Unlocking the Past
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One of two 2007 releases from the band formed by Norwegian AOR singer/songwriter Jorn Lande who has worked with Yngwie Malmsteen, Joe Lynn Turner, Don Airey, Uli Jon Roth and previously fronted the Metal band Masterplan. Unlocking the Past features unreleased cover versions and remixes of past Jorn favorites. Frontiers.
Top customer reviews
1. On and On (MSG) - This was originally intended for a Millenium covers album (Jorn was briefly a member of that band).
2. Fool for Your Loving (Whitesnake) - I don't think this one surprised anyone. Jorn has the kind of voice that would make even David Coverdale do a double take. I'd have preferred Still of the Night, but this is good too.
3. Cold Sweat (Thin Lizzy) - Is there any frontman from this generation that wasn't influenced by Phil?
4. Lonely is the Word/Letters from Earth (Black Sabbath) - The first of two Dio covers on this album. If you ever wondered what David Coverdale fronting Black Sabbath might sound like, here's your answer.
5. Burn (Deep Purple) - Coverdale again. Jorn covered this one on Starfire, but this is a new recording.
6. Feel Like Makin' Love (Bad Company) - This is probably my least favorite Bad Company hit, but Jorn manages to give it a bit more spirit. Too bad he didn't choose the song Bad Company.
7. Kill the King (Rainbow) - The second Dio cover on this album. I guess after Lonely is the Word Jorn is entitled to rock out a bit!
8. Perfect Strangers (Deep Purple) - It's Deep Purple again, but at least it's not Coverdale again. Jorn's version of my favorite DP tune is on par with Dream Theater's version from A Change of Seasons.
9. Naked City (Kiss) - Here's another one from left field. Who picks this Kiss song to cover?
10. The Day the Earth Caught Fire (City Boy) - Another one that was previously on Starfire. Again this is a more recent recording.
Unfortunately that's all there is. I expected to see the other two covers from Starfire (Journey's Edge of the Blade and Foreigner's Break it Up), and would have been happy with a second disc full of covers. Still, I have no problem at all with the material that made it to Unlocking the Past. This collection is a great introduction to Jorn Lande and the kind of vocalist he is, and it gives you an idea of what to expect from his solo albums (which are all great, by the way). It's a must-have for all Jorn fans, and a should-have for anyone who has heard his name and wondered what all the fuss is about.
"On and On" (a song that was meant to appear on a Millenium covers album) incorporates chunky riffs with serene keyboard tones. Jorn delivers a chorus full of pitch-perfect melody. "Fool for Your Loving" is a lot slower than the Whitesnake original, but the riffs are a lot meatier. The song suits Jorn quite well because he sounds like David Coverdale on steroids most of the time anyway. Lande really flexes his vocal chops on the Dio-era Sabbath track "Lonely is the Word/Letters From Earth." His guitarist's are no slouches either.
This is no knock on Paul Rogers or Bad Company, but Lande really puts some balls behind the otherwise [...] delivery of "Feel Like Making Love." Sure, the intro is still a little syrupy and emotional, but the chorus has some punch. "Kill the King" is another stand-out track due to its heaviness, powerful vocals, rapid fire drums, and true to form delivery. Lande is clearly starting to show his appreciate for Ronnie James Dio and Ritchie Blackmore. Not convinced? He returns with a killer version of Deep Purple's "Perfect Strangers."
Was two songs by Dio & Blackmore really necessary?
It's a damn shame that Jorn's popularity doesn't expand beyond Europe. I've heard a lot of material from this hard rock vocalist, and I've been impressed will all of it. Lande has one of the most powerful and emotion-provoking voices in hard rock. Unlocking the Past pays homage to Jorn's favorite 70s and 80s cuts, while at the same time introducing new listeners what he's capable of (by using songs you already know and love). If this is the first Jorn disc you listen to, you are sure to check out more.