PLANET ALLIANCE – Planet Alliance

PLANET ALLIANCE - Planet Alliance


Metal Heaven
Release date: September 15, 2006

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It’s a wonder that so many musical “supergroup projects” come about nowadays, with so many bands vying for music fans’ hard earned money. The latest such “supergroup project” is known collectively as Planet Alliance, whose list of contributing musicians reads like a “Who’s Who In Sweden Metal” list.

It all begins with producer Anders “Theo” Theander, who is by no means a stranger to Metal/Hard Rock, seeing as he has handled such acts as the Allen/Lande Project, Cloudscape, and Pain Of Salvation, among others. The whole project started when Theander was asked to put together an “All Star” music line-up. He brought in the trustworthy Cloudscape vocalist Mike Andersson and guitar hero Magnus Karlsson (Last Tribe, Starbreaker, Allen/Lande Project), both of whom Theander had previously worked with in the past. The songwriting began in 2005 with Andersson and Karlsson, and then later came additional contributions from bassist Bob Daisley (Gary Moore, ex-Ozzy Osbourne) and Janne Stark (Locomotive Breath, Overdrive). The project continued to swell when drummers Anders Johansson (Hammerfall, ex-Yngwie Malmsteen) and Jaime Salazar (Last Tribe, Allen/Lande Project, ex-Flower Kings) were brought on board, followed by Magnus Rosén and Bob Daisley to share bass duties. Add more guitarists to the recipe in Carl-Johan Grimmark (Narnia, Rob Rock), Mattias Eklundh (Freak Kitchen, ex-Fate), and Janne Stark.

Obviously, there’s plenty of “star power” involved in the project, so what did it produce? The result is one hell of a strong album of Melodic Metal/Hard Rock, with strong similarities to the quality product released last year by the Allen/Lande Project.

The opener “The Real You” starts suspiciously quiet with its tender keyboard melodies, almost battle hymn-like, before moving into a chugging guitar riff and the melodic vocals of Andersson. The vocal harmonies and choruses are very Allen/Lande-ish in nature, which draws the most comparisons. Unfortunately, the promotional copy doesn’t have a track-by-track breakdown for the musicians, but the awe-inspiring lead in “The Real You” has the eccentric signature of Eklundh, but is purported to be Karlsson! Listen closely during the end of the lead and you’ll catch a nice underlying Funky bass line, complete with thumb slaps. One would be remiss to not mention the thunderous drumming throughout the track, especially during the lead break … and to think, this is just the first track! True, not all tracks are as masterful as this one, but in the scheme of things, there really isn’t a weak track throughout the release.

The guitar rhythms from end to end are very crisp, mostly driving and full-sounding, giving the project’s sound a nice, moderately heavy feel. Overall, this release should score very favorably with guitar fanatics, as they will get their fill of great riffs and solos. Keyboards are not lacking either, in a supporting role, of course. Andersson and Karlsson do a commendable job on keys, going so far as to mix-up the keyboard tones — always adding color and never droning the sound. The drumming is solid on this release as well, with bass pedals on full speed for most of the ride.

Bottom line, this project contains a potpourri of (mostly) Swedish musicians … all very prodigious in their music talents. The standout characteristics are the strong songwriting, melodic vocals of Andersson, and, of course, the remarkable lead guitar playing and rhythms throughout. Definitely a “planet” that guitar fans want to visit! Thankfully, Andersson has been quoted, on Cloudscape’s forum, as saying there will be future Planet Alliance releases! Quality music like this does not adhere to the phrase “too much of a good thing is too much of a good thing!” This one will fall into a lot of Top Ten lists for 2006 as a choice Melodic Metal pick!


Mike Andersson – Vocals, Keyboards
Magnus Karlsson – Guitar, Keyboards
Bob Daisley – Bass
Magnus Rosén – Bass
Anders Johansson – Drums
Jaime Salazar – Drums
Janne Stark – Guitar
Carl-Johan Grimmark – Guitar
Mattias “IA” Eklundh – Lead Guitar


  • Scott Jeslis

    Scott is one of the partners at Metal Express Radio. He handles a lot of Metal Express Radio's public relations, screening of new music and radio scheduling. On occasion, he also does reviews and interviews. He has been a proud member of the Metal Express Radio crew since 2004.

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