Jorn Lande is a prolific singer. He has averaged one solo album per year since 2000, plus he is involved in numerous other projects such as Allen/Lande and his newest music partnership with Trond Holter. Heavy Rock Radio is a covers album, the third one Lande has released.
2010’s Dio included covers of Dio, Black Sabbath and Rainbow songs, while 2007’s Unlocking The Past found his covering mostly rock and metal songs by artists such as KISS, Thin Lizzy and Deep Purple.
Heavy Rock Radio is his most diverse covers album so far. While he does go back to the Deep Purple (“Stormbringer”), Black Sabbath (“Die Young”) and Dio (“Rainbow In The Dark”) well again, he also tackles some surprising artists.
The album opens with “I Know There’s Something Going On,” originally done by Abba singer Frida. While the original sounded fairly sterile and dated, Jorn incorporates a rock swagger and his powerful pipes to breathe new life into it.
Another surprise is “Running Up That Hill.” Originally done by Kate Bush, Jorn’s version goes a completely different direction than the original with heavy guitars and a bluesy style. Bush fans might not approve of the loss of the subtlety of her rendition, but it does sound good as a hard rock song.
It’s always tricky covering a Queen song since Freddie Mercury was a vocalist without peer. Lande does a serviceable job with”Killer Queen,” but a song like Foreigner’s “Rev On The Red Line” is much more in his wheelhouse.
Journey’s “Don’t Believin'” has been overexposed during the past few years, and Jorn’s rendition doesn’t add anything new or different. The same is true with “Hotel California,” the classic Eagles track that’s played nonstop on classic rock radio.
While songs like that are pretty standard, Lande goes outside of the box for Iron Maiden’s “The Final Frontier.” Instead of picking one of their well-known ’80s tracks, he selected the title song from their 2010 album and does a bang-up job.
Artists enjoy recording covers albums, and that comes through on Heavy Rock Radio, with Jorn mostly hitting the mark with only a few misses.
(released June 3, 2016 on Frontiers Music)