Before working with a rock band, he was a jouster at a Medieval Times Dinner Theater. He was introduced to the band Symphony X by former singer Rod Tyler. Allen has been the lead singer of Symphony X since 1995, releasing eight studio albums and one live album with the band.
His first solo album, Atomic Soul, was released April 25, 2005. As well as singing he also plays the bass when performing songs from Atomic Soul live.
He is referred to in various circles as "Sir Russell Allen", and he is credited as such on Arjen Lucassen's Star One albums, because of a joke that Arjen made knowing Allen's former "job" as a jouster.
In the summer of 2005 he went on tour with Symphony X on Dave Mustaine's Gigantour alongside such bands as Dream Theater, Megadeth, and Nevermore. In the same year, he also made part of a duo melodic rock project with singer Jørn Lande (ex-Masterplan) called Allen/Lande, which already has four albums, all released by Frontiers Records.
In addition to being Symphony X vocalist, he is also currently working in another band with guitarist Mike Orlando called Adrenaline Mob.
In November 2013, Allen joined Trans-Siberian Orchestra for their 2013 Fall/Winter tour and performed with the group at the Wacken Open Air 2015. He is also featured in their 2015 studio album Letters From the Labyrinth.
In 2014, a new project was announced, featuring Russell Allen with bassist Mat Sinner and other members of the German band Primal Fear, called Level 10, with an album release slated for January 2015. The release date and the name of the album were revealed in November 2013: it would be titled as "Chapter One", to be released on January 23, 2015 in Europe and on January 27, 2014 in North America via Frontiers Music srl.
In 2015, Russell Allen recorded vocals for a new project of Whitesnake and former Night Ranger guitarist Joel Hoekstra called Joel Hoekstra's 13, with an album called Dying to Live, released on October 16. Russell sings lead vocals on half of the songs in the album with background vocals and the other half of lead vocals recorded by Jeff Scott Soto.
Multi-instrumentalist, singer and composer Arjen Lucassen has said the following regarding Russell Allen:
Russell has a very powerful and versatile voice, and on top of that he is a great musician and performer. Russell was one of the few singers with whom I didn't need to be present during recording, but when on the phone he let me hear the parts he had sung, my eyes filled with tears. Russell thought I was joking, but I was truly moved! At the moment Russell is one of the best singers in the world. And he proved that during the Star One tour.
Allen has worked with Lucassen on various occasions: originally he sang the song "Dawn of a Million Souls" on Ayreon's 2000 album Universal Migrator Part 2: Flight of the Migrator (which also featured a guitar solo by Michael Romeo), and in 2002 he became one of the lead vocalists for Lucassen's project Star One.
Allen has stated in an interview that "Ronnie James Dio is definitely at the top of my list of influences".Atomic Soul (2005)
The Damnation Game (1995)
The Divine Wings of Tragedy (1997)
Twilight in Olympus (1998)
V: The New Mythology Suite (2000)
Live on the Edge of Forever (2001)
The Odyssey (2002)
Paradise Lost (2007)
Space Metal (2002)
Live on Earth (2003)
Victims of the Modern Age (2010)
The Battle (2005)
The Revenge (2007)
The Showdown (2010)
The Great Divide (2014)
Adrenaline Mob (EP) (2011)
Covertà (EP) (2013)
Men of Honor (2014)
Dearly Departed (EP) (2015)
We The People (2017)
Chapter One (2015)
Universal Migrator Part 2: Flight of the Migrator (2000) – guest vocals on Dawn of a Million Souls
The Source (2017) – guest vocals as The President
Episode 2: In Search of the Little Prince (2004) – as The Dream League Commander
The Wicked Symphony (2010)
Angel of Babylon (2010)
ReVamp (2010) – Guest vocals on Sweet Curse
Momentum (2013) – Guest vocals on Reason
Devils in the Dark – guest vocals on "Delusional Dream" (2013)
The Land of New Hope (2013)
Free Fall (2013) – Guest vocals on Free Fall
The Book of Gates – (2014) – as The Pharaoh
Noturnall (2014) – Guest vocals on Nocturnal Human Side, producer
Plagues of Babylon (2014) – Guest vocals on Highwayman
Dying to Live (2015)
Letters From the Labyrinth (2015) - Guest vocals on Not Dead Yet
Heroes Temporis (World Edition) (2016)