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Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Jorn - The 'Dio' album CD review

Jorn – The Dio album (Released on Frontiers records)
Release date: July / August 2010

Opening the album with a direct tribute to Ronnie James Dio with ‘Song for Ronnie James’ at the start Jorn almost sounds David Coverdale like, along with the Dio edge that he seems to have mastered.

All power for paying tribute to the sadly now deceased rock legend but the song itself even with it’s Dio references throughout is OK, but not really a patch on say Dio’s own material, which was of course the vein he was trying to write it in.

I will say this though, hearing ‘Invisible’ sung so well by Jorn gave me eerie Goosebumps first time around and still impresses the heck out of me as to simply how well this man can do this material. Great job Jorn! Not without praise to Jorn’s band also.

Likewise ‘Shame on the Night’ is impressive with perhaps a little more aggression in Jorn voice, a very strong and well done version.

‘Push’ from the ‘Killing The Dragon’ Dio release is also performed very well indeed and it certainly shows what strength Jorn has in his voice as he really does not falter in his Dio vocals at all. I’m impressed.

Oh yeah, I absolutely love next track ‘Stand Up and Shout,’ it really was possibly ‘the’ Dio anthem and it sounds like I could be playing the ‘Holy Diver’ album right now, yeah, it’s that close. Wow!

‘Don’t Talk To Strangers’ is again excellently presented, I will say the gentle vocal at the beginning is not perfect in the Ronnie tone but at the end of the day, I need to remember this really is meant as a tribute to the late vocalist.

Throughout this album Jorn has perhaps surprised people by picking some less than the better known tracks, next tracks is one such tune. ‘Lord of the Last Day’ was from the ‘Magica’ album. Starting with some big Hammond organ and then all dark and moody, once again, presented very well indeed.

I must say this now, if you were ever a Dio fan, I know you’ll be impressed by this release, it really is done so well. Certainly a worthy addition to any rock fans collection.

A track from the ‘Dream Evil’ album next with ‘Night People’ and it’s a song that almost brought to mind at the time Ronnie re-writing the Rainbow track ‘Kill the King’ to a degree.

OK, any self respecting Dio fan will remember ‘Sacred Heart’ as well as any track as it was many a Dio fans favourite.
I remember seeing Dio on this tour and as always Ronnie was in class form and this was such a strong band line up too.
Great job again Jorn and gang!

‘Sunset Superman’ was another favourite on the ‘Dream Evil’ album with it’s pace through each verse then it’s chugging chorus.

As I said the band that’s backing Jorn here deserve more than a huge pat on the back and it’s interesting that Jorn has three guitar players onboard at this time, all very impressive players, featuring Tore Moren, Jgor Gianola and Tor Erik Myhre ably assisted by the solid rhythm section of Nic Angileri on Bass and Willy Bendiksen on drums.

The band next pay tribute to Ronnie’s time with Black Sabbath with ‘Lonely Is The Word’ which then blends into ‘Letters From Earth.’ The former from the first Sabbath release - 'Heaven and Hell' - that featured Ronnie and the latter track was from the not so popular ‘Dehumanizer’ album, which was perhaps more grungy as it’s 90’s surroundings possibly drove it to be.

A classic from Ronnie’s last album with Rainbow in ‘Kill the King’ is next and the guitar playing is very good, if perhaps a lot more metallic than Ritchie Blackmore’s original style, nice that the solo’s here are split between guitars and keyboards, cool.
I think also this version is perhaps a little borderline thrashy to be honest, still well done, but perhaps it takes a little away from what the guys are doing here.

The album closes with a live version of ‘Straight Through The Heart,’ by Jorn and his band and it proves that the man Jorn and the band are a very together class act.

Jorn’s previous solo work I must say has been impressive too, I would say that the guy has a good future ahead.
The fact that the remaining members of Dio’s last band, Heaven and Hell asked Jorn to share the stage with Glenn Hughes to sing lead vocals with the band at London’s High Voltage event last month, to pay tribute to Ronnie James Dio, also speaks volumes.

A very good tribute album indeed then and certainly one I’ll be playing again from time to time.
Rating: 4 out of 5

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