Navigate: main >> reviews
F U L L . R E V I E W S


Jorn
Life on Death Road
Type: CD
Company: Frontiers
Release: 2017
Genre: Traditional
Reviewer: Eric Compton
Published: 5/23/2017
Powerhouse from this iconic Norwegian traditionalist
Jorn Lande singing for Primal Fear? Well not really, but on paper it seems like it. Primal Fear's Mat Sinner (bass), Francesco Lovino (drums) and Alex Beyrodt (guitar) are the newest members to join the popular Norwegian's line-up. The group combine with newish keyboardist Alessandro Del Vecchio (joined in 2016), who also produced the record. These changes still present the same Jorn issue we face seemingly every year--do we need yet another record from this guy? Since his 2000 solo debut he's released 13 albums. And that's just solo work! If you include the Allen-Lande projects, Masterplan and numerous guest appearances...we've become saturated with Jorn Lande so much that another album just one year after the last one seems overkill (in his defense the last record was all covers).

Lande professes this record's goal was not to create just another Jorn album, and after two years of working on it the effort has certainly paid off. While never excusing himself from the 80's hard rock formula (Hell, a track here is called "Man of the 80s"), the album is ultra-bright with those arena rock lights. It's a guitar and strings powerhouse, the core strength of Jorn's entire catalog. In that regard, nothing has really changed.

Opener "Life on Death Road" is a riveting opener with driving rhythm and Jorn's smooth vocal authority. New guitarist Beyrodt definitely makes his appearance known, soaring with tons of solos and fretwork for the second half of the seven-minute track. "Hammered to the Cross" is reminiscent of 'The Duke' in its overly heavy groove and mid-paced delivery. It's traditional Jorn but sounds a little more energetic thanks to the new strings and a little reverb on the vocals. "The Slippery Slope (Hangman's Rope)" is one of the more metallic entries, a faster Ozzy-type cut with a wallop back-end with the quick hands and bass. Lyrically, it's prophetic--life's a slippery slope just trying to stay ahead of the hangman's rope. The symphonic additions at the 3:20 mark makes some enhancements and backs a furious lead at the 3:40 tick. The same could be said for "Insoluble Maze (Dreams in the Blindness)" with its addictive hook and crescendo of leads. "The Optimist" slows it down for a minute with some recessed vocals over acoustic strings. It preaches the message of peace in much the same way "Out to Every Nation" did.

Throwaways? Not many--"Dreamwalker" and "Love is the Remedy" are too stereotypical and cheesy. Other than those, this is one of the better Jorn records of the 10's era (what do we call this decade?) and probably as good as 'The Duke' or 'Lonely are the Brave', two of my favorites of his discography.
About this Writer:
Eric Compton // Eric Compton lives in the most haunted city in the world, St. Augustine, Florida with his family and two yorkies. He has served as senior editor for MaximumMetal.com for nearly 10 years and is the author of the heavy metal book series--Denim & Letters. His reviews, interviews and social commentary has been featured on websites like Brave Words, Blabbermouth, Metal Temple, Metal Rules, Ultimate Metal, Metal Maniacs and Wikipedia.

Maximum Metal Rating Legend - Click for Full Details
5 Excellent - Buy it and say a prayer to the metal gods that you were tuned on to this masterpiece. A classic.
4-4.5 Great - Almost perfect records but there's probably a clunker or a lacking somewhere to keep it from perfection. You won't feel bad about dropping some bones on these.
3.5 Good - Most of the record is good, but there may be some filler. This is the OK range where you'd search for the record on sale or used.
3 Average - Some good songs, some bad ones at about a half/half ratio. Could show skills but be dull overall. Redeeming qualities for indy bands are effort and passion. Majors that don't try or suck outright end up here.
2-2.5 Fair - Worth a listen, but best obtained by collectors. There is much better metal out there.
1-1.5 Bad - Major problems with music, lyrics, production, etc.
0 Terrible or an otherwise waste of your life and time.

Note: Reviews are graded from 0-5, anything higher or not showing is from our old style. Scores, however, do not reveal the important features. The written review that accompanies the ratings is the best source of information regarding the music on our site. Reviewing is opinionated, not a qualitative science, so scores are personal to the reviewer and could reflect anything from being technically brilliant to gloriously cheesy fun.

Demos and independent releases get some slack since the bands are often spent broke supporting themselves and trying to improve. Major releases usually have big financial backing, so they may be judged by a heavier hand. All scores can be eventually adjusted up or down by comparison of subsequent releases by the same band. We attempt to keep biases out of reviews and be advocates of the consumer without the undo influence of any band, label, management, promoter, etc.

The best way to determine how much you may like certain music is to listen to it yourself.



ALL FULL REVIEWS FOR: JORN
CD
TITLE BAND
DOR
REVIEWER DATE
Life on Death RoadJorn
2017
Eric Compton5/23/2017
Out To Every NationJorn
2004
Eric Compton11/29/2004
Out To Every NationJorn
2004
Vinaya Saksena6/30/2004
The DukeJorn
2006
Eric Compton4/21/2006


ALL SUMMARY REVIEWS FOR: JORN

No Summary reviews currently exist for them.


ALL INTERVIEWS FOR: JORN
INTERVIEW BAND INTERVIEWER DATE


YOU MAY ALSO LIKE THESE TRADITIONAL STYLED RELEASES:


<< back >>






ERIC COMPTON PICKS
Daniel Trigger
Army of One
U.D.O.
Decadent
Burden Of Grief
Follow The Flames
One Machine
The Final Cull
Accept
The Rise of Chaos

GREG WATSON PICKS
For I Am King
Daemons
Throne of Heresy
Decameron
Mercenary
Through Our Darkest Days
Cognition
Spiral of Deception
Tyranex
Unable to Tame

FRANK HILL PICKS
Madame Torment
Lost Girl in the City
Metallica
Death Magnetic
Gentlemens Pistols
S/T
Born of Fire
Dead Winter Sun
Overkill
The Grinding Wheel

DAVID LOVELESS PICKS
Galactic Empire
Galactic Empire
Ost Est Ima
A Few For The Dead
Ensiferum
Victory Songs
Gorefest
Rise To Ruin
Redemption
The Origin Of Ruin