Russel Allen

The very personal reasons of Symphony X singer Russel Allen to make his solo debut couldn't be more ambitious and comprehensible: "It was my idea to write a pure rock album with 'Russell Allen's Atomic Soul' – with songs I haven't heard for a long time and which show where my roots are", says the front man of the American prog metal great power. And the result? It sounds solid, straight and very hard most of the times.

You find Russell Allen's musical roots mostly in the big rock bands of the Seventies. "Early on I was fascinated of bands such as Rainbow, Dio, Led Zeppelin or Black Sabbath, later Badlands, Alice in Chains, and Soundgarden." Most obvious common grounds of all these bands: their songs are mainly based on a blues saturated, classical style hard rock. And all those bands had the greatest singers of their time: Ronnie James Dio, Robert Plant, Ozzy Osbourne, Ray Gillen, or Chris Cornell, too, all names, which cause fans and experts being overawed. And in just that tradition now stands "Russell Allen's Atomic Soul" – a work which proves that the American is not just a great shouter but also a brilliant songwriter and varied instrumentalist.

Russell Allen has composed and arranged the entire album, he played a lot of the guitar and bass parts, he used his skills as a keyboard player, and he produced the album, too. "In technical respect I'm of course no Michael Pinella or Michael Romeo but I did my best," he modestly explains. Allen could of course make use of the help of his mentioned Symphony X colleagues and he could also get the support of a handful other good friends: drums were played by Robert Nelson, Brendan Anthony contributed to some of the guitar arrangements, Stratovarius keyboardist Jens Johansson played a fascinating solo for the title track, and Jason Freudberg as well as Larry Salvatore played guitar and bass, respectively, for one song. Production location: the "Dungeon" studio where Symphony X are recording their albums for many years now.

Russell Allan is particularly proud of three songs without praising single tracks of the song material which is thoroughly convincing. "'Voodoo Hand' was the first song I completed for this album. It just kicks ass! Furthermore, you will find my first keyboard solo here. With 'Blackout' I like this straight rock'n'roll feel. And 'We Will Fly' is probably the most epic number on "... Atomic Soul", I needed two full days to write them. Here, Pinella's piano playing is just fantastic." So at the end one questions remains to be answered, whether we will see "Russel Allen's Atomic Soul" also live on stage. The answer is easy: "In case many fans will buy the record then we will get started."

Since 1995 Russell Allen is singer of the American prog metal band Symphony X which has released six studio albums and one live record up till now. Much attention was caused by "The Divine Wings Of Tragedy", "V – The New Mythology Suite", "Live On The Edge Of Forever", and "The Odyssey". These were albums which caused much sensation, especially in Germany, Italy, and France, and which reached high ranks in the reader polls of important magazines. More than once Symphony X already received descriptions such as "Best Progressive Power Metal Band Worldwide" or "Best Progressive Metal Album of the Year". And in spring 2002, Russel Allen was one of the guest singers on "Space Metal", the first album of the "Star One" project by Ayreon maker Arjen Lucassen. In October of the same year, Russel Allen went on tour as a member of Lucassen's top-star line-up "Star One" band, and then again he documented his exceptional position in the international metal scene.

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Russel Allen