Jorn – Heavy Rock Radio II – Executing The Classics

Jorn – Heavy Rock Radio II – Executing The Classics
Frontiers Music srl
Release Date: 24/01/2020
Running Time: 47:31
Review by Paul Monkhouse
3.5/10

Some records just make you ask “why?” Jorn Lande is a hugely talented singer and has released some truly excellent hard rock albums over the years that have won him fans all over the globe. His live shows too are the definition of hard rock masterclasses, a man truly at ease on stage and at the top of his game. “Heavy Rock Radio II” is, in fact, his fourth covers album and follows on the heels of volume one, released in 2016, which shares this theme as a compilation of tracks that influenced the Norwegian metaller. Again, the choices seem a mix of the obvious (‘Mystery’ by Dio) and the more off kilter (The Searchers ‘Needles And Pins’) but all hang together with arrangements and production that are tailor made to highlight the vocalist’s incredible range.

So far, so good but here’s the question: do these versions add anything to the originals? Overall, it’s a bit of a mixed bag, with some really benefitting from the new, heavier styling but others jarring and seemingly almost a pastiche. As mentioned, these are genuine heart felt tributes to some truly great songs but some can come nowhere near the magnificence of the primary recordings. Bryan Adam’s ‘Lonely Nights’, ‘Nightlife’ by Foreigner and a Celtic tinged ‘Winning’ by Russ Ballard all take away something positive from the treatment, the versions presented here sticking fairly close to source but adding some great little touches. Another couple of highlights are Jorn’s take on Deep Purple’s ‘Bad Attitude’, a great song choice and one where he shows flashes of the phrasing that Ian Gillan uses to great effect and a tilt at Santana’s ‘Love’ that’s filled with Southern Rock swagger.

Sadly though, there are some really huge misses that are either heavy handed or just utterly pointless. Given that ‘New York Minute’ by the Eagles and Peter Gabriel’s ‘The Rhythm Of Life’ are so iconic and perfect as they are, why tinker with them at all? Just as bad, ‘The Eskimo Quinn’, penned by Bob Dylan and made famous by Manfred Mann is needlessly turned into a Whitesnake style romp that does no-one any favours. As a whole, the album would be more enjoyable for the casual listener or Jorn devotee but for anyone acquainted with the original recordings it can be at times a frustrating or even teeth clenching experience. Done for the right reasons, this is a noble but very deeply flawed album that really does mix the good, the bad and the downright ugly.

TRACKLISTING:

01. Lonely Nights (Bryan Adams)
02. Winning (Russ Ballard)
03. New York Minute (Don Henley)
04. Needles And Pins (The Searchers)
05. Love (Santana)
06. I Do Believe In You (Pages)
07. Nightlife (Foreigner)
08. Bad Attitude (Deep Purple)
09. Quinn The Eskimo (The Mighty Quinn) (Manfred Mann’s Earth Band)
10. Mystery (Dio)
11. The Rhythm Of The Heat (Peter Gabriel)

LINKS:

www.jornlande.com/
www.facebook.com/OFFICIALJORN/
www.youtube.com/user/OFFICIALJORN

Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Paul Monkhouse and Ever Metal. It is strictly forbidden to copy any part of this review, unless you have the strict permission of both parties. Failure to adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.

Volster – Perfect Storm

Perfect Storm Cover

VOLSTER – PERFECT STORM
Rock of Angels Records
Release Date: 20/04/2018
Running Time: 52:16
Review by Dawn “The Metal Priestess” King
9/10

If there was ever a case of don’t judge a book by its cover (or in this instance by its name) then its Volster. When I was first assigned this to review, I must admit my heart sank a teeny tiny bit. I was certain that they were going to be a black metal band with a name like that, and although I know reviewing means stepping out of your comfort zone occasionally, I wasn’t in the mood for a black metal band.

So, imagine my surprise, and joy, when track number one “King of the Hill” came through the speakers!

No more of a black metal band than I am the Queen of Sheba, Volster are, in fact, a melodic, hard rock band from Sweden, and features ex members of Masquerade and House of Heavy.

The band was started by guitarist Ulf Anderson and bass player Henrik Lundberg, who were both members of the band Masquerade in the late 80’s and early 90’s. They met up in 1996 to record a four song demo, called Volster, but nothing much more happened.
In 2013 (17 years later!!) they decided to pick up where they left off and plans were made to start a band, performing the songs from the demo and also writing new ones. They kept the name Volster.

Says Henrik Lundberg: “brought up with music from the 70’s and 80’s the roots are deep. So, it is no surprise our music is built from these glorious decades even if we also involve some more modern flavours. The main ingredient is the melody, what else makes a great song other than the great vocals and interesting riffs, of course. With member having been active in the music business for decades, now is the time to make all our music dreams come true, playing the music we love. Volster is melodic hard rock as it’s supposed to be.

And I couldn’t agree more. I always preferred the heavy side to US glam rock with bands such as Skid Row and Motley Crue, but Volster offer a bit more. Throw in a bit of Aerosmith and a touch of Ozzy and you are the way to getting what this band is about.

As previously mentioned, the album kicks off with the infectious “King of the Hill” and it doesn’t let up until it finishes with the heavy “Ends With Me”. The album is full of stomping rhythms and heavy riffs, which mixed with clean and clear vocals, makes for an awesome hard hitting rock album.

Although this is the debut full length album for the band, they are by no means the new kids on the block. A wealth of experience to draw on and a passion to make the music they want to, how they want to, means they are at an advantage to other bands releasing their debut album.

Produced by themselves, the album is also co-produced and mixed by Max Norman (Ozzy Osbourne, Lynch Mob, Armored Saint, Lizzy Borden, Megadeth and Y&T) and mastered by Thomas ‘Plec’ Johansson (Soilwork, Onslaught, Armageddon, Degradead, Dynazty) at The Panic Room Mastering.

“Breathless” is probably my favourite track on the album but there are plenty of others that I also enjoyed. The songs are well written and fantastically executed. These guys are great musicians on top of everything else, with their sound firmly stuck in the classic hard rock era.

This is a must have album for every modern hard rock fan and I certainly will be keeping my eye holes and ear balls open for anything new they do!

TRACK LIST:

King Of The Hill
Heaven Or Hell
Perfect Storm
Breathless
Still In Love
Babylon
Hero
Games Of War
Easier Said Than Done
I Don’t Care
Drifting Away
Ends With Me
SOCIAL MEDIA:

https://www.facebook.com/volsterband/
http://www.volsterband.com

 

Promo Pic1

Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Dawn “The Metal Priestess” King and Ever Metal. It is strictly forbidden to copy any part of this review, unless you have the strict permission of both parties. Failure to adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.