Jorn - Spirit Black
"Spirit Black" is Jorn Lande's world compressed into nine tracks of powerfully focused energy and majestic might. He filters the best of both his favorite worlds - those of Whitesnake and 80s Ronnie James Dio. Lyrically its all mysticism and symbolism, making magic by swirling these themes around. Running with wolves, chasing rainbows and dealing in demons - it all sounds so fantastically wonderful, bringing colourful visual themes to accompany the music.

Lande's voice is one of the finest you will find in the heavy metal genre. There is none like it, and once heard, it completely consumes your thoughts and worms into your emotions. Guitars are dazzling as is the norm for these albums, his six string musicians being masters of the axe, giving electric fury to match his hurricane force voice.
In short, "Spirit Black" is more of the same, but why would anyone want for more? You want JORN and he gives it to you, nothing compromised or modernized or fiddled with. Pure, unfiltered Jorn Lande.  That was the goal and its achieved with style.  However, the album lacks some of that experimental spark that brightened up the past few discs.  This is straightforward metal but well done all the same. 

The title track, "Spirit Black" is pompously epic, this splits the album wide open and lays down the groundwork for everything else to follow. Prominent vocals, Jorn turns heads no matter what he sings. His force seems to pull everything toward him, the point of this dark universe of demons and chains, the evil lays dormant waiting for its awakening...

"Holy Diver's" proud and majestic thunder brought to the forefront on "Below". The inflections vocally and the blitzy electric liquid guitars are like a resurrection from Dio's past. Powerful, might and magic pounds your breath from the chest and captures the heart by sheer will of domination. Signature wicked rhythms carry the tune and Lande's voice embroiders it in shades of emotion.

"Road of the Cross"
comes galloping out like black stallions thundering deliberately through the last seconds of midnight lay the groundwork for this track. This one blazes through with a metallic mid pacing. But the epic atmospheres shake you to the core and the slightest breath of the desert wastelands mystifying the guitars into drops of strange exotic magic. Lande's voice cuts clear wounds that ooze brilliance. The chorus is as slick as wet blood running ebony on the blade.

"The Last Revolution"
is purring dark, more aggressive wolf but with the feline graceful ease, dangerously gorgeous all the same. Here Jorn slides between the sheets of woven majesty from Dio and the sexual predator of David Coverdale. A mixture of promised pleasure. The guitars are slithering, openly venomous in turn. Sinfully hard rock delight.

Discordant bells, pulsing guitars as an arrhythmic heartbeat illuminate "City In Between". Lyrical symbols bring brightly illuminated visuals on raven wings, and then the breaking - a chorus that hits dizzying melodic heights. Purity and clear as blue white washed skies, crashing back down into the verses. Jorn's voice all encompassing, he is the focal point, the very center of this aural world. Musically it all revolves around him, and he is such an overwhelming force that he cannot be reckoned with, any other approach would seem demeaning.

"Rock N Roll Angel"
begins with acoustic strumming and that voice so teasingly soft, so endearingly careful, but you can feel the depth running underneath and that quick anticipation. A blast straight to the soul. Bluesy hard rock that is the beginning and end of everything here. "Invisible rainbow hiding in black and white". Dark and alluring, Rainbow's Dio days alight in a prism of technicolor perfection.

"Burn Your Flame"
has a slicing effect startles into a rock rampage, a page stolen out of pre-"Slide it In" Whitesnake and Covey sung Deep Purple. Hard rock in that straight up 70s manner, dancing guitars, seduced sultry vocals burning to the candle's quick.

"World Gone Mad"
is the fusion of heavy rock, sizzling metal and a flair for the dramatic blends for the quintessential "Jorn" song. Mesmerizing guitars crawl from the darkness, making it difficult to resist the temptation even though your soul feels stained by every note that slips by.

Almost hyperventilation worthy is "I Walk Alone", Jorn nails this song down pat - and then some. Tarja's had a cold calculating cruelty that defined her break with Nightwish. Lande brings a completely different flavor to the same song, and which is superior depends upon your mood. Absolutely mind numbingly awesome, it blows you away like the deadly force of an emotional hurricane. Power and glory, might and magic come blinding out like a blizzard. This is about domination, powering through with untethered vocal prowess. Cloak and dagger bluesy twists of the knife, a soul enchanter of a tune given an alternate approach to the brooding soul cloaked darkness.

"Spirit Black"
is pure Jorn Lande and makes good on everything one comes to anticipate from his solo albums. Challenging vocal showcases, daringly dark guitar solos and songs that are majestic, powerful and threaded with melodic stains so flirtatious with the darkness. Just edgy enough to taint the music spiritually black. Its possession and passion, world changing and mixed up in the magnificence that the platform of heavy metal so wonderfully provides. 

Written by Alanna
Monday, May 18, 2009
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Comment by gizmo (Member) - Friday, June 12, 2009
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I´ve only heard I walk alone on youtube because someone told me about this song and how good it was they did not know it was a cover and i did not either as i did´nt expect a cover of this song EVER and not so soon after the original.

But it´s marvelous, Jorn realy gave this song a life. Tarja´s is utterly boring and as a whole I was very dissapointed with her solo effort (except the christmas album). But Jorn really nailed it and now i can really appreciate the song. Its incredible how much a song can change just with a new vocalist, but never has a pretty boring song become song great. I am speechless

Posted by gizmo
Friday, June 12, 2009

Comment by Alanna (Staff) - Saturday, June 13, 2009
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"I Walk Alone" was something really special from that Tarja album. The rest was so-so but that was a real showstopper. I do love the way her version has this cold, calculating cruelty to it. Its just chilling to the bone. However, Jorn brings a whole alternate dimension to the song and I love both versions.

I agree that its amazing how a different voice and different arrangements can completely transform a song... this is a good example of that, and also why I like the Northern Kings cover tracks so much.

Posted by Alanna (Staff)
Saturday, June 13, 2009

Comment by josh1982004 (Member) - Thursday, September 10, 2009
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This is a great album I prefer it to Lonely are the Brave which is also a good album as well. If anyone is looking into getting this album,I recommend getting the Digi Pack version, It includes a cover of Thin Lizzy's When the Sun Goes Down which is just awesome.

Posted by josh1982004
Thursday, September 10, 2009

Review by Alanna

Released by
Frontiers - 2009

1. Spirit Black
2. Below
3. Road of the Cross
4. The Last Revolution
5. City Inbetweeen
6. Rock And Roll Angel
7. Burn Your Flame
8. World Gone Mad
9. I Walk Alone

Heavy metal

Related links
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Jorn Lande - Official Website

Other articles
Out to Every Nation - (Alanna)

The Duke - (Alanna)

Unlocking the Past - (Alanna)

The Gathering - (Alanna)

Lonely Are the Brave - (Alanna)

Starfire - (Alanna)

Dio - (Alanna)

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