Jorn - The Duke
The chimney from Norway is back with another solo album only two years since he released his previous offering entitled Out To Every Nation. In the meantime he also has recorded albums with Masterplan and Russel Allen apart from performing with Masterplan. Workaholic is a term that is quite close at hand.
A new record with Jorn Lande means extremely well played melodic metal firmly rooted in the bluesy hard rock from the seventies crossed with edgy progressive metal. To help him out he has indeed gathered a fantastic band that surely know how to deliver the goods. The guitars are played with passion and the rhythm section is tight as hell. As a special guest on the keyboards we find no other than Don Airey (well known for his work with Ozzy and Rainbow).
The Duke is musically quite similar to Out To Every Nation. The same recipe is used this time, maybe slightly heavier though. The song writing quality isn't however on par with his earlier works. I only hear glimpses here and there of the greatness that we could hear on his best album so far which in my opinion is Worldchanger (released 2001). To underline this statement I would like to mention that the two best tracks on this album are a cover song (Are You Ready made by Thin Lizzy) and a remake of an old song (Starfire).
This is however minor complaints due to the fact that I expect much of this guy and I would be lying if I said that this was bad in any way. I just have the feeling that I've heard this before and a little better. The bottom line though is that Jorn delivers a competent and even album that few are capable of and none of his fans should be disappointed.