PLANET ALLIANCE: This is about the direct opposite of a completely underground release with equally culty production: A big name project, promoted like hell and with an unmatched production. So let’s start with naming some of them big names: Bob Daisley, Anders and Mike Johansson, Magnus Karlsson and a few more. As you can probably guess after reading some of these names the music of this project, created and produced by Anders Theander, is very melodic Metal, with a few little Progressive touches. But above all, melodies and choruses, the former preferably through guitar solos of course.
You won’t be surprised that musicianship is top notch, easily so. But since this CD didn’t blow away after a few listens there must be something wrong… Well, there isn’t anything wrong per se but I do think that PLANET ALLIANCE would’ve benefited from a more unique vocalist then Mike Andersson. Believe me, technically it’s all superior and on many songs he sounds wonderful. But much like the vocal lines and the songwriting it can sound a little too smooth and unadventurous at times. I do get the feeling that this disc is a bit too easy sometimes, which isn’t completely justified because some of the compositions are brilliant.
In particular I love the guitar work of a song like “Divided We Stay” that has both great melodies as well as remarkable soloing. Same goes for “Ain’t No Pleasin’ You” or “The Quickening” (ironically one of the slower songs on the album), all fine songs that provide about everything a Melodic Metal fan could wish: big doses of melody, solos and great support from the keyboard. I wouldn’t have minded however if there were a bit more heavy riffs like those in the start of “Where To Go”.
Recommended to all who liked the musicians in other projects already and for fans of very melodic Metal. Some, like me, will probably find this a bit too unadventurous at times though.
(Online January 1, 2007)