Review by Rick Ossian
When Ronnie James Dio passed, many of us in the rock and metal community were stunned by the loss and completely consumed by grief. Somehow we managed to move on, as we always do, but it was not easy. One of the many things that made it easier was the fact that we weren’t alone. The gentleman represented here was instrumental in expediting our grief, in a manner of speaking. How did he do this, you may ask? By releasing a tribute of sorts, the Dio album, which helped to heal the wounds. He was also involved in a series of tributes, mainly the rock and metal fests that Heaven & Hell had already booked. He and Glenn Hughes (Trapