Russel Allen - Russel Allen's Atomic Soul
Symphony X is a progmetal band that every progmetal fan knows: If not the music, then at least the name. But we’re not going to talk about Symphony X or anything that has to do with it here.
Or maybe just a little bit.
That Symphony X leadsinger Russel Allen is an ambitious man, proves this first solo effort; ‘Russel Allen’s Atomic Soul’. Russel is a fan of some legendary ‘oldie’ metal / hard rock bands (Black Sabbath, Dio, Led Zeppelin, Alice In Chains – to name a few) and considering that, the reason for writing ‘...Atomic Soul’ was quite obvious: Russel wanted to write a pure rock album with songs that he hadn’t heard in such a long time.
A succes. It just hit the stores, and I can already smell a succes. This album really isn’t something you’d affiliate with Symphony X, but hell! Who wants to after hearing this record!
‘...Atomic Soul’s opener, Blackout, is something really different if you’re not sure what to expect. A harty rock-flavour with some really heavy guitars, Russel’s power-overdrive voice and a riff that’ll stick.
After the opener, the variety in the songs is commendable. There are the standard ballads like ‘We Will Fly’, but I wouldn’t label them just mindless ballads. The sound changes during the song, going from slow and gentle to epic and powerful. Really good stuff!
‘Voodoo Hand’' is a real sturdy rock-song with a memorable chorus. The heavy guitarriffs keep flowing and Russel’s voice is powerful as ever. Then, just when you think you’ve heard it all, ‘Seasons of Insanity’ is next. This song starts out really slow, with a little guitarpicking (in overdrive) at the beginning, but bursting into an almost heavy-metal like headbang-party with it’s epic chorus. Fantastic! Definitely one of my favourites on ‘...Atomic Soul’.
I can’t say anything else than that this first effort of bringing a solo-debut on the market is must-have material for fans of older hardrock / heavy metal bands. You’ll recognise riffs that are indeed heavily influenced by Black Sabbath, Led Zeppelin and Alice In Chains among others. The man himself is quite modest about this first effort, but I assure you that it is an effort that cannot be overlooked.
Russel Allen – vocals, guitars, keyboards, bass
Jens Johansson (Stratovarius) – keyboards on ‘Atomic Soul’
Robert Nelson – drums
Michael Pinella (Symphony X) – keyboards
Michael Romeo (Symphony X) – guitars
- Voodoo Hand
- The Distance
- Seasons Of Insanity
- Loosin’ You
- Saucey Jack
- We Will Fly
- Atomic Soul