When I first posted the press release about JORN’s new CD Dio, my first thought was, why on earth is JORN trying to cash in on Ronnie James Dio’s death. I thought it was out of character for him, and wondered what was up with that. Then shortly thereafter a video was released, and I knew immediately that this CD was in the works long before Ronnie’s death. Jorn Lande quickly released his own statement and all was well. New visitor’s to Hard Rock Hideout might not be familiar with the powerhouse vocalist Jorn Lande, and if you aren’t, you really ought to take a chance and explore some of JORN’s previous releases. He is a criminally under rated, monster talent that has not gotten the exposure that he has deserved.
I have always described Lande’s voice as a combination of Ronnie James Dio, and David Coverdale. I found it very fitting that he did a tribute to the singer that influenced him so greatly. Very few people could cover the mighty voice of Ronnie James Dio, and Jorn Lande does it with a lot of passion and dignity on this new CD Dio.
The first time I heard “Song For Ronnie James” it put a tear in my eye. It really hit home for me that Dio has passed on. It is a very fitting tribute to RJD. I thought it was cool that the band picked some of the lesser known tunes from Dio and included them here. “Invisible” is a song off of the ultimate DIO album, Holy Diver. Quite honestly, I always thought this song got lost behind the monster tracks “Rainbow in the Dark” and “Stand Up and Shout”. JORN’s version of this song is totally kick ass. “Shame on the Night” is another song from Holy Diver. JORN’s version could easily be released as a single in 2010.
I honestly believe Tore Moren could give Vivian Campbell a run for his money on “Stand Up and Shout” and “Don’t Talk to Strangers”. His guitar work is flawless on these songs. I actually got goose bumps off of “Don’t Talk To Strangers”. What an awesome cover!
“Lord of the Last Day” had me scrambling to find my Magica CD from DIO. I didn’t remember this song being THIS good. The original is great, as is this version.
JORN didn’t just cover the Dream Evil classic “Night People”, they turned the tempo up a notch, and possibly made it even heavier, and added some new guitar licks while doing so. Do I dare say this is better than the original?
JORN ‘s cover of “Lonely is the Word/Letters From Earth” was originally on the JORN cover CD, Unlocking the Past. You get two killer Black Sabbath tunes in one on this version. I loved this first time I heard it, and I still do.
Overall, JORN’s Dio is an incredible collection of covers that pays respect to the legend that is Ronnie James Dio. In my opinion, “Song for Ronnie James” is worth the price of admission by itself, but the cover versions on this album are equally fantastic. If you are a fan of Ronnie James Dio, you need to get this!
Rating: Out of 10
- Song For Ronnie James
- Shame On The Night
- Stand Up And Shout
- Don’t Talk To Strangers
- Lord Of The Last Day
- Night People
- Sacred Heart
- Sunset Superman
- Lonely Is The Word / Letters From Earth
- Kill The King
- Straight Through The Heart (Live)
Jorn Lande: Lead Vocals
Willy Bendiksen: drums
Tore Moren: guitars
Jgor Gianola: guitars
Tor Erik Myhre: guitars
Nic Angileri: Bass
Day 2 of the 10 days of Jorn introduces the debut of Jorn Lande as a solo artist.
With ten songs, five of which are cover songs, one might think Jorn has no song writing skills, or doesn’t have the talent to back up a solo career.
I would have to say wrong on both counts. Most of the covers songs on this discs, are not well known tracks by the average person. After hearing Jorn rearrange these tracks, one will forget that they are cover tunes very quickly. I bet many people will break out their discs by the original artists to discover Jorn’s versions far superior.
Starfire is a brilliantly produced CD, with a good mix of Metal and AOR tracks, all featuring the powerful vocals of Jorn.
How do the songs stack up? Fantastic. Jorn enlisted the help of some amazing, all-star caliber musicians on this disc. You can tell by the quality of each track, that he was trying to put out an excellent disc for his fans.
The title track, Starfire starts this disc off with pure AOR goodness. This track is melodic, yet it exudes such power. There are not enough tracks that come out today that sounds this good.
Edge of the Blade is a cover of the Journey track from the 1983 disc Frontiers. This song features the very Neal Schon like guitar work of Millenium’s Ralph Santolla. I think Jorn’s vocal is definite improvement over Steve Perry on this track.
Whether you remember, the Foreigner track Break it Up from the 1981 disc 4, you will recognize the music styling almost immediately. This is a very good cover by Jorn Lande featuring Millenium’s Shane French on guitar. This group has the Foreigner down to a science. (Now If Jorn would only sing, Dirty White Boy, that would be something extemely cool to hear.)
