Released: n/a, Independent
After seeing Jorn Lande fronting Malmsteen’s band on tour earlier this year I remember thinking that the guy had a decent set of pipes, despite the fact that he wasn’t given much opportunity to really cut loose. Since I’d never heard of Lande before then I just assumed he was a newcomer getting his first shot at being a rock star. I’ve learned since then that the man has been pretty busy over the last few years working on several different projects, Ark being the main one. Still, this bruch with Lande alone wasn’t enough to interest me in the band. Then I found out that guitar wizard Tore Ostby was in the band and I decided it was time to check this whole thing out. I’m glad I did.
Burn the Sun is a solid piece of progressive metal from start to finish. The term “progressive” when applied to metal covers a lot of territory and has several different definitions depending on who you ask. In Ark’s case I use the term in it’s truest sense, because Burn the Sun offers a unique and fresh perspective on the metal scene. Lande really makes this album stand out from the pack as far as creativity and uniqueness are concerned. He has a great, truly diverse voice. It’s not so much the range, which is pretty good, but the different feel he gives to each song. It’s almost as if three different guys are singing on the album. And while Ostby isn’t quite as sharp with the riffs as he was with Conception, the man is no slouch with Ark either. Some great guitar work can be found on several tracks.
Few complaints, if any. The first four tracks really smoke, but the quality begins to thin out as the album heads for the finish line. At times the attempt to be progressive comes off a little corny -- moments during the song Torn come to mind -- but the truth is that Ark shows a lot of potential. I eagerly anticipate their next album, but for now I’ll have to settle for picking up their debut.
Official site: http://arksite.com