Jorn - Life On Death Road

Jorn - Life On Death Road

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

(CD, Frontiers Music Srl, 2017)

At first, I was surprised seeing another JORN release hitting the stores only a year after the covers LP, “Heavy Rock Radio”, but after some more thinking I came to the conclusion that this is a good thing. I mean, a covers album requires less effort than putting together some original recordings, so before everything else, seeing “Life On Death Road” being released means that the band has all cylinders firing.

“Life On Death Road” sees Jorn with a different lineup around him, and some of these musicians have already connected their name with really good music (no need to mention bands  /albums here; you should do your homework on a steady basis). However, a gathering of great musicians does not equal to great music although having Frontiers Music backing up a release is a strong indication that good things will happen after hitting the play button or even better, dropping the needle on the wax... The smooth entrance with the keyboard melodies of the album’s title track set the stage for traditional Hard Rock, and soon enough, a hard hittin’ guitar groove pushes the scales towards Classic Heavy Metal. Yeah, Jorn’s trademark vocals put the icing on the cake like they have done in all the previous JORN albums. There is definitely some fresh air blowing on this song, aside from the strong melodies every Jorn follower always expects from the Norse singer. Seeing Alessandro Del Vecchio listed on the band’s lineup (he also did the production), kind of explains the stronger presence of keyboards in the mix, something that enhances the '80s Hard Rock backbone of the album. However, this is not another nostalgia album that always looking in the past for inspiration and I can easily blame Alex for his awesome guitar work which balances between the old and the modern. The fat rhythm guitars during Hammered To The Cross (The Business)” and especially the faster “Fire To The Sun” (do you feel a Dio breeze in this one?) will be the most fitting tracks for summer night drives, while “Dreamwalker” and “Optimist” will be there just to slow things down, flirting with being power-ballads. By the way, the subtle orchestrations in the background and really smooth clean guitar fills will surely warm your heart (in a Metal way of course). If you are of the higher than the 35 age group, then I am sure you’ll need an additional cold one during the nostalgia-creating “Man Of The 80's”. Aside for the nice lyrics, the song carries an awesome foot-tapping groove and the classic Jorn multiple vocals harmonies with that characteristic timbre which by the way I believe is so underrated. Even though it is the album closer, the six-minutes long “Blackbirds” got stuck, but after the first initial spins where the hits make their presence known. This one starts in a mellow way but gains power through the guitar and the hard-hittin’ drums while Jorn moves up and down the singing pitch just like walking in the park. There were parts of this one where SAXON came to mind singing-wise and guitar-wise, but this can be easily my ears playing games.

In full disclosure, I was already prepared for something good from Jorn like it happens in almost every album of his. Still, the revamped lineup has brought new elements in the music, has filled up the band’s fuel tank and has created a solid album which can easily dress up those summer nights out at your backyard enjoying a cold one while spinning some hard hittin’ Heavy / Hard Rock with a twist of old-school.

8/10


Links:

www.JornLande.Com
www.MySpace.Com/RealJorn
www.FaceBook.Com/OfficialJorn


Tracklist:

01. Life On Death Road
02. Hammered To The Cross (The Business)
03. Love Is The Remedy
04. Dreamwalker
05. Fire To The Sun
06. Insoluble Maze (Dreams In The Blindness)
07. I Walked Away
08. The Slippery Slope (Hangman's Rope)
09. Devil You Can Drive
10. The Optimist
11. Man of the 80's
12. Blackbirds


Lineup:

Jorn Lande - Vocals
Alex Beyrodt - Guitars
Mat Sinner - Bass
Alessandro Del Vecchio - Keyboards
Francesco Iovino - Drums