Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Jorn: Dio (2010) Review

Jorn's tribute to the late, great Ronnie James Dio came out yesterday in the US, and I was chomping at the bit to hear this. Jørn Lande is one of the best vocalists in metal today, and probably the best power metal style vocalist around.

Lande's voice is amazing as always, with his ability to put a lot of throat into his voice while singing huge notes, in a way unmatched by anyone other than Dio himself. And he has a powerful band to back it up. They absolutely slay on Rainbow track "Kill the King", which is easily the highlight of the album. The other major highlights are Holy Diver standards "Invisible" and "Shame on the Night".

I do have a few nitpicky complaints, but don't take them too far. This album is very good, but the covers are a little too faithful, and don't really add anything. Also, Lande's power metal background doesn't allow for too much subtlety, and the band follows suit. As a result, they overemphasize everything, so instead of having highs and lows in the music everything is just one huge plateau. That's what you get for covering someone so amazing without mixing it up. The problem is most obvious on "Stand Up and Shout". Third, I think the track list is a bit disappointing: There are a total of 5 Holy Diver tracks, plus 4 more tracks from Dio's solo work, but only one Rainbow track--and most disappointing of all, only one Sabbath (well, two, actually, but jammed together into a medley). Finally, the original track "Song for Ronnie James" is a bit on the corny side, but the solo is good.

The Verdict: You probably won't want to go out of your way to get this one unless you're a huge fan of either Dio or Jorn. Despite all of my complaints, it is in fact a satisfying listen, and I give it 3 out of 5 stars.

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