In my opinion, Jorn Lande is one of the best new metal vocalists to come along in quite some time. His releases rarely ever disappoint me, and the new CD, Spirit Black is no exception.
The opening cut and title track “Spirit Black” is the greatest song Ronnie James Dio never wrote. Jorn Lande shows off his awesome Dio like mimicry on this tune, and it is damn cool as a result! Lande’s long time axeman Tore Moren plays some wicked guitar on this song.
“Below” isn’t my favorite JORN track by any means, but this tune does a good job keeping the pace going. Tore Moren’s guitar work is the highlight on this one.
The ultra creepy intro on “Road of the Cross” almost made think this was a Black Sabbath tune. I love the chugging guitars on this track.
I found it ironic that Heaven & Hell has a song Rock and Roll Angel, and JORN has “Rock ‘N’ Roll Angel”. They are two completely different songs
but I have to give a point to JORN. JORN’s “Rock ‘N’ Roll Angel” is clearly better. This JORN tune is a heavy yet melodic rocker that takes a couple of spins to fully absorb. Jon Berg makes a guest appearance and throws in some very cool guitar licks on this track.
“I Walk Alone” is a Tarja Turunen cover song. I haven’t heard the original song, but JORN’s version is pretty good. This song is a
little slower paced than the average JORN song, but Lande owns it vocally anyway.
My overall impression with Spirit Black is that it has stellar musicianship, and great vocals, but I am not so sure that the songs are all that memorable. It is a good disc, but not quite as good as some of JORN’s past releases. I like this CD well enough to replay it, and I wouldn’t turn it off if I heard it on the radio. I am a die-hard JORN fan though, so it might not have as much appeal to other folks. I would recommend giving the songs on JORN’s myspace a listen if you are on the fence.
Rating: Out of 10
1. Spirit Black
3. Road of the Cross
4. The Last Revolution
5. City Inbetween
6. Rock’n'Roll Angel
7. Burn Your Flame
8. World Gone Mad
9. I Walk Alone
Jorn Lande – lead vocals
Tore Moren – guitars
Sid Ringsby – bass
Jimmy Iversen – guitars
Willy Bendiksen – drums
Igor Gianola – guitars on “City Inbetween”, “I Walk Alone” and “The Sun Goes Down”
Espen Mjoen – bass on “City Inbetween” and “The Sun Goes Down”
Nic Angileri – bass on “I Walk Alone”
Jon Berg – additional guitars on “Rock’n'Roll Angel”
Tommy Hansen – additional keyboards