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JONO: Life

JONO are a Swedish band that originally started out as a solo project of vocalist Johan Norrby, but eventually morphed into a full fledged group when Within Temptation guitarist Stefan Helleblad and drummer Nicka Hellenberg joined the fray, along with a few other musicians. Their new album Life is being released on Frontiers Records, a good home for JONO's brand of melodic, operatic progressive metal.

You'll notice rather quickly that Norrby has a terrific voice, a blend of Freddie Mercury, Dennis DeYoung, and James LaBrie, and he's front and center throughout Life. A track like "No Return" contains some powerful riffing and majestic keyboards, but it's Norrby's commanding pipes that really shine, and he's equally impressive on the dramatic "Crown", the quirky "On the Other Side", the heavy "Down Side" (complete with some fantastic multi-tracked backing vocals), the headbanging fury of "The Magician", and the epic "Trust". If there's a drawback to Life, it's that the album still comes across as a solo album for Norrby; he's just SO overpowering here that none of the other members get much of a chance to shine at all. I kept waiting for some blazing guitar/keyboard interplay or a few extended musical passages, but they are few and far between, instead the singer takes up every ounce of space that is given on these songs. He's a special talent, don't get me wrong, but I think more of a 'band' effort here would have worked just a tad better.

JOHAN NORRBY lead vocals
JOHAN CARLGREN piano/keyboards
STEFAN HELLEBLAD lead guitar, guitars
LEO OLSSON guitars

Track Listing
1 Sailors 4:01
2 Crown 5:46
3 No Return 5:11
4 On the other Side 3:57
5 Down Side 7:26
6 To Be Near You 6:56
7 My Love 4:52
8 The Magician 4:55
9 Trust 7:35
10 The March 5:06

Added: December 2nd 2017
Reviewer: Pete Pardo
Related Link: Band Facebook Page
Hits: 1316
Language: english

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