Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Limited digipak edition. 2009 release from Norwegian vocalist Jorn Lande (Millennium, Ark and Masterplan) and his Metal co-horts. Considered by many fans and critics as one of the finest voices in Hard Rock to arrive on th... more »
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Limited digipak edition. 2009 release from Norwegian vocalist Jorn Lande (Millennium, Ark and Masterplan) and his Metal co-horts. Considered by many fans and critics as one of the finest voices in Hard Rock to arrive on the scene at the end of the 20th century, Jorn is now ready to unleash Spirit Black upon the world, another slab of classic Hard Rock with 80's Metal elements.
One of the best from 2009
wizey | Margate, Tasmania, Australia | 01/07/2010
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Jorn Lande, one the finest voices of the rock/metal scene of recent times, and also one of this era's most frustrating artists. We know what this man is capable of and we continue to wait for the absolute classic masterpiece album that we always think is just around the corner, but instead get more Jorn plodding songs. A year or two ago I would have jumped in an got any album the man had his name on, but after being immensely disappointed with his previous album Lonely Are The Brave I had some reservations about this one until a friend persuaded me to buy it. And thank the stars he did! This is the best album Jorn has released in many years under his solo band moniker, and arguably even THE best.
The biggest criticisms I have of his solo albums are that they all tend to be formulaic, and suffer from too many plodding songs in the vein of some Dio/Black Sabbath songs. Rarely on these albums does he rip the throttle open, and vocally I don't think he pushes himself enough either. In my opinion his better vocal performances are on the Ark album Burn The Sun, Millenium's Hourglass album and the first two Masterplan albums. Then when you consider the two Allen-Lande albums and his vocal contributions for Tobias Sammett's Avantasia album Scarecrow (and what an effing great song that one is too!), I think it's plainly obvious that Jorn's best vocal performances come when he works with other musicians. Like many other great singers, I think he needs to work with other musicians to bring out his best. With his solo work I think he tends to stay within his comfort zone which is a shame as this is not when Jorn flies with the gods of rock.
As far as Spirit Black goes though, thankfully he has a better batch of songs on this album and whilst as usual there are the more plodding tracks, he does let fly on occasion and the plodders are better than those on his other recent solo albums. Road Of The Cross is a perfect example of this. The song sounds like Dio and Iommi could have done it on Black Sabbath's Heaven & Hell album almost three decades ago, but that's a good thing! It was a great Black Sabbath album and this is a great song, one of the albums best.
The opening track is another I like a lot, which has a riff and beat to it that reminds me of the classic Montrose song Rock Candy. Again Jorn has chosen to open with a slower paced track rather than a cannon shot as most artists do these days, but still it's a great song and it works. The last half of the album in my view is better than the first, with the second five songs (I got the digi-pack with bonus track) all being great. Rock And Roll Angel is my favorite song on the album. An acoustic opening with mellow vocals before the big guitars kick in, then a great chorus. And I really couldn't give a toss what the lyrics actually are, the song just sounds so pure old school cool! I love it.
Burn Your Flame is a welcome increase in speed, reminiscent of some of the classic Whitesnake or Coverdale era Deep Purple rockers. Gimme more of this anytime! World Gone Mad is another I love with a great sounding old school hard rock riff and thumping drums, with Jorn's magic voice over the top. I Walk Alone is another slower paced song which initially sounds like it's gonna be another of the usual Jorn plodders, but man when this one gets going it's magical. The chorus lets Jorn open up those lungs and push himself to produce his best. (And noteworthy... it's a song written by someone else). The chorus makes this song very infectious.
The Sun Goes Down is probably my second favorite song on the album, so I'm really glad I got the version with this one on it! (Again... written by someone else, i.e. Thin Lizzy). Although the hard rocking guitars and pounding drums are absent, this song is so smooth, with a great groove, a majestic guitar solo sounding very Pink Floyd-ish, it's just way cool. A great song to finish the album.
The other three songs I haven't mentioned so far (Below, Last Revolution and City In Between) are by no means bad songs, but really they are just average Jorn songs which don't compare the rest of the album.
In general I don't think Spirit Black is as good as any of the albums Jorn has released with the other bands I mentioned earlier in this review, but it's definitely right up there as far as his solo stuff goes and I find it a thoroughly enjoyable album that gets frequent play out of my home and car audio systems. Plus it's got to get the votes for best album cover of the year. (I don't understand it, but it looks effing wicked!) If you're Jorn fan you won't be disappointed. And if you're a fan of hard rock/metal and haven't got into Jorn yet, be prepared to spend a lot of money buying his work! But it's well worth it.
All Hail Jorn the King of Hard Rock!
Michael | Australia | 10/03/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Jorn Lande is one of the keepers of the melodic rock flame. His singing style is comparable to David Coverdale with even more power and passion. I know it sounds hard to believe but it's true. His songwriting is strong reflecting his classic rock influences such as Led Zeppelin, Deep Purple and Whitesnake. The production on his albums is second to none. The only negative points I can mention regarding his last few solo albums is that the songs can get a little too similar in style and the album running times are getting shorter. These are minor complaints in light of the consistent quality of music he releases and I have no hesitation in recommending this latest solo album. The bonus track "The Sun Goes Down" by Thin Lizzy is definitely a highlight of this release."
Jorn is simply fantastic!
Cr8zeeCanuck | Parts unknown to most. | 08/21/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I'm not really a heavy metal fan; some of it is okay. But how can you not like this guy? This is very, very good. Love the hard edge, his powerful voice, which comes across very clear (he doesn't shout incomprehensibly). Spirit Black, I Walk Alone, and Road of the Cross . . . my favourites, but all are good. Lyrics outstanding. Buy it for this fair price if you like hard rocking music!"