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Jorn: Unlocking the Past

Massive-lunged Norwegian vocalist Jorn Lande recently released two albums on the same day: The Gathering (a collection of songs from his pre-Masterplan days) and Unlocking the Past (10 classic-rock covers). Considering the albums' themes and contents, I may never know why these two titles weren't reversed. But I do know this: If you have even the slightest tendencies toward heavy and bombastic hard rock, you'll want to hear these discs.

Listeners familiar with Jorn's work and flair for over-the-top delivery will know what to expect with the songs on Unlocking the Past, which include tracks by Whitesnake ("Fool For Your Loving"), Deep Purple ("Burn"), Rainbow ("Kill the King"), Thin Lizzy ("Cold Sweat") and Black Sabbath ("Lonely Is The Word/Letters From Earth"). Jorn makes all of them his own, thanks in no small part to his voice sounding like a muscular mix of Ronnie James Dio, David Coverdale and Phil Lynott in their prime. But the real surprise is the man's unexpectedly tender take on Bad Company's "Feel Like Making Love" and the fun vibe he generates on Kiss' "Naked City," from the unheralded Unmasked album. City Boy's "The Day the Earth Caught Fire" is an AOR-friendly leftover from Jorn's 2000 debut, Starfire, and the version of the Michael Schenker Group's "On and On" was originally slated to appear on an aborted covers album by Millenium (another band, along with Ark, Jorn once fronted).

Unlocking the Past is by no means essential it's a covers album, after all. But Jorn junkies will enjoy hearing the man's take on familiar and not-so-familiar songs originally performed by some of classic rock's most enduring artists.

Track Listing:
1) On and On
2) Fool For Your Loving
3) Cold Sweat
4) Lonely Is the Word/Letters From Earth
5) Burn
6) Feel Like Making Love
7) Kill the King
8) Perfect Strangers
9) Naked City
10) The Day the Earth Caught Fire

Added: September 14th 2010
Reviewer: Michael Popke
Related Link: Official Jorn Web Site
Hits: 4176
Language: english

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Jorn: Unlocking the Past
Posted by Pete Pardo, SoT Staff Writer on 2010-09-14 19:29:18
My Score:

These days the 'covers' album has almost been a reason to roll the eyes and run far away, as almost every act on the planet seems to think that recording bland, stale versions of already overplayed songs is the thing to do, rather than have to write some new, original material. When I first heard that mercurial Norwegian singer Jorn Lande was going the same route a few years back, I quickly made sure to stay clear of Unlocking the Past, no matter how much I respected the talents of this fine hard rock/metal vocalist.

Well, here we are in 2010, and I realize I might have been a bit hasty...

Not only is Unlocking the Past a collection of really good songs, many of them not what you would normally expect on a metal covers set, but Lande and his band really does one hell of a job here and makes you want to listen to this one again and again. How often does that really happen when you listen to any countless number of covers collections? Not often.

Sure, it's no secret Jorn's love of all things Dio and Coverdale, so "Fool For Your Loving", "Burn", "Kill the King", and "Lonely Is the Word/Letters From Earth" are not surprising, but certainly welcome. Hearing him sing his heart out on MSG's "On and On" is quite inspiring, and a molten version of Deep Purple's "Perfect Strangers" really surprised the hell out of me, as if Coverdale sang on that original reunion album rather than Ian Gillan. Throw in a crushing "Cold Sweat" (Thin Lizzy), an emotional "Feel Like Making Love" (Bad Company), and two rarities, City Boy's "Naked City", and KISS' "The Day the Earth Caught Fire", both not at all what I would have expected here, make this a notable set.

Though Jorn has just recently released a tribute set to the fallen Ronnie James Dio, which makes two covers sets in three years, both are so well done that it's hard not to applaud them for what they are.

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