Jorn – Symphonic

jorn - symphonicJorn is the solo project of Jorn Lande, the former vocalist of Masterplan, Ark, Beyond Twilight, Millenium, Vagabond, and The Snakes.  Between these bands and guest apeparances with bands including Ayreon and Avantasia, he’s racked up an impressive discography of over 30 albums.  The reason for his success is simple – his amazing voice.  Anyone who has heard his Dio covers will know that he did a superb job of singing Ronnie James Dio’s songs

As Jorn, he’s released ten studio albums as well as a few greatest hits or live albums.  This new album, Symphonic is a look back at earlier songs and then re-recording them with an orchestra.  A nice surprise is that the tracks chosen for the album aren’t necessarily the ones you might expect – it would be natural to assume the most popular songs would be the ones chosen, but instead of making it a symphonic version of a greatest hits album, Jorn Lande has chosen a range of lesser-known tracks.  There are two cover versions here – Rainbow’s “Rock and Roll children”, and Black Sabbath (Dio era) song “The mob rules”.

One of the bits I was most struck by is how well the Orchestra has been used.  Taking a song like “The mob rules” as an example, it’s still a heavy song with the electric guitars, drums and vocals taking centre-stage, but then you’ve got the orchestra filling out the sound and giving it a subtly richer feel and works amazingly well.  With “THe mob rules”, Jorn’s voice having such a resemblance to that of Ronnie James Dio really makes this track superb.
With “Rock and roll children” which has keyboards normally, the orchestra is more prominent as it takes on the keyboard role as well as being used to enhance the sound elsewhere.  It’s a fantastic cover version.

Not knowing all of Jorn’s material very well then I must admit I can’t say if these new versions are better than the originals.  What I can say though is that these versions all sound fantastic.  Jorn’s vocals are just superb, the band sound great, and the orchestrations are beautifuly done – subtle when it suits, and more prominent when that works best.

If you’ve never listened to Jorn before then I can definitely recommend that you do so.  Fans of hard rock bands such as Rainbow, Dio or Whitesnake are likely to love Jorn, and this album is highly recommended.

Rating: 9/10

Jorn are:

Jorn Lande – vocals
Willy Bendiksen – drums
Nic Angileri – bass
Tore Moren – guitars
Jimmy Iversen – guitars

Track listing:

1. I came to rock
2. Rock and roll children
3. The world I see
4. Burn your flame
5. Man of the dark
6. My road
7. Time to be king
8. Black morning
9. Like stone in water
10. Vision eyes
11. War of the world
12. Behind the clown
13. A thousand cuts
14. The Mob rules

About Ant May

I spend half my life at gigs or festivals and the other half writing the reviews and editing photos, and somehow find time for a full time job too. Who needs sleep - I've got coffee.