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Jorn Spirit Black Frontiers Records
FRCD415
· Produced By: Jorn Lande

· Running Time: 40.47

· Release Date: Out Now

· Released:

· Musical Style: Melodic Metal / Hard Rock

· Links: Frontiers
90%
Songs: 87%
Sound: 94%
I have said it many times before – Jorn is one of the great hard rock vocalists of all time and definitely one of my favourites.
But I have come to await his releases with less anticipation each release. I simply find that Jorn the solo artist is now spending a great deal of time repeating the same formula over and over. As with the most of his solo albums fans only get 9 new tracks and of those tracks, one is normally "borrowed" or updated from past recordings.
And the songs are much the same slow to mid tempo plodding style, something which has really become an issue with me now, as when Jorn fires it up he is untouchable (Sunset Station, Gate Of Tears, Worldchanger and the Masterplan material).
But as with all Jorn releases, this still a quality release and something I will play consistently for a period. The new album is Spirit Black and sure enough, the formula is once again in play here. 9 tracks, most of them hard, heavy and slow to mid-tempo. No surprise to find myself thinking half the album has gone by, only to realize I'm only on track 3.
The first 4 songs of the album are all good, with Spirit Black and Road Of The Cross stand out for me. But there is nothing more that I would love than a double time kick-drum fuelled opening track from the great singer.
City In Between is a slow intense rocker with a somewhat softer veneer than the first half of the album and features a great melodic chorus and lead vocal.
Then for the first time in a long while the tempo picks up…Rock N Roll Angel is a more traditional hard rock track than I have heard from Jorn in a while and I love it – great vocal melodies.
And wham! Burn Your Flame finally sees Jorn into overdrive. The song could be complete shit and still appeal due to the tempo finally reaching furious, but thankfully it isn't.
World Gone Mad continues the uptempo flurry of the second half of the record and is another solid, simple hard rocker with another good chorus melody.
Another plodder closes the album, but the intensity of the vocal and the manner in which it is delivered makes it stand out among other plodders in Jorn's repertoire.
The Bottom Line
Spirit Black is no great deviation from Jorn's solo career to date, but it does come across as a stronger record and overall one of the better solo albums. I still prefer the first few albums over the last two or three, but hopefully Jorn will continue to move in the direction set out here and the next album might further vary things up a little.
Always consistent and better than most, but long time fans are still waiting for that classic, which has been on the verge ever since the debut solo release.
Discography / Previously Reviewed
· Starfire
· World Changer
· Out To Every Nation
· The Duke
· Unlocking The Past
· The Gathering
· Lonely Are The Brave
· Spirit Black

Line Up:
· Jorn Lande: Vocals
· Jimmy Iversen, Tore Moren: Guitars
· Willy Bendiksen: Drums
· Sid Ringsby: Bass

Essential For Fans Of:
· Jorn Lande
· Masterplan
Track Listing
· Spirit Black *
· Below
· Road of the Cross
· The Last Revolution
· City Inbetweeen
· Rock And Roll Angel *
· Burn Your Flame *
· World Gone Mad *
· I Walk Alone

--*Best Tracks


18/12/09: Dr. David Abend - dsabend@pol.net
Rating: 95
I have everything that Jorn has put out as a solo artist and a few songs from Masterplan.

Although not his best effort-it is a bit redundant, hence the 95% and not 100%-he is, by far, one of the strongest voices in rock today or in the last 20 years, for that matter. He is the second coming of and what could have been david Coverdale's little brother/son with a more powerful voice. Saw Whitesnake last year-they were OK-disappointing with Coverdale at the helm. They should ask Jorn to go on the road and cover for him. He's simply amazing. I'll buy anything this guy makes as long as he keeps putting out powerful rock like this. I'm a big mid-tempo hard rock fan and VERY disappointed with groups like AC/DC, my heroes for a long time, who just put out mediocre rock with one good song-the rest filler and suck live out on tour. This guy just gets stronger with every CD and his vocal coach and music teachers must be very proud. Only wish he'd tour here in America in the NY area.

I'm glad he did covers of Whitesnake and Deep Purple-great bands who've gotten old-they should do a reunion tour with Jorn at lead vocals.

24/11/09: Wardy - micktward@internode.on.net
Rating: 88
Classy album. The last one Lonely Are The Brave was pretty darn good but again stepped on the brakes and slowed things down just a bit too far after The Duke already cruised things down a tad... Spirit Black suffers too from lack of speed but the songs on offer are probably the best stuff Jorn has released for eons. Spirit Black is the sort of album that delivers what you expect (as Andrew quite rightly points out above) but that quality keep things in the positive.

World Gone Crazy is easily one of Jorn's best tracks and the kick ass Rock n Roll Angel while has a slight cheese factor about it certainly does kick ass! City In Between is progressive cool but more cool than prog so don't fear, Sun Going Down (Lizzy cover) is worth grabbing the bonus track version for and the wonderful version of Tarja's I Walk Alone is magnificent.

