If you’re a hard rock / metal fan who loves a great singer and has no clue who Russell Allen and / or Jorn Lande are, you have a helluva lot of catching up to do. Fast facts: Russel Allen is the lead singer for American progressive metal band Symphony X and has released eight albums with them since 1995, he has a side project called Adrenaline Mob that has released two albums and two E.P.’s, he has one solo album out, Atomic Soul from 2005, he’s been guesting on albums by Ayreon, Avantasia, Avalon and Re-Vamp to name a few. Jorn Lande on the other hand is a Norwegian that fronts his own band Jorn with whom he has released 10 studio albums plus a bunch of live and compilation releases, he has three albums out with Masterplan, a band he formed with two ex-Helloween guys, guitarist Roland Grapow and drummer Uli Kusch, two albums with Ark, two with Millenium, guests on one Ayreon album, five Avantasia records and one with Brazen Abbot. He started his career with Vagabond, a band he put together with two ex-TNT members, Ronni LeTekro (guitar) and Morty Black (bass), in the mid 90’s. All this just to name some of what these gentlemen has done throughout their careers. Oh yes, I almost forgot, the couple has also made three albums under the Allen / Lande moniker, prior to this one. The first album was called The Battle and came out in 2005 and that record wasn’t anything more than a record written by Swedish guitar player Magnus Karlsson (Primal Fear) for a project thought out by Italian record company Frontiers. But the album was both a critical and financial success and I hold it as the best album both Lande and Allen has ever recorded. That called for a follow-up, of course, but The Revenge from 2007 was not even close in quality and therefore my guess was that that album was the least we would hear from this project. But in 2010 Magnus Karlsson and Frontiers decided to give it one last go and release a third album, if nothing else to end this project with heads held high. The Showdown couldn’t match the debut, but it was far superior to its predecessor and all ended well. Or did it?