Jorn - 'Life On Death Road'

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Jorn - 'Life On Death Road'

A wealth of fine music from a singer of immense prowess.

Any discussion on powerhouse male vocalists should, by default, include mention of Jorn Lande. Granted, his stock may be limited outside of mainland Europe, but here at 'Fireworks' we don't view sales figures as a measure of an artist's merit. Besides, Jorn is one of only a handful of singers who can come close to doing the late, great Ronnie James Dio's towering body of work justice – put him at the top of that list, in fact...

Clocking in at a significant seven and a half minutes, the title track showcases Jorn's new band which consists of three members from German Power Metal band Primal Fear – guitarist Alex Beyrodt, bassist Mat Sinner and drummer Francesco Jovino – alongside Frontier Record's ubiquitous man of keys, Alessandro Del Vecchio. Jorn is on magnificent form straight out of the box, while the band delivers a tightly orchestrated performance which lays its horsepower down like the hybrid of a brawny German muscle saloon and sleek Italian Berlinetta that's befitting of their combined nationalities.

Listening to the lyrics to 'Hammered To The Cross (The Business)', it's fair to say that Jorn has little time for the music industry's Machiavellian manipulations, while Beyrodt lays down a torrent of sizzlingly scorching licks which immediately bring to mind John Sykes.



While Jorn's Hard Rock and Metal credentials are widely acknowledged, his Pop sensibilities are equally potent (he opened 2016's 'Hard Rock Radio' cover album with a storming re-imagining of 'I Know There's Something Going On', originally released by ABBA's Frida!), and in 'Man Of The '80's' he delivers this album's strongest song; hard charging and eminently anthemic, Jorn excels at this sort of polished number while in his outro ad-libs there's definitely a hint of Dio's 'Mystery'.

Do you miss David Coverdale's sonorous croon when he sounded at his double denim, pre-'1987' makeover best? Then you'll lap up the reflective, minute long opening of album closer 'Blackbirds', before the song detonates and Jorn unleashes his bombastic roar. At six and a half minutes, it's another meaty bookend to the record and one of the standout tracks.

Despite dipping in the middle like the gap between a camel's humps – 'Fire To The Sun' springs to mind – there's still a wealth of fine music here from a singer of immense prowess, while the enduring crow character on Jorn's album covers keeps getting cooler too...

Caesar Barton

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