ALLEN/OLZON – Army of Dreamers
BAND URL: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nMifUtcBLBs
The two skilled vocalists that are Anette Olzon (ex-Nightwish) and Russell Allen (Symphony X) have teamed up with multi-instrumentalist, songwriter, and producer Magnus Karlsson for another epic slab of melodic metal full of grandeur and lofty ideas.
Army of Dreamers is essentially huge-sounding symphonic metal swathed in sweeping keyboards, soaring vocals, and beefy riffs, and professionalism oozes from every pore of this eleven-track offering. This constellation of musicians is obviously in firm control of what they are doing and confidently weave their melodies and arrangements together to suitably dramatic effect. The album does tend to veer towards the clinical and sterile on a number of occasions due to its stiff and rigid sound, and the drums certainly could have been punchier and louder in the mix in order to make the music as majestic and booming as possible, but the quality of the songwriting generally makes up for that apart from acouple of pedestrian tracks on the disc that fail to spark the imagination and stir the emotions. Actually, it is the more easily accessible and instantly memorable cuts such as ‘Out of Nowhere’, ‘I am Gone’, and ‘A Million Skies’ that work best and keep lingering in the back of one’s mind after having spun the disc. Those are some stellar and infectiously catchy tunes indeed, and Olzon’s voice is outright celestial and heavenly here.
There are many praiseworthy and interesting features of this record, and although Army of Dreamers never quite manages to evoke those spinetingling moments that I was hoping for, it is a satisfying listen in so many respects and definitely worth checking out for fans of the melodic and symphonic end of the metal spectrum.