I did not realize The Day the Earth Caught Fire was a cover by City Boy. That band may have been before my time, but nonetheless I found this track very enjoyable. This is another pure AOR track featuring the flying fret work of TNT’s Ronni Lé Tekrø
Ark band mate Tore Ostby andJorn absolutely smoke on the Deep Purple cover Burn. This is one hell of a cover, that sounds as good, if not better than the original. You will hear this track again on a new cover album coming out in 2007. (Hint, Hint)
I had a hard time getting into End Come Easy, but I have listened to this multiple times and it has grown on me somewhat. This track has an experimental Led Zeppelin orAerosmith kind of feel to it. I haven’t been able to put my finger on it exactly. It has a Middle Eastern style about it.
The Jefferson Starship track, Just the Same from the 1979 release Freedom at Point Zero is well covered by Jorn and his all-star group featuringTore Ostby (Ark) on guitar, and TNT band members Jon Macaluso on drums and Dag Stokke on keyboards.This track features an awesome bass groove, and has melodic keyboards that are empowered by Jorn’s commanding vocals.
If Zakk Wylde were to play with Jorn Lande, it would sound just like Abyss of Evil. After the other AOR tracks on Starfire, Abyss of Evil kicks you in the head with its excellent 80’s style hard rock heaviness. Abyss of Evil is my favorite track on Starfire, and luckily this track will also show up on a new Jorn disc in 2007.
After the heaviness of the previous track, Forever Yoursalmost seems out of place. This is an acoustic driven number on which Jorn sounds a lot like Jeff Scott Soto. It is a beautiful song, but it seems out of place sandwiched between Abyss of Evil and the monster closing track Gate of Tears.
Jorn breaks out his best Ronnie James Dio voice for Gate of Tears. This monster of a track sounds like it could have been on a Dio era Black Sabbath disc. This is an awesome heavy track, and killer one to close out Starfire. I don’t find it surprising at all that this will be the 3rd track from Starfire to show up on The Gathering!
Bottomline, Starfire is an awesome disc, with a good mixtures of AOR, metal and Hard Rock. This disc gives you a good taste of the amazing talent of Jorn, and should be in everyone’s music collection!
Rating: Out of 10
- Edge of the Blade
- Break It Up
- The Day the Earth Caught Fire
- End Come Easy
- Just the Same
- Abyss of Evil
- Forever Yours
- Gate of Tears
Jorn Lande – Vocals
Tore Ostby – Guitar, Bass
John Macaluso – Drums
Dag Stokke – Keyboards
Ralph Santolla – Guitar
Ronni Le Tekrø – Guitar on track 4
Tore Moren – Guitar
Willy Bendiksen – Drums
Jon A. Narum – Drums, Guitar, Bass, Sampling, Melotrone
If you want to hear an amazing CD, with awesome vocals, and melodic but heavy metal to match. Run, don’t walk to pick up the Jorn Lande release, The Duke.
For several reasons, the Norwegian Jorn Lande is not very well known in the United States. Lack of promotion, and no radio airplay are a few problems Jorn faces in the U.S. It is really too bad, because most people are missing out on one of the top singers in Metal today.
For those of you who have not been exposed to Jorn Lande, He has a voice that falls somewhere between Ronnie James Dio and David Coverdale. If you know how amazing those two singers are, you will know what to expect from Jorn.
Musically and lyrically, the Duke is a superb effort from start to finish! This is melodic metal in its finest form. The guitar tandem of Tore Moren and Jørn Viggo Lofstad do an amazing job on this disc.
Take one listen to the heavy Blacksong which sounds like Lynch era Dokken and you will be hooked.
Another stand out song is Stormcrow, which sounds like a heavy Whitesnake track. The guitars on this song blow me away every time. Awesome!
Duke of Love could have easily been on the Whitesnake, Slide it In Album.
Jorn Lande truly shines on the low to mid tempo Burning Chains. You have to hear it, to appreciate it.
The cover of Thin Lizzy’s Are You Ready may be the best cover song I have heard in 2006. It is very well done here.
The final song, Starfire, is a remake of the same track from his debut disc and sounds even better than the original.
The Duke is certainly one of the top Metal discs of 2006, and a favorite of mine.
If you would like to hear some of the tracks off the Duke, You can listen to a few songs off of this disc at:Jorn Lande’s Website
Rating: Out of 10
- We Brought the Angels Down
- End of Time
- Duke of Love
- Burning Chains
- After the Dying
- Midnight Madness
- Are You Ready
Jorn Lande – Vocals
Jorn Viggo Lofstad – Guitars
Tore Moren – Guitars
Willy Bendiksen – Drums
Morty Black – Bass