"some music was meant to stay underground..."

Jorn - "Live In Black" (2-CD Set)

Jorn - "Live In Black" 2-CD Set cover image

"Live In Black" track listing:

CD 1
1. Road Of The Cross
2. Shadow People
3. Below
4. We Brought The Angels Down
5. Stormcrow
6. Spirit Black
7. The Inner Road
8. Man Of The Dark

CD 2
1. Black Song
2. Guitar Solo 1
3. Tungur Knivur
4. Guitar Solo 2
5. Rock 'N Roll Angel
6. Drum Solo
7. Soul Of The Wind
8. Are You Ready
9. War Of The World

Reviewed by on August 28, 2011

"Jorn's 'Live In Black' puts you front row center and then blasts you back in your seat with a potent dose of old-school metal."

The mark of a great live album is how much it makes you feel like you were there for the show. Jorn's "Live In Black" puts you front row center and then blasts you back in your seat with a potent dose of old-school metal.

Jorn Lande's arguably best known in America for his Ronnie James Dio tribute album, as well as for singing Dio's Sabbath songs alongside Glenn Hughes at Heaven & Hell's final show (he was also the lead singer in Masterplan). Here, Lande cuts loose with a collection of his own tunes, but the Dio influence comes through loud and clear in the tightrope that Lande walks between soaring, near-operatic tones and deeper, growly vocals on songs like "Road Of the Cross" and "Stormcrow." Lande even mentions Dio toward the end of "Man Of The Dark," earning a cheer from the crowd.

Make no mistake, though, these songs may be influenced by Lande's love of Dio, but the album never goes into the realm of impersonation. Tracks like "We Brought The Angels Down" and "Road Of The Cross" have an appealing darkness that the crowd obviously responds to, as does the Black Sabbath-like "Tungur Knivur."

Guitarists Tore Moren and Tor Erik Myhre absolutely tear it up on tracks like "Spirit Black" and "Tungur Knivur," giving the mid-tempo tracks a sense of pent-up energy about to explode — which they do in the soaring solos. The solo that closes "War Of The World" will cause the hairs to stand up on the back of your neck.

Willy Bendiksen's drumming is excellent throughout, with a solo that is Bonham-esque in its melodic feel. Like Moren and Myhre, he also knows how to propel a mid-tempo song in a way that imparts more energy than its speed would suggest — particularly on "Black Song."

Are there what I call "bathroom break" songs here? You betcha. The silly "Are You Ready" (and if you didn't figure out that the next to words are "to rock," I'm officially revoking your metal credentials) is pretty pointless — killer guitar solo aside. The preachy, cliche-ridden "Inner Road" is another excuse to get up and get a beer. That said, this is otherwise a damn tight set, and it's mixed just about perfectly.

If you're looking to take in a great classic metal show at home, Jorn's "Live In Black" is just what you're looking for. Let the soaring vocals, killer guitars and roar of the crowd turn your living room into an arena.

Highs: "Road Of The Cross," "Tungur Knivur" and "Man Of The Dark."

Lows: The silly "Are You Ready" and the preachy "The Inner Road."

Bottom line: An excellent set that captures the energy of Lande's live show.

Rated 4.0 out of 5 skulls
4.0 out of 5 skulls


Key
Rating Description
Rated 5 out of 5 skulls Perfection. (No discernable flaws; one of the reviewer's all-time favorites)
Rated 4.5 out of 5 skulls Near Perfection. (An instant classic with some minor imperfections)
Rated 4 out of 5 skulls Excellent. (An excellent effort worth picking up)
Rated 3.5 out of 5 skulls Good. (A good effort, worth checking out or picking up)
Rated 3 out of 5 skulls Decent. (A decent effort worth checking out if the style fits your tastes)
Rated 2.5 out of 5 skulls Average. (Nothing special; worth checking out if the style fits your taste)
Rated 2 out of 5 skulls Fair. (There is better metal out there)
< 2 skulls Pretty Bad. (Don't bother)