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Jorn
Dio
July 2010
Released: 2010, Frontiers Records
Rating: 3.0/5
Reviewer: Waspman

Incredibly timely, and somehow kinda morbid, this Dio tribute album from vocalist extraordinaire Jorn Lande. I should say however, that reading the promo material for the album, it seems like an unfunny coincidence that the album is coming out so quickly after Dio’s passing – it appears that the album was in the works well before the sad news came out. Either way, Jorn Lande has seen fit to pay respects to Ronnie James Dio with an album of cover songs from the master himself.

Leading off the album is a Jorn’s tribute song to RJD, “Song for Ronnie James”. It certainly strikes the right mood and sound that it could almost BE a Dio song...except for the fact that it’s about three minutes too long and kinda trite. It’s certainly heartfelt and I appreciate where Lande is coming from, but the song just doesn’t work well. From there, Jorn moves into the cover songs. He claims that his aim was to shed light on some lesser known Dio songs, and both of these are great selections for the task. Jorn’s voice is perfectly suited to covering Dio’s regal roar and the band strikes the perfect tone and captures the essence of the songs. Starting with a couple of songs from HOLY DIVER – “Invisible” and “Shame on the Night”, things get off to a great start. “Shame on the Night” in particular is excellent. As the album goes on, Jorn covers songs from SACRED HEART, DREAM EVIL, MAGICA, and KILLING THE DRAGON, as well as some Black Sabbath and Rainbow songs. All the songs are covered reverently and flawlessly. Special mention goes to the absolutely ripping cover of “Sacred Heart” – a highlight for sure. Truly, if someone had to make a covers album of Dio songs, Jorn was the right choice.

However, for an album that was supposed to rediscover some lost Dio songs, this disc ultimately fails. I mean, I know that HOLY DIVER is considered the holy grail of Dio albums, but did we really need five songs from it? Given that THE LAST IN LINE, LOCK UP THE WOLVES, STRANGE HIGHWAYS, ANGRY MACHINES, and MASTER OF THE MOON were completely ignored, the track list is a bit of a letdown. Finally, there is just no spark to the performances. Yes, Dio often sang about wizards etc., but there was always a sense of magic in his music. There covers just sound plain and workman-like.

Whatever your feelings on cover albums, and a Dio one at this point in time in particular, this is an average one at best. It’s worth a listen for the curious, but if you’re going to listen to Dio songs, just listen to the Man himself.
Track Listing

1) Song for Ronnie James
2) Invisible
3) Shame on the Night
4) Push
5) Stand Up and Shout
6) Don’t Talk to Strangers
7) Lord of the Last Day
8) Night People
9) Sacred Heart
10) Sunset Superman
11) Lonely is the Word – Letters From Earth
12) Kill the King
13) Straight through the Heart (Live)

Lineup

Jorn Lande: Vocals
Willy Bendikesen: Drums
Tore Moren: Guitar
Jgor Gianola: Guitar
Tor Erik Myhre: Guitar
Nic Angileri: Bass


Next review: » Jorn - Dio
Previous review: » Jorn - Bring Heavy Rock To The Land

Jorn
Dio
May 2014
Released: 2010, Frontiers
Rating: 3.5/5
Reviewer: JP

On May 16th of this year, (2014) it will be the 4th anniversary of the death of Ronnie James Dio. In April Rhino records released a tribute album called THIS IS YOUR LIFE. The amount if media hype about this album was unbelievable and frankly a bit puzzling. This was just sixth (or seventh depending how you count) Dio tribute on the market. Why was everyone so excited about this one? How does it compare to the five previous ones? Of course being a true Dio fan I own all of them so I decided to pull them from the vaults and review them. They are, in chronological order of release…



HOLY DIO-A TRIBUTE TO THE VOICE OF METAL:RONNIE JAMES DIO (Century Media, 1999)



AWAKEN THE DEMON-TRIBUTE TO DIO (Dwell, 1999)



DIO (Jorn) (Frontiers 2010)



MAGIC-A TRIBUTE TO RONNIE JAMES DIO (Magic Circle Music, 2010)



TO HEAVEN THROUGH HELL-A TRIBUTE TO RONNIE JAMES DIO (Backstage, 2011)



RONNIE JAMES DIO-THIS IS YOUR LIFE (Rhino, 2014)



The Jorn album DIO was already reviewed by our very own Waspman back in July of 2010 so feel free to check out this review as well as part of this feature/tribute. Please feel free to enjoy all the reviews in this feature.



It seemed like the timing was perfect but also a bit morbid as well. Ronnie James Dio passed on May 16th, 201 and a mere 47 days later the Jorn album DIO hits the streets. It is obvious that Jorn was working on the tribute before news of his Dio death, because that is not enough turn around time to complete a full album of this caliber. In fact Jorn Lande had announced he was working on this record back in the spring of 2010.



DIO is unique among Dio tributes because it is the only one done by one band instead of multiple artists so it serves a double purpose as tribute and covers album. The album, his 8th solo album was released on his long-time home, Frontiers Records and has a nice booklet with lots of photos of the band and a nice, heartfelt essay about Dio. The cover has Jorn’s raven mascot with an evil looking Murray (Dio’s mascot) in the background. Jorn had stated he wanted to focus on Dio solo career and more specifically choose a wide range of songs, not just the usual, predictable choices.



The album opens with an eight minute long original composition called ‘Song for Ronnie James’, a moody and effective piece to open the tribute. Jorn styas true to his word choosing rarer cuts like ‘Sunset Superman’ and ‘Night People’. He also delves in Dio’s later career that is something no other tribute has done. The other tributes usually stop at around 1985 but he includes songs from DREAM EVIL, MAGICA and KILLING THE DRAGON. He also has a live version of ‘Straight Through The Heart’ from his 2006 headlining performance at Atlanta ProgPower VII, although this song was previously released on his LIVE IN AMERICA album.



Many people, myself included recognize Jorn Lande as the new Dio. Everything, his style, tone, delivery and song-writing make him the widely accepted successor and this album only cemented the connection. Of course Dio is irreplaceable but Lande continues on in his footsteps. Please note with my apologies the similarity in my review to that of Waspman’s original review back in 2010 but I suppose we both have the same feelings and observations but I happen to like it just a little bit more.
Track Listing

1. Song for Ronnie James
2. Invisible
3. Shame on the Night
4. Push
5. Stand Up and Shout
6. Don't Talk to Strangers
7. Lord of the Last Day
8. Night People
9. Sacred Heart
10. Sunset Superman
11. Lonely Is the Word / Letters from Earth
12. Kill the King
13. Straight Through the Heart (live)

Lineup

Jørn Lande Vocals
Igor Gianola Guitar
Tor Erik Myhre Guitar
Tore Moren Guitar
Nic Angileri Bass
Willy Bendiksen Drums


Next review: » Jorn - Live in America
Previous review: » Jorn - Bring Heavy Rock To The Land





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