Released: 2004, AFM Records/Playground Music
Reviewer: Anders Sandvall
The great Norwegian singer, Jorn Lande, is back with his third solo album. His first solo album “STARFIRE” was released 2000 and the follow up “WORLDCHANGER” in 2001. Jorn has been in the music business for a long time. He’s been with bands/projects like Vagabond, The Snakes, Beyond Twilight, ARK and Nostradamus. Nowadays, when he’s not releasing solo albums, he’s the singer for Masterplan who released their debut last year. After a lot of touring during 2003, Masterplan took a break allowing Jorn to use the opportunity to release a solo album on his new label.
On this album Jorn has surrounded himself with strictly famous and skilled musicians like Magnus (bass) from HammerFall and Jörn and Stian from Pagan’s Mind. I don’t know who the producer (who by the way has done a brilliant job) is or what studio they’ve used, however Fredrik Nordström did the mix.
If you expect this to sound like Masterplan, you’re dead wrong because this is not power metal at all. I think it’s more of a combination of heavy metal and melodic hard rock influenced by progressive metal. Jorn is high up in the mix, the music has also some slighter tendencies to sound a bit bluesy/classic hard rock at some point. I think Jorn really shows what a great voice he has, something that don’t show as much in Masterplan. In some vocal sentences he sounds exactly like David Coverdale (lead singer in Whitesnake) and you almost think that it’s Coverdale himself that sings. The cover is awesome with Jorn standing and holding up the Norwegian flag.
“YOUNG FOREVER” starts off the album and it’s a track with some heavy metal influenced by melodic hard rock. At the end you can hear more progressive influences with a longer guitar solo and some repeating of the chorus, maybe a little too much repeating. “OUT TO EVERY NATION” and “SOMETHING REAL” could easily pass as Whitesnake songs. The music is really like Whitesnake with melodic hard rock and blues influences combined with choirs in the chorus. “LIVING WITH WOLVES” starts with drums/guitars and Jorn. It also sounds like he has used a string section that plays before everyone starts off the song. After the intro, the tempo rises and it turns into a melodic hard rock track. Jorn is at the top of the sound/mix with his amazing voice. Later in the song the string section returns. Another melodic hard rock track is the mid tempo “VISION EYES”. It’s melodic hard rock to about the middle of the song and then it turns into more of a blend of progressive heavy metal. “ONE DAY WE WILL PUT OUT THE SUN” is again melodic hard rock – nothing more or less. Here it sounds like he has used a string section again. “BEHIND THE CLOWN” is the first ballad on the album. This very beautiful and slow ballad provides a nice break from the rest of the album. “ROCK SPIRIT” is a melodic hard rock track with blues influences and a sing a long friendly chorus. “THROUGH DAY AND NIGHT” is a song that shifts between heavy metal and melodic hard rock. “WHEN ANGEL WINGS WERE WHITE” starts with a very slow keyboard intro that almost becomes a ballad. The song has also has a progressive touch and it shifts between a ballad and an up tempo ballad. This song closes Jorn’s third solo album.
The songs that are going to be released as singles are apparently “YOUNG FOREVER”, “OUT TO EVERY NATION” and “LIVING WITH WOLVES”. Personally I think that every song on the album has huge potential to go far as singles and there’s not a bad song on the whole album. Jorn really dazzles with his extremely broad vocal range on this album. This well written material, played by competent musicians is also very well produced. What more can I say, Mr. Lande makes me speechless and it would be really nice if Jorn would go out on tour on his own before Masterplan takes up his time. For all of you who wait for the second album by Masterplan (coming later this year), this album is a great substitute.