A surprise, top class album that any fan of Jorn, Lande, project of or Masterplan should own.

Loses a couple points for this being pretty much entirely covers and retreads and void of original material. Kudos for making these old songs work so well but I'm the kinda fan that prefers new material... but that's just me ;)

16/09/09: Darkelf - sswan1@mts.net
Rating: 90
I wasn't really a fan of some of his previous works, especially the horrible Jorn/Lande discs (don't know what all the hype was about) I mean, both are incredible singers, but the songs were very weak. The cover of " Kill the King" was quite good. This album reminds me of Dio's Holy Diver/Sacred Heart albums. I love "Road of The Cross" and "Burn Your Flame" and the production is amazing. Sounds great on my Zune and can bash away at my kit with this whole album.

10/09/09: SoMuchMusicSoLittleTime - thedimpletons@yahoo.com
Rating: 92
Enjoying this much more than Lonely Are The Brave. Better overall quality from song to song. Only 9 tracks though. What is this -- 1976? Oh well, better that than throw in a skippable dud and there is no such track here. Can't say that for Lonely. Another nitpick is the lack of big guitar solos on this and the last disc. But overall, I fine piece of work from Sir Lande.

24/08/09: peter - peter@adam.com
Rating: 88
Jorn Lande is one of my favourite hardrock/metal singers. Thank god he has gone back to MASTERPLAN for a new album. He has released so many great albums with The Snakes, Millenium, Ark,Vagabond - 1st, Allen/Lande - 1st and both the superb Masterplan discs. No, he still hasn't topped "Worldchanger" and there is always some things I'm not overly happy with on his albums. The tempo and lack of variation for example. I'd love to hear a little more of the melodic/commercial style and a few more uptempo songs on his albums. I feel the solo albums are very good BUT getting all too similar sounding and a little bit predictable. I think the talent of Jorn Lande is at his BEST when he is working with other people in band projects.

22/08/09: gregg - gmcpa1@verizon.net
Rating: 85
Run of the mill Jorn hard rock. Nothing I will return to.

20/08/09: Feverdream - dherman1971@yahoo.com
Rating: 85
I'm a huge fan of everything JORN, but the solo work needs a shot in the arm. It's the same album hes been doing for a while now. and is it just me or does it seem each studio release gets shorter and shorter! I'm really looking forward to another MASTERPLAN cd, the first two were in-cred-i-ble! my favorite tracks on this are "I walk alone" and the bonus track i think is called "when the sun goes down".

20/08/09: manofthedark - richabyss@yahoo.com
Rating: 100
This might just be the best JORN solo album to date. Up there with Out To Every Nation which is the JORN milestone. This album is more diverse in styles than Lonely Are The Brave which while great seemed at times like one long song and kinda flat, this is much more melodic. The only thing it lacks is a ballad. Not a bad song on here, all killer no filler as they say. If you get the Japan import like i did you get the Killer whitesnake-ish "Wild Blood", i bought both versions and got the Thin Lizzy cover "The Sun Goes Down" also which sounds Amazing and has a stellar solo on it. My favorite tracks on it are "World Gone Mad", "Last Revolution", "Rocknroll Angel",the Tarja cover "I Walk Alone", and "Burn Your Flame". Again, not a bad song on here. JORN just keeps getting better at crafting melodic original classic rock sounding songs. Be intersting to see what direction he goes in with the reunited MASTERPLAN line-up.

20/08/09: damir - dampyrkusitch@yahoo.com
Rating: 89
....the copycat of Coverdale done it again......the record is Ok....but aret they all....All cd are too similar....

20/08/09: Figge - anderssonfigge@hotmail.com
Rating: 92
Mr. Lande seems to be stuck in a rut. He's decided to stay true to the formula of the last couple of albums and release at least one album every year. Again there is only 9 songs with one obvious cover and a few re-recordings (as usual). "Spirit Black" starts off like we've gotten used to of late, with a heavy mid-tempo plodder...but from there on it gets better.
The new album is like a crossing of all his other solo records and it's very classic, straight forward hard rock in style....just like it's predecessor, only this time with a few more commercial/melodic moments. There is really not a bad song on Spirit Black (although the re-recorded version of City In Between being quite out of place) and that's been a problem with all the other Jorn albums....some fantastic songs mixed with songs I skip every time.
Spirit Black is also much more varied in tempo/pacing and style which adds to the overall "album feel". Songs with a more melodic, lighter feel mixed with the mid-tempo heavy songs we've gotten used to.....and a few uptempo rockers too. As an album, not as incoherent as Worldchanger and O.T.E.N. (covered too many bases/styles) and not as one paced and plodding as The Duke and L.A.T.B (too many mid-paced heavy songs and not melodic and diverse enough).
The addition of keyboards, samplings and a little more choirs and background vocals also adds to the atmosphere of the album.

Best songs: Below, The Last Revolution, Rock And Roll Angel and the totally mind blowing World Gone Mad (one of my favourite Jorn tracks, ever).


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