Jorn - 'Live On Death Road'

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Jorn - 'Live On Death Road'

This is another truly excellent live set from one of my favourite singers of the last two decades.

Ever since he first started making waves with Ronni Le Tekro's eclectic Vagabond project back in the mid-nineties, Norwegian born Jørn Lande has been feted as the next big thing in Rock music. Certainly, from his memorable tenure with the short-lived The Snakes at the end of that particularly turbulent decade onwards, his David Coverdale meets Ronnie James Dio-esque roar has consistently impressed those of us "in the know", yet for some inexplicable reason that hasn't translated into the kind of wider audience recognition his efforts undoubtedly deserve.

Undeterred, he's carved out a moderately successful career as a solo artist over the years (as well as lending his dulcet tones to the likes of Masterplan, Ark, Allen/Lande, et al.), his shows still captivating the faithful as this 2CD/DVD set is quick to demonstrate. Documenting his headlining performance from last year's Frontiers Rock Festival in Milan, 'Live On Death Road' sees him in suitably animated form as he delivers an emotion-packed set of originals and hand-picked covers.

Backed as always by an impressive cast of players – the evergreen Tore Moren once again proving to be the perfect six-string foil to Lande's brooding front-man persona – Lande delivers a turbo-charged, oft quite emotive performance which once again has me asking why he's not better known outside our close-knit community. He always struck me as a little stand-offish in the early days, but experience seems to have made him a far more rounded front-man with a much better grasp on the importance of audience rapport.

Feeding off what was an undeniably partisan crowd, the feverish energy pulsating through tracks like the magnificent 'Stormcrow', rousing 'Lonely Are The Brave', slow-burning 'Out To Every Nation' and galloping 'Life On Death Road' is tangible in every respect... warts and all which is exactly how a live performance should be! I guess his choice of covers are kind of predictable with the timeless Black Sabbath classic 'Mob Rules' impressing the most (at least to these ears)... not that the others are bad, although with that said I would've liked to hear the guitars cut through more on an at times muddy version of 'Rainbow In The Dark'.

This is another truly excellent live set from one of my favourite singers of the last two decades!

Dave Cockett

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