For his ninth album under the Jorn moniker, leather lunged Norwegian vocalist Jorn Lande has assembled a new band for this latest release, and basically we have here what we can easily call a 'super-group' of epic proportions. On bass is Mat Sinner (Primal Fear, Sinner, Kiske/Somerville), guitarist Alex Beyrodt (Primal Fear, Voodoo Circle), keyboards & production is Alessandro Del Vecchio (Hardline, Revolution Saints), and drummer Francesco Iovino (Primal Fear) rounds out the line-up. All players of formidable skill and pedigree, and they match up quite well next to the mercurial vocal talents of Lande.
Featuring 11 all new compositions, Life on Death Road is chock full of Lande's brand of '70s & '80s styled metallic hard rock featuring powerful vocals, epic, muscular guitar work, and majestic keyboard tapestries. Beyrodt's love for John Skykes-meets-Ritchie Blackmore influenced guitar work is a match made in heaven for Lande, giving these songs a hefty Whitesnake, Deep Purple, and Rainbow flair, which you can hear right off the bat on the opening 1-2 punch of "Life on Death Road" and "Hammered to the Cross (The Business)", two blistering yet highly melodic crunchers that feature both the vocalist and guitarist in fine form and delivering the goods. The Primal Fear rhythm team of Sinner & Iovino work overtime on the speedy ripper "Love is the Remedy", while Del Vecchio's gorgeous keys complement Lande's soaring vocal on the atmospheric rocker "Dreamwalker". Fans of Whitesnake's self-titled 1987 release will feel right at home on the roaring "Fire To the Sun" as well as "The Slippery Slope (Hangman's Rope)" and "Blackbirds", but Lande doesn't forget those who also have a soft spot for his Ronnie James Dio influenced material, evident on the doomy epic "Insoluble Maze (Dreams In The Blindness)", the crushing "Devil You Can Drive" (featuring some kick ass Beyrodt guitar work!), and the potent melodic symphonic metal of "Man of the '80s".
Throw in a couple of catchy melodic rock numbers, and you have a very well rounded & varied platter from Lande and his new cast of friends. As I mentioned to start this review, Life on Death Road is the first album to feature this new Jorn line-up, and they deliver in a big, big way. Easily one of Jorn's heaviest albums to date, but still retaining the melodic edge that Lande is known for, we can only hope that Life on Death Road is just the beginning of a long run for this version of Jorn and live shows are in the works for what is quite simply a super band. Essential!!
See more about this release on our recent YouTube show!
01 Life On Death Road
02 Hammered To The Cross (The Business)
03 Love Is The Remedy
05 Fire To The Sun
06 Insoluble Maze (Dreams In The Blindness)
07 I Walked Away
08 The Slippery Slope (Hangman's Rope)
09 Devil You Can Drive
10 The Optimist
11 Man Of The 80's