Jorn – Life on Death Road
Release 02. June 2017 Label: Frontiers Records
For quite some time, we had to wait for a new, pure Jorn album. Of course, there was “Dracula – Swing of Death” with Trond Holter in 2015 and the covers album “Heavy Rock Radio” last year, but after “Traveller” in 2013, there was no pure Jorn album. Now, “Life on Death Road” is finally here. Excitedly, we wonder what has happened in the last four year in Jorn’s musical mind. I was a bit unsure what to think of his latest collaboration with Mat Sinner and Alessandro Del Veccio. Those two surely are great musicians but they, in my opinion, are not a good match to a singer like Jorn.
So, how does the new album sound like? The first thing I notice is that, indeed, it doesn’t sound like Jorn anymore. The songs are simpler, not as deep as on older records. I’m pretty sure that many will like it but is this still “Jorn”? I don’t see him as a singer, who needs so much backing vocals and voice editing – his vocals are impressive without any extras. This doesn’t mean “Life on the Death Road” is a bad album. On the contrary. But perhaps, they could or should have released it under a different name, as another project with Jorn Lande or so. One is not used to this kind of music from the Norwegian viking anymore. Actually, he prefers more complex songs, I’m sure, which are perhaps not as catchy but made him the artist he is today. Perhaps, he changed his taste in music and now wants to try something completely different? Good for him. But for true fans this could mean quite a re-orientation.
Personally, I will definitely not get used to the fact that his voice was tampered with so badly. He really doesn’t need that. Apart from that, the songs are well done and it’s easy to sing along. It surely is an album with a surprise effect because no-one would’ve expected something like this. The critics will love it, I’m sure, because it’s simple music. But I need some time to get used to hearing him sound so “commercial” again.