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Jorn - 'Traveller' http://www.rocktopia.co.uk/media/reviews/photos/thumbnail/200x200s/dd/fd/88/Jorn-Traveller-39-1374368596.jpg Hot

Added by Central Electronic Brain     July 21, 2013    
 
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'Traveller' is Jorn's (the band) most cohesive set for some time.

With a voice pitched somewhere between that of David Coverdale and the late, great Ronnie James Dio, Norse god of voice Jorn Lande is still (quite rightly in my opinion at any rate) viewed as one of the best vocal finds of the last two decades.

Firstly coming to the fore as the focal point for Ronnie Le Tekro's post TNT outfit Vagabond (who released a brace of sadly misunderstood albums in the mid 90s), he has since gone on to front a number of high profile projects and bands, but ultimately it's as pilot of his own destiny that he seems most comfortable. His first couple of solo releases – 'Starfire' and 'Worldchanger' (from 2000 and 2001 respectively) – were more traditionally AOR/MHR focused (kinda comparable to the stuff he was doing with Ralph Santolla and Millenium at the time), but since the emergence of 'Out To Every Nation' in 2004, they've taken on a decidedly more metallic hue.

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Studio follow up to last year's 'Bring Heavy Rock To The Land', 'Traveller' once again sees our hero continue with his quest to prove himself as the rightful, undisputed heir to the Dio (the band) crown. Guitarist Tore Moren may no longer be part of the inner circle, but in Trond Holter (former Dream Police guitarist whom many of you may know better as Teeny from Wig Wam) he's found a more than capable replacement, his burgeoning partnership with Jimmy Iverson stamping its authority all over this release with size ten jackboots! Holter's Wig Wam colleague Bernt Jansen also joins the fold as new bassist.

If like me you've been on-board with the heavier direction Jorn has taken of late, 'Traveller' won't really offer any surprises...I mean that in a good way of course! Powerfully emotive vocals, pumping riffs and spiralling solos are still de rigueur, but on this release he seems to have actively addressed some of those nagging accusations that his songs are plodding and one dimensional. Naturally here are still some great mid paced pot boilers – 'Traveller' and 'Carry The Black' both being fine examples of Dio meets Sabbath – but these are now vying for attention with a fistful of pacier cuts such as 'Widow Maker' and 'Overload'.

A much more evenly balanced set of songs with a full on production and dynamic mix (thanks once again to Tommy Hansen), 'Traveller' is Jorn's (the band) most cohesive set for some time and as such should broaden their appeal even further.

Dave Cockett

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