Russell Allen

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Russell Allen (2007)
Russell Allen with Symphony X at Wacken Open Air 2016

Russell Allen (* 19th July 1971 in Long Beach , California ) is an American musician and singer of the progressive metal band Symphony X .


Allen comes from a musical family with a focus on folk, country and bluegrass. At an early age he discovered singing as his talent. When he was five, he sang country and folk songs for the first time in front of a larger audience. As a kid, Willie Nelson was a huge fan .

His role models during junior high school were Iron Maiden , Dio , Rainbow , Van Halen , Led Zeppelin and Black Sabbath , his favorite singers at the time being Bruce Dickinson and David Lee Roth . He was a member of the school choir and the school jazz ensemble, where he learned the basics of vocal technique, harmony theory and reading music. His repertoire then also included songs by James Taylor, Manhattan Transfer, Tom Jones and James Brown.

During his senior high school years, he sang in local rock bands in Los Angeles. His singing models and influences include those mentioned above. a. Paul Rodgers, Rob Halford, Robert Plant, later also Ray Gillan and Chris Cornell - but above all Ronnie James Dio .

Before becoming a professional musician, he moved from California to New Jersey and worked as a tournament fighter and later show manager at the promoter Medieval Times Dinner Theater in the then newly opened branch in Lyndhurst. Allen had already worked at Medieval Times in Buena Park during high school in California. In addition to his work at Medieval Times in NJ, he worked musically as a singer in the bands "Streetwise" and "Sin River".

During the recording of Symphony X's second album "The Damnation Game", then singer Rod Tyler left the band. By chance, however, Tyler had previously introduced Allen to then Symphony X bassist Thomas Miller in a clothing store. With the band now without a singer, Thomas Miller remembered Allen and the band contacted him. Since 1995 he has been the lead singer of Symphony X. In July 2015 Underworld, the 7th Symphony X studio album with Russell Allen, was released.

In 2005 his solo album "Atomic Soul" was released, on which, in contrast to the tricky compositions of his main band, comparatively simple hard rock is presented. In addition to singing, Allen also played bass, acoustic guitar and keyboards himself on almost all of the songs. Allen has recruited other participating musicians from members of the bands Sin River, Phantom's Opera and Murder 1. Jens Johansson and Michael Pinella are involved with guest appearances on the keyboard . Symphony X guitarist and mastermind Michael Romeo also makes a guest appearance. The album was recorded in the basement of Romeo's house, in the band's own studio "The Dungeon".

He also took part in the 2002 side project "Star One" by Arjen Lucassen , on which he is one of the four main singers. Allen also did a short tour, of which a live album was released in 2003. In 2010 another album from "Star One" was released. Originally due to a joke by Arjen Lucassen about Allen's previous work at Medieval Times, he was given the title of a knight as "Sir Russell Allen" in the booklet of the first Star One album. This designation has since established itself in various circles as a sign of respect for his singing art.

Together with the singer Jørn Lande and the composer Magnus Karlsson ( Primal Fear ) albums were released in 2005, 2007 and 2010 under the project name Allen / Lande. In 2014 the project was expanded to include another album, now under the leadership of Timo Tolkki (formerly Stratovarius ) as the responsible composer, producer and guitarist / keyboardist.

In 2011 Russell Allen, Mike Portnoy (ex-Dream Theater) and Mike Orlando formed a supergroup under the name Adrenaline Mob . An EP was released that same year. The following debut album Omerta was released in March 2012 and was recorded by Disturbed without the new bassist John Moyer . In February 2014, the second album Men of Honor was released .

As a replacement for the singer James Lewis, the Trans-Siberian Orchestra signed Allen in November 2013 for the winter 2013/2014 tour of the US East Coast Production. The cooperation between TSO and Allen was continued in the following year for the winter tour 2014/2015. He was also involved in the double appearance of Savatage and TSO at Wacken Open Air 2015, where he sang the old Savatage classic "Another Way" as a frontman in addition to background vocals.

In 2014 a new heavy rock project was formed with Allen as the singer and the German bassist Mat Sinner under the name "Level 10". The drummer Randy Black (ex- Primal Fear ), the guitarists Alex Beyrodt (Primal Fear) and Roland Grapow ( Masterplan , ex- Helloween ) and the keyboardist Alessandro Del Vecchio ( Silent Force ) are involved as musicians . Other musical guests include a. Magnus Karlsson, Amanda Somerville, Carsten Schulz and Sander Gommans. The album "Chapter One" was released in January 2015.

In addition to Jeff Scott Soto , Allen will be the lead singer of guitarist Joel Hoekstra's ( Whitesnake , ex- Night Ranger ) next project . Hoekstra was recommended to all of them as a singer by Chris Caffery, with all three musicians being members of the TSO. The album, entitled Dying to Live , will be released under the project name Joel Hoekstra's 13 in October 2015.


Chart positions
Explanation of the data
The Great Divide (with Jørn Lande )
  CH 46 10/26/2014 (1 week)
Worlds Apart (with Anette Olzon )
  DE 77 March 13, 2020 (1 week)
  CH 41 03/15/2020 (2 weeks)


  • Russell Allen's Atomic Soul (2005)
  • Worlds Apart (2020, with Anette Olzon )

With Symphony X

  • The Damnation Game (1995)
  • The Divine Wings of Tragedy (1997)
  • Twilight in Olympus (1998)
  • The New Mythology Suite (2000)
  • Live on the Edge of Forever (2001)
  • The Odyssey (2002)
  • Paradise Lost (2007)
  • Iconoclast (2011)
  • Underworld (2015)

With Star One

  • Space Metal (2002)
  • Live on Earth (2003, live album)
  • Victims of the Modern Age (2010)

With Jørn Lande (as Allen / Lande )

  • The Battle (2005)
  • The Revenge (2007)
  • The Showdown (2010)
  • The Great Divide (2014)

With Adrenaline Mob

With Tobias Sammet's Avantasia

With level 10

  • Chapter One (2015)

supporting documents

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. Chart sources: DE CH