Jorn – Bring Heavy Rock to the Land (Frontiers Records)

Monday, 25th March 2013
Rating: 8/10

One of the elite vocalists of the past decade or so in the melodic hard rock/power metal arenas, Norway’s Jorn Lande literally can sing the phone book and most would worship his every ad pitch or series of numbers. Part David Coverdale, part Ronnie James Dio, and assuredly resonating with bluesy lung vigor, he returns to his solo ways with Bring Heavy Rock to the Land.

Guitarist Jimmy Iversen appears for the first time since 2009’s Spirit Black as he has been unable to commit to Jorn’s touring band along with mainstays guitarist Tore Moren, bassist Nic Angileri and drummer Willy Bendiksen. For those who’ve been following his career, you know that Jorn shifts between more metal-oriented efforts and conventional, smooth 70’s hard rock, and this record sees the man reach back into more of his early Rainbow and Whitesnake influence palate through these 10 songs.

The seven minute title cut is a Dio-era Rainbow fan’s ultimate epic come to life, the Iversen/Moren axe duo laying down this mountainous riff hook that Jorn can place words of fire, power, and brimstone comfortably over the arrangement landscape. Sword sharpening sound effects signal the start of “A Thousand Cuts,” a nastier mid-tempo track that contains more of an 80’s Black Sabbath tone.

He even lets the band rip things up with a slightly modern tone in “Ride to the Guns”, some of the southern swagger alluding to Dimebag Darrell or Zakk Wylde. The surprise cover on Jorn’s latest release would be his take on the easy listening Christopher Cross classic “Ride Like the Wind.” He takes his voice to the upper echelon and the band give this arrangement more of a Whitesnake feel, with dual guitar harmonies accenting many of the chord changes.

In the end, Bring Heavy Rock to the Land accomplishes its mission, resolute in its stance and unapologetic for their appreciation of singer/ guitar driven melodic power rock.

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