the former Allen/Lande records will also love this one.





  1. Come dream with me
  2. Down from the mountain
  3. In the hands of time
  4. Solid ground
  5. Lady of winter
  6. Dream about tomorrow
  7. Hymn to the fallen
  8. The great divide
  9. Reaching for the stars
  10. Bittersweet


Label: Frontiers

Genre: Melodic Metal

CD review ALLEN/LANDE "The great divide"

CD review MIKE LEPOND "Mike LePond's silent assassins"

Veröffentlicht am 9. September 2014 von Markus W. in Mike LePond, Symphony X, Hades, Watchtower, Power Metal, US Metal, Heavy Metal, CD Review, News

(8/10) In his real life Michael LePond is bass guitarist of progressive metal institution Symphony X that released already great records and belong to the top bands of the genre.

The guy from Newark, New Jersey was hit by a stroke of fate in 2006 when he developed Crohns Disease. Fortunately he fully recovered and could continue his career as musician.

Next to his engagement in Symphony X LePond worked also on a solo album which will be released end of September this years. The album is called "Mike LePonds silent assassins" and comes with nine songs. All of them pretty long and epical which leads to a total running time of almost and hour.

The music is mainly a mix of US metal and Power Metal, sometimes with a celtic influence like in "The quest". Since LePond is bass player the tracks have a certain focus on the four string instrument. Fair enough. But he also played the rhythm guitar on the album. The part of the lead guitar was taken over by Mike Chlasciak while the drums have been produced by LePond's Symphony X band mate Michael Romeo, who also contibuted with the six-string. You can hear this in the result since the guys play together real tight. But the best thing is that Hades frontman Alan Teccio took over the position behind the mic. I like his vocals already from the Watchtower/Hades times and it's great to hear him again. His voice fits perfect to the music. A could choice of LePond to hire the extraordinary singer.

The songs reflect a lot of influences from US metal bands like Liege Lord ("Apocalypse rider") and Omen (The outsider"). "Red death" shows from the riff some cross references to Anvil's "Metal on metal", while "The progeny" with its slow and heavy riff grooves a lot.

The ballad called "Masada" is also part of the track list. It's an almost completely acoustic tune which gives you a bit time to breathe after the intense first half of the album. Melodies are good and LePond almost manages to avoid prevalent cliches. For a ballad OK, but there are better tunes on the album.

Last song on the silver disc is the eleven minutes long "Oath and honor". If you read the title, what is your first though? True, Manowar. And yes, that song shows some parallels with the 'kings of metal'. The only difference is the fact that "Oath and honor" is much better than everything I have heard from Manowar in the last years. Also remarkable the Rainbow-like part after 2/3 of the song.

I'm impressed by LePond's solo album. Nine good songs which are highly entertaining and a treat for each power metal fan.





  1. Apocalyptic rider
  2. Red death
  3. The quest
  4. The outsider
  5. Masada
  6. Silent assassin
  7. Ragnarok
  8. The progeny
  9. Oath and honor


Label: UDR

Genre: Power Metal

CD review MIKE LEPOND "Mike LePond's silent assassins"