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Jorn Lande & Trond Holter
Dracula: Swing Of Death
March 2015
Released: 2015, Frontiers Records
Rating: 4.0/5
Reviewer: Waspman

Wig Wam’s guitarist Teeny (i.e. Trond Holter) joined the Jorn band lineup in 2012 and immediately contributed to the 2013 release, TRAVELLER. I guess Jorn and Trond really enjoyed working together because in 2014 they announced they were working on a joint concept album about the ultimate vampire, Dracula. SWING OF DEATH is the resultant album – a rock opera of sorts that features our two heroes from the Jorn band.

Musically, this album fits right in Jorn Lande’s wheelhouse, being a slightly lighter version of his favoured Dio-ish heavy metal, with lots of grinding guitars with open spaces just ripe for his ever-powerful vocals to take the lead. I must admit that when I first heard of this project, I was skeptical, but upon thinking about it further, I realized I couldn’t come up with anyone better than Jorn to bring this story to life and, sure enough, his performance throughout SWING OF DEATH may be one of his best EVER. High praise, I know. On several songs he is joined in duet by Norwegian vocalist Lena Floitmoen, who brings the female characters Mina and Lucy to life with flair. This is definitely a tour-de-force album for vocal fans.

Musically, as I said, it’s right there in the heavy rock/metal, Avantasia-ish realm, including a very swing-influenced song in the title track. For a rock opera, I was a little bit disappointed that they didn’t venture further afield and really throw some musical curveballs, but the ten songs presented are uniformly great. Favorites would include the thunderous “Walking on Water”, the duet-fueled stomp of “Into the Dark”, and the near-a cappella opener, “Hands of Your God”. As I said though, there are no bad songs to be found on the album, so this is an easy album to recommend.
Track Listing

1) Hands of Your God
2) Walking on Water
3) Swing of Death
4) Masquerade Ball
5) Save Me
6) River of Tears
7) Queen of the Dead
8) Into the Dark
9) True Love Through Blood
10) Under the Gun


Jorn Lande: Vocals
Trond Holter: Guitar
Bernt Jansen: Bass
Per Morten Bergseth: Drums
Lena Floitmoen Borresen: Vocals



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