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Planet Alliance - 2006 Planet Alliance

ARTIST: Planet Alliance
ALBUM: Planet Alliance
LABEL: Metal Heaven
YEAR: 2006


LINEUP: Mike Andersson - vocals, keyboards * Magnus Karlsson - guitars, keyboards * Janne Stark, Carl-Johan Grimmark - guitars * Mattias IA Eklundh - lead guitars * Bob Daisley, Magnus Rosen - bass * Anders Johansson, Jaime Salazar - drums

TRACK LISTING: 01 The Real You * 02 Remember Me * 03 Ain't No Pleasin' You * 04 Calling My Name * 05 A Taste Of Paradise * 06 The Quickening * 07 Divided We Stay * 08 It's Your Cross To Bear * 09 The Great Unknown * 10 Where To Go * 11 Digging Your Own Grave



Another prog metal project is borne out of a few phone calls and emails through the Swedish telecommunications system. Good on ya Telia! The two key ingredients to the Planet Alliance recipe book are Cloudscape vocalist Mike Andersson and all-round talented guitar-slinger Magnus Karlsson, he of Allen/Lande, Last Tribe and Starbreaker fame. There is a third ingredient, his name is Anders Theander, the well known and respected producer/engineer from Roasting House studios. Once singer/songwriter and guitarist/songwriter were confirmed, others joined the fray. The names you see above are all class musicians. If you are well read on GLORY-DAZE then you won't need reminding who they are.

The Songs
Most of these songs start off with keyboard introductions, sort of like Kamelot but without the overall sense of drama. First track 'The Real You' was a poor choice for opener I feel. Took too long to get into the meat of the song (two minutes) and isn't as compelling as other tracks. 'Remember Me' would be considered commercial versus the rest of the material here. Very much like a poppy Pretty Maids or Pink Cream 69 which isn't a bad thing. I skipped on 'Ain't No Pleasin' You', the track not living up to its title. 'Calling My Name' has a barrage of piano to start off with, replaced soon after by a barrage of double kick drums. The song takes on a Rhapsody like nature after a minute or so, speed and melody combined. Despite its title 'The Quickening' is slow to mid-tempo, and builds nicely upon mild electric base. 'Divided We Stay' features some very tasty lead guitarwork, while the Pink Cream 69 familiarity is reinforced on 'It's Your Cross To Bear'. Both 'The Great Unknown' and 'Where To Go' are excellent melodic rockers with good guitar/keyboard interplay with interchangeable tempo. The closer 'Digging Your Own Grave' is very reminiscent of Cloudscape's material, understandable really.

In Summary
There are some good ideas on display here, some not so. I guess the issue for me is that it doesn't sound different from a whole bunch of other product out there in the market. Whether it's Pink Cream 69 at one end of the scale, or any number of those harder edged Frontiers signed acts at the other end. Perhaps this is the curse of the 21st century. For every ounce of originality that is generated, it still gets churned through the production grinder of familiarity/commonality whereby it loses its original shape and intention. How well remembered will this album be in the future? That I'm not sure, but Mike Andersson has just upped his net worth ten fold. Good performance from him. Bravo!

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#1 | Jez on June 16 2008 13:04:49
Another pretty good Melodic Metal disc rears it's head, so if bands like Cloudscape,Last Tribe or Allen /Lande are your choice, then check this one out.The first 6 tracks are where it's at for me, with 'The Real You' & 'Remember Me' getting the top marks award. The rest is all competently played and produced, without being exactly earth shattering either. Overall an enjoyable 50 odd minutes of your time. Not Magnus Karlsson's finest hour (see Allen/Lande for that) but not at all bad either.

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