Jorn - Unlocking the Past
Jorn Lande has decided to issue some rarities and upgrades in the form of two simultaneously released cds. The Jorn originals are gathered for "The Gathering" and all the covers are put on "Unlocking the Past". Covers albums are a hit and miss thing, especially when its just a single artist paying tribute to many. Yngwie Malmsteen (in my eyes) pulled it off memorably with his "Inspirations" album, simply because he let his personality shine through and overtake every song, making them each his own. Jorn isn't quite so daring, sticking mostly to the basics and honoring the artists by running through very solid renditions of every song. A few extended jams and tweaks make all the difference sometimes though, and all musicians here do a fantastic job at emulating the material.

"On and On" is a MSG classic that gives the guitarists an ample workout trying to lay out the licks originally given life by Michael Schenker at his creative genius peak. Jorn plays this one mostly by numbers, but pushes a few of the buttons by soaring his voice with added drama. The heavy kicks from the softer parts seems heftier and more biting than what was in the blueprints. Some of the mystical magic that gave listeners goosebumps back in 1981 is lost in the process.

"Fool For Your Loving" is a Whitesnake pick that is just nailed perfectly. Jorn can imitate Coverdale with all his sultry fire and masculine bluesy angst flawlessly. The musicians rise up to the challenge and blast this one home. It seems to have the metallic flair and fantastic axework that the "Ready n Willing" version brought to the table and less of the pop lite second go round for "Slip of the Tongue". A great workout for a classic song that makes it a true standout on "Past".

"Cold Sweat" is a lesser known pick from Thin Lizzy's "Thunder and Lightning" (John Sykes era guitars) and Jorn pounces on it like a panther, tearing through the track with passion and finesse.

"Lonely is the Word" is one of the spacier tracks from Dio fronted Black Sabbath. The celestial surfing atmosphere is retained and Jorn turns the dial up on the aggressive aspect for the vocals.

"Burn" is an extended jam session for the Deep Purple 70s classic. Its performed with class and ability, Jorn certainly has the David impression downpat (and should since he was the mic master for the Whitesnake semi-coverband The Snakes back a decade ago).

"Feel Like Making Love" from Bad Company and "Kill the King" by Rainbow are a unique pairing. The Bad Company song sees little new added which is a shame because the base track was memorable, but repetitive and that problem is not alleviated here. "Kill" has been handled by every metal band in the universe, but there's something about Jorn's approach to this stampeding violent heavy metal piece that just rips it and roars. The blood rushes like a cheetah through your veins in pursuit of its kill with every feral howl and piercing screech. Just the feeling that Blackmore and Dio impressed together back in the 70s and has been recreated here with aggressive glee. So many bands have tried to cover this, and dare I say this is the best of the bunch?

"Perfect Strangers" by Deep Purple is stellar. Since Lande's voice is so expressive and powerful, there are times that it eclipses the original. Now if only the Man in Black was behind the axe, then we'd have the ideal recording of this cut. The power and emotion shown are enough to crush the soul with its overbearing nature. Definitely a piece that is worth rechecking out with high replayability. The clean, crisp production is just the icing on the cake.

"Naked City" is a relatively obscure KISS song (for KISS anyway). Coming from "Unmasked" is an off the beaten path pick that fits well with the collection assembled here.

"The Day the Earth Caught Fire" crops up again. We first heard Jorn's recreation of the City Boy song back on his debut album "Starfire", itself being a mix of originals and covers. It was one that stood out from the others a little more just for being more of an unheard of curiosity. Its a nice addition to this covers collection, although preferably another "new" track would have been the obvious want.

In closing, "Unlocking the Past" is a disc aimed for Lande's most steadfast fans. Covers albums have a limited audience as it is, but these songs are performed with alot of heart and passion and will appeal to anyone looking for a little more taste of Jorn in preparation and waiting for "The Battle 2" to be unleashed. Is it a disc that possesses longevity and creativity? Absolutely not. It is however, alot of fun for a few run throughs and for what it is, that's more than enough.

Written by Alanna
Friday, January 5, 2007
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Ratings

Alanna: 7/10

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Review by Alanna

Released by
Frontiers - 2007

Tracklisting
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


Supplied by Zink


Style
Hard Rock/Heavy Metal

Related links
Visit the band page

Jorn Lande - Official Website

Other articles
Out to Every Nation - (Alanna)

The Duke - (Alanna)

The Gathering - (Alanna)

Lonely Are the Brave - (Alanna)

Starfire - (Alanna)

Spirit Black - (Alanna)

Dio - (Alanna)



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