Released: 2011, Frontiers Records
Despite being known as somewhat of a journeyman vocalist extraordinaire, Jorn Lande has created quite a nice solo career for himself over the last decade years. He’s released eight full-length albums under his own name now, and seems to gain fans with every release. Although he released a very solid live album in 2007 (LIVE IN AMERICA), it was made up of almost 60% cover songs. LIVE IN BLACK is the first 100% Jorn live album (minus the Thin Lizzy cover...).
LIVE IN BLACK was recorded during Jorn’s performance at Sweden Rock 2011 and covers all facets of his discography, with the notable exceptions of STARFIRE and OUT TO EVERY NATION. As usual, fans will be able to nit-pick the song selection for days, but suffice it to say that the set covers a great cross section of Lande’s solo career. Beyond that, LIVE IN BLACK has everything you could want in a live album: enthusiastic crowd, great music, and phenomenal performances. Lande is always a standout, but I came away most impressed by his band, particularly the guitar tandem of Tore Moren and Tor Erik Myhre. The rock solid riffing and blazing solos are definitely something to hear. I’m typically a guy that skips the guitar solos on live albums as self-indulgent wankery, but both guys turn in powerful, tuneful solos that don’t break up the flow at all. On the other hand, the drum solo is definitely skip-worthy. My biggest complaint about the solos is how they are all paced in the second half of the set as solo-song-solo-song-solo; it definitely breaks up the flow of the concert, almost dragging it to a halt.
As for the songs, many of Jorn’s best are here. New highlights from SPIRIT BLACK (the title track, “Road of the Cross”, “Below”) blend seamlessly with his other classics like “We Brought the Angels Down” and “Tungur Knivur”. Throughout, Jorn commands your attention with is powerful voice, and even includes a brief tribute to Dio at the end of “Man of the Dark”.
LIVE IN BLACK may not enter into the hallowed halls of live albums like LIVE AFTER DEATH and PRIEST IN THE EAST, but it’s a damn fine collection of songs that does Jorn proud. Excellent stuff!