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Album Review : Jorn – Over the Horizon Radar

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Review by Rob Broom for MPM

Jorn is the name of Norwegian vocalist Jorn Landes’ solo project. ‘Over the Horizon Radar’ is his latest offering and we should be grateful for the gift. 

I must confess to being completely ignorant of Jorn, or indeed his previous group activities, (perhaps I should get out more)  yet to steal an album title from the Who this recording is ‘Meaty, Beaty, Big and Bouncy’ with some songs a veritable wall of stadium filling rock sound. 

The opening title track sets the scene perfectly, a thunderous rock anthem, guitars riffing, drums pounding, with appropriate harmony and pauses for effect and indeed, on one hand you could say that the whole album is that standard rock formula, but that’s really doing the album a titanic disservice. It’s well crafted, enthusiastically performed and sounds fresh with some great hooks.

Jorns Landes’ voice and sound is difficult to categorise or label (probably a good thing), but first impressions was that of Paul Rodgers meets Biff Byford meets Ronnie James Dio with a lashing of Dave Lee Roth thrown in for good measure, and indeed, on a couple of tracks, ‘In the Dirt’, ‘My Rock and Roll’ and ‘Special Edition’ that bluesy metal sound comes shining through.

Jorn are not afraid to stretch their metal musical muscle either, 4 of the 10 songs are over 5 minutes long, with another 2 running at over 7 minutes and they all admirably manage to hold your attention. ‘One Man War’, clocking in at just under 6 minutes is a pumping example of a song building and building without wandering off track.

It is not all epic though, ‘Winds of Home’ starts to build up dramatically and you are just waiting for the killer punch, which never comes, rather there’s a pointless fade out before the roll of drums introducing the next song, the 7 minute pounder ‘ In the Dirt’ which thankfully more than makes up for the pause.

Indeed, drums underpin this album along with some nice, hooky guitar playing that is not too flash but when the riffs and solos are needed, they are well executed. Air guitarists are well catered for on some of the songs! 

It’s all tremendous fists in the air, chest pounding material with many of the songs – such as the stomping and classy ‘Believer’ – coming from the ‘uplifting and adding to your confidence’ book of song writing, while a couple of others (such as ‘Dead London’ and ’Black Phoenix’) owe more to the storytelling found in the mood of early Dio.

‘Ode to the Black Nightshade’ also follows the Dio vibe accompanied with some really tight guitar riffing and harmony which characterises much of the album.

In conclusion, this is an excellent rock album and worth having in your collection. This album does not deserve too much of the ‘face melting’ kind of hyperbole, because it stands on its own merits, with power and class.

It really should appeal to anyone who wants a new take on UFO, Saxon and other ‘classic’ rock era bands. Repeated listening will reward you and I would imagine most of the songs are going to sound fantastic live which is where it really matters. Jorn are now on my radar and they really should be on yours.

SOCIAL MEDIA:

https://www.facebook.com/OFFICIALJORN/

https://www.youtube.com/c/JornChannel…

https://www.jornlande.com

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