Unlocking the Past

Jorn

Review score: 87%

Review Date: May 2013
Reviewer: Paul Jack
Source: Rock Hard Reviews
(www.rockhardreviews.com)

Amazon UK: Buy on CD / Amazon US: Buy on CD

Jorn Lande (or J0rn if you prefer) has an amazing voice, just perfect for melodic rock. When he wants to, Jorn sounds so similar to David Coverdale that he might just fool even the most diehard of Whitesnake fans. And then, next minute, Jorn might pull off a great Ronnie James Dio tribute in a cover song. I first encountered Jorn’s work back in the nineties when he sang for The Snakes accompanying Mickey Moodey, Bernie Marsden, both ex-Whitesnake chaps from back in the bluesy days of rock.

In 2007 release Unlocking the Past, Jorn honours some legends from hard rock history with an album full of melodic rock covers. And given the guy’s great vocal style, who better than to serve up a slice of nostalgia for us than the great Norwegian himself?

Playlist recommendations

It’s hard to pick out a few highlights from Unlocking the Past because there are so many gems to choose between. But I’ll try, just for you..

Fool for Your Loving

If you want confirmation that Jorn can sing like David Coverdale, look no further than this cover of Fool for Your Loving. I’m familiar with three versions of the song – the Whitesnake original from Ready and Willing, the Whitesnake re-release from Slip of the Tongue and now the Jorn cover from Unlocking the Past.

Jorn’s take on Fool for your Loving does away with the serene keyboard backing and replaces it with a thicker, fuller guitar sound. Once again we hear and hauntingly similar vocals to David Coverdale. The Whitesnake versions seem a bit chilled out in comparison to Jorn, who puts his heart into this hard rock classic.

Cold Sweat

Taken from Thin Lizzy’s 1983 album Thunder and Lightning, the original was a collaboration between Phil Lynott and John Sykes. Jorn treat the song with the respect it deserves, bringing us a 21st century version of this Lizzy classic. I love the lyrics, to which Jorn adds emotion to the exhilaration and panic of the story.

Several bands have covered Cold Sweat, including Helloween and Megadeath, but my favourites are the original and also the Jorn release. Don’t ask me to choose between them!

Kill the King

Wow! With guitars screaming a bit angrier than Rainbows studio original from Long Live Rock ‘n’ Roll, which Rainbow released way back in 1978, Kill the King bursts into the room with a menacing grin on its face and rants its regicidal thoughts right at you. Vocals are delivered with aplomb – as always Jorn Lande does a fantastic job in delivering Ronnie James Dio style vocals.

The original Rainbow version of Kill the King was credited to Ritchie Blackmore, Ronnie James Dio and Cozy Powell. Cozy was a hard hitting, highly skilled drummer and Rainbow’s Kill the King is a showcase for his mad skillz at pounding the skins. The Jorn version rocks hard and is well worth a listen. If you imagine what a vintage 1987 Whitesnake cover of Kill the King might sound like, this is it.

Burn

Originally the title track from Deep Purple’s 1974 album burn, the Jorn version is faster and more energetic than the original Purple version. Guitars and keyboards are perfect here, and I will go so far as to commit rock sacrilege and say that they sound as good as Ritchie Blackmore and Jon Lord. Having said that, recording and mixing technology may possibly have evolved a teeny bit since the early seventies, so no disrespect to theDP’ers intended. Jorn does a perfect job of emulating David Coverdale, and this cover of Burn is full of enthusiasm and passion.

Cover Art

Wonderful. Norse ravens are a theme across several Jorn album covers, and Unlocking the Past is no exception. An ominous raven stares eerily at the viewer like a sentry guarding a glowing treasure chest.

Conclusion

Unlocking the Past is a great tribute to the old days of hard rock. For those of us who have heard it all before, Jorn provides us with a selection of treasures hand pick from the treasure chest of memory and brings them to new life with these energetic, high quality covers. For those who are newcomers among us, welcome! Jorn’s Unlocking the Past is an opportunity for you to sample some legendary tracks and maybe find some classic rock bands to check out all on your own.

Buy Now! Amazon UK: Buy on CD / Amazon US: Buy on CD


Track list (May vary. These are cover song by Jorn. The original artist name is listed in brackets for info)

  • On and On (Michael Schenker Gorup )
  • Fool for your loving (Whitesnake)
  • Cold Sweat (Thin Lizzy)
  • Lonely is the Word / Letters from Earth (Black Sabbath)
  • Burn (Deep Purple)
  • Feel like Making Love (Bad Company)
  • Kill the King (Rainbow)
  • Perfect Strangers (Deep Purple)
  • Naked City (KISS)
  • The Day the Earth Caught Fire (City Boy)