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JORN
WORLDCHANGER

Now & Then / Frontiers FRCD 094
Produced by: Jorn Lande / Mixed: Tommy Hansen

Released: Oct. 28 / Website
Relatives: Dio, Halford, Millenium, Ark
GENRE: Melodic Metal
OVERALL: 92%

  1. Tungur Knivur
  2. Sunset Station
  3. Glow In The Dark
  4. House Of Cards
  5. Bless The Child
  6. Captured
  7. Worldchanger
  8. Christine
  9. Bridges Will Burn

This is an important release for John Lande and I believe it is very important that I accurately portray this album in this review.
Why is it important? Because I believe this is a magnificent album of the highest order, with great songwriting, musical expression and production quality.
I believe this, the second Jorn solo album, is some of the best work the versatile singer has put on record and is an album that given half the chance, could and should sell a million copies of worldwide.
But it isn't necessarily going to suit all melodic rock and AOR fans. I have already seen two average reviews for this album - a result of the style not suiting the tastes of the reviewers.
To be blunt, there is no denying the awesome quality and general world class feel of this album. Maybe the album has been misunderstood - this is not an AOR release. It's barely even a melodic rock release, but it is melodic!
What it is, is both a very heavy and hard hitting hard rock album and also a melodic heavy metal album. The thing that really makes this album great, is that despite it's heavy nature, it is dominated throughout by superb melodies, hooks, anthems and harmonies. I do conceede however, that this album could be just a little too heavy for some.
Jorn's debut was quite a varied affair, centred around an AOR / classic melodic rock theme. This album (of 100% original tunes) makes the natural transition to a tighter, better produced and executed album more in the heavy metal field.
Jorn's vocal performance is second to none.
Once again, the album has the Millenium & Ark vocalist varying styles and delivery, but that's not distracting - the album as a whole flows seamlessly and effortlessly from one track to another.
Track by Track:
The album opens with what would have to be described as a non-standard album opening song. Tungur Knivur is a title inspired from two Norwegian words and is as interesting as the title suggests.
The song is a very heavy, dark, mid-tempo and epic song, with the obligatory building heavy metal intro. Ronnie James Dio and Ozzy Osbourne come to mind, as this dark heavy song fits their mould perfectly. Just checkout how heavy the song gets in the mid-song instrumental section. Ear bleeding stuff!
Sunset Station is the pick of the album for me. This reminds me of the last Millenium album, but with heavier, more menacing vocals and a more brutal guitar riff. The song features a chorus, bridge, second mid-song bridge and a seriously hard rocking anthem chorus that features some outstanding lead and harmony vocals. Jorn is again doing his best Coverdale-in-overdrive voice. One of the songs of the year!
Glow In The Dark features another seriously heavy guitar riff - the heaviest of the album yet, but the song itself is another dark mid-tempo track, featuring a strong and controlled lead vocal. There's no stand out chorus, but the song changes in and out of itself to provide tempo variations.
House Of Cards leads in with a powerful soft, soulful David Coverdale like lead vocal and leads slowly into a chorus featuring some fabulous harmony and intensified lead vocals. The song is as close to a ballad as you will find on Worldchanger, but remains as tough and heavy as the rest of the album. I love the end of the track - it builds brilliantly to the climax.
The album's pace gets turned sideways with Bless The Child. This is the heaviest and fastest paced track of the album, with Jorn moving from a riff-heavy scream-fest verse Rob Halford would be proud of, to an abruptly melodic moody chorus. If the song seems to heavy for your ears, just wait for the chorus to kick in! Seriously ear shredding stuff!
For those melodic fans feeling a little faint after the onslaught of Bless The Child, Captured is sure to sooth things over. This is a much softer easy flowing track, with no set chorus, just a new-age type feel to it.
Worldchanger is another cool uptempo rocker, this time touching on the style of Jorn's other band Ark. This rock track is quite progressive in nature, featuring some cool guitar and drum riffs, and featuring a solid harmony and hook filled chorus that is memorable from the first listen.
Christine is different again! This track features another great dark, deep Jorn vocal, taking charge over the track. The vocal is quite dominant and on the lower register of Jorn's range. But the song itself, although still heavy in nature, rocks along quite nicely and with a somewhat commercial chorus.
Track 9 ends the album way to soon! I would have loved to seen another couple of tracks included, but like me, you will just have to start the album over again from the start.
Regardless of that, Bridges Will Burn is another dark and heavy song, featuring another short bridge & chorus. Like all things Jorn, nothing is predictable and the song's path changes as it goes. The chorus is also again softer and more commercial than the verses.
A special mention has to be made to the killer band behind this recording.
The guitar hero shred fests are courtesy of Tore Moren, the double kick drum bonanza courtesy Jan Aksel "Hellhammer" and heavy ass bass riffs from Sid Ringsby. All in all, a very powerful unit indeed. They will be a treat to see live!
BOTTOM LINE: The bottom line is that this is a sensational album!
It just has to find it's right audience. The album shows growth from the artist, great production and enough to fulfil the expectations of established fans.
Fans of Millenium, Ark and Jorn's debut solo album should all find plenty to like about this record. For once again, Jorn brings parts of his whole career together to form the songs on Worldchanger.
This album is heavy, dark and right in your face. While I think the album retains enough for melodic fans to latch onto, it's modern and aggressive edge should hopefully see it cross over into a wider audience.
There is no reason for fans of Judas Priest, Ozzy, Black Sabbath and Dio to ignore this. And as there are so many fans of those guys, this should sell accordingly. If you love this guy, help spread the word!
PRODUCTION: 95% SONGS: 89% VIBE: 89%ATTITUDE: 95%
ESSENTIAL FOR: All fans of Jorn Lande (the vocal legend!), fans of the heavier side of hard rock. Some fans of Millenium and Ark.
DISCOGRAPHY: Starfire . Worldchanger



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