JORN – Spirit Black

  • 8.5/10
    JORN - Spirit Black - 8.5/10


Frontiers Records
Release Date: 2009-06-05

User Review
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The mighty raven of Hard Rock is coming at you again in less than a year after the Lonely Are The Brave album. The world class voice of Hard Rock from Norway, Jorn Lande, presents his latest endeavor Spirit Black.

Like all of Jorn’s albums, influences are abound from such 70’s Hard Rock acts like Led Zeppelin, Deep Purple and Rainbow alongside heavier relics akin to Dio and Whitesnake. All will be there to greet you as you stroll through the album. Jorn’s abilities, both as a songwriter and as singer, signify the true meaning of Hard Rock, especially in these modern times where Hard Rock has become something different than it used to.

On the other hand, Spirit Black as a new addition to Jorn’s album career is a bit different from his other records, even from the cover compilation, Unlocking The Past.

In the past, Jorn’s drummer, Willy Bendiksen, played in this old band, which existed in Norway through the early to mid 80s, called Road. It is unknown what Willy’s involvement in the band’s material writing was , but it seems that Jorn and his fellow members made quite a good use of Road’s material. This material surrounded Road’s EP, Running Away from 1985 and their full-length, Breaking Out from 1986. Road’s material covers seven out of the nine songs on Spirit Black. To be more precise, the use of Road’s material can be noticed within the exact notes of the rhythm guitars and the exact beats of the drums. The solos, lyrics and leading rhymes were re-written by Jorn and his fellow guitarists, Igor Gianola (U.D.O) and Tore Moren (from the late Black Metal act, Arcturus). The other remaining songs are an amazing cover version of one of Tarja’s, the ex-vocalist of Nightwish, songs from her latest album.

Finally, the other song is a reprise of one of Jorn’s earlier bands, Vagabond. Therefore, it can be inferred that Spirit Black is not presenting anything new for people who knew Road and Vagabond. For others who do not have any sort of knowledge about the old Norwegian scene, they will have a chance to review and to be dazzled by Jorn’s vision through these old songs under a production that even words can’t describe how perfect it is.

Even with the “help” of Road and Vagabond, Spirit Black is not Jorn’s best album, although his writing skills and his ultimate voice never cease to amaze. He brought new life to the old songs, which exist for more than 20 years. Killer tracks as “Spirit Black” (Originally “The Actor) , “Below” (Originally “Normal Life”) , “The Last Revolution” (Originally “Return”) and the heartbreaking “Rock N’ Roll Angel” (Originally “Running Away”) are great examples of Jorn’s handle and soul. The old song of Vagabond, “Big Fan of Life” is presented on Spirit Black as the Hard Rock / AOR experience under the name of “City In Between”. This song is a well-done sing along treat with a total late 80’s feel. The closing track of the album is a cover for Tarja Turunen’s “I Walk Alone”. For those who dislike the operatic tones will adore this version by Jorn who unleashes his entire prowess on this performance.

Sprit Black came a year after Jorn released his previous record. However, various renewals and modifications were made on the album, this is not new Jorn material, if you count the whole music and such. Unlike his earlier albums, on this release you will notice Jorn’s ability in enhancing old songs in a different way as he did in Unlocking The Past.


  • Lior Stein

    Lior was a reviewer, DJ and host for our Thrash Metal segment called Terror Zone, based out of Haifa, Israel. He attributes his love of Metal to his father, who got him into bands like Deep Purple, Rainbow, Boston, and Queen. When he was in junior high he got his first Iron Maiden CD, The Number Of The Beast. That's how he started his own collection of albums. Also, he's the guitarist, vocalist and founder of the Thrash Metal band Switchblade. Most of his musical influences come from Metal Church, Vicious Rumors, Overkill, and Annihilator.

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