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Jorn: Dio

Some may question the timing of this release although both artist and record company have stressed it has been some time in the planning stages before recent events ensured it has taken on added poignancy. Jorn Lande has never made any secret of the fact that he idolised Ronnie James Dio and has cited him as his main inspiration across numerous interviews and press releases and so it is perhaps no real surprise that this album has seen the light of day. With a band that includes Willy Bendiksen on drums and Nic Angileri on bass and three guitarists in Tore Moren, Jgor Gianola and Tor Erik Myhre they set about the Dio back catalogue with a dozen covers that include less obvious choices such as "Lord of the Last Day", "Shame on the Night" and "Night People" alongside classic cuts "Don't Talk To Strangers" and "Stand Up And Shout". Those seeking a nod to Dio's tenure with Sabbath will have to wait until the High Voltage Festival in London this summer where, together with Glenn Hughes, Jorn has been confirmed to appear alongside Heaven and Hell in a 60 minute tribute set.

The versions here are largely faithful to the originals and its difficult to envisage anyone preferring these over the vocals of the man himself but of course that was never the intention; Dio is an album that seeks to complement and not replace. The album opens with the eight minute "Song for Ronnie James" that features all of the Dio trademarks, creeping tempo, rainbows in the lyrics and lots of melody and whilst it is a noteworthy effort I'd still place it some way behind Tenacious D's homage.

No doubt we can expect more Dio covers releases over the coming months but few will be by artists that hold the man in such high regard as Jorn evidently does, and overall this is a worthy tribute.

Track Listing
Song For Ronnie James
Shame On The Night
Stand Up And Shout
Don't Talk To Strangers
Lord Of The Last Day
Night People
Sacred Heart
Sunset Superman
Lonely Is The Word / Letters From Earth
Kill The King
Straight Through The Heart (Live)

Added: August 29th 2010
Reviewer: Dean Pedley
Related Link: Frontiers Records
Hits: 2965
Language: english

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Jorn: Dio
Posted by Scott Ward, SoT Staff Writer on 2010-08-29 15:33:40
My Score:

Call it the worst timing in the annals of metal as Jorn Lande releases his tribute to on of the founding fathers of the music we love, Ronnie James Dio. This disc has been in the planning stage for a long time and it is unfortunate that it has come so soon after the passing of the metal legend and I am afraid that it will be taken in the wrong way instead of what was originally intended. Lande wanted to make a disc to celebrate the life of Dio and has succeeded but I am afraid that it will be looked upon as someone cashing in and that would be a terrible shame as I am sure that Ronnie is smiling down on us as he hears one of the best voices in metal show his respect.

No one will ever replace Dio. That is a given and Jorn knows this. He never tries on this album and instead we get a very dynamic tribute to Ronnie that will appeal to fans of both Dio and Lande. Jorn is one of the few singers who is not going to embarrass himself covering the majestic quality of Ronnie James' music and he does so in a way that will leave you in awe of not only his own vocal ability but of the enormous contribution that Dio had on the world of metal.

Shying away from the mega hits for the most part, Jorn gives you his favorite songs by Dio done in such a way as to inspire the spirit and bring a smile to the face of both singers fans. Terrific cuts like "Shame On The Sun", Sacred Heart" and "Kill The King" will have you digging out all those fantastic Dio albums from your collection and might also inspire you to find some of the great discs from Jorn too. His takes on the more popular Dio classics such as "Stand Up And Shout" and "Don't Talk To Strangers" are spot on in such a way that you will think the metal Gods or Ronnie himself had a hand in the recreation of his music. I am sure that the man who invented the symbol for all metal fans to show their appreciation is raising the horns to this disc while looking down upon us.

There is one Lande original on this disc and it is the heart felt "Song For Ronnie James". It is easy to hear that this tribute comes from a fan and is a celebration of a life that has touched every headbangers in the world today. It is hard not to envision the man who has fronted Elf, Rainbow, Black Sabbath etc… while listening to this song.

Dio has inspired and entertained so many people through the years and was one of the greatest ambassadors of the music we love. It would be a shame for those who have this kind of music in their soul to not take the chance to once again feel the power of Dio through the fantastic voice of the majestic Jorn Lande. The world was a better place with Ronnie James Dio in it but he has left a legacy that will endure. One of the most powerful and dynamic people in the metal realm, Dio's music will live on and Jorn Lande helps to perpetuate this with an album that celebrates all that Ronnie stood for. I hope that fans recognize this and enjoy what both of these great singers have contributed to this album. Thank you, both. R.I.P. Ronnie.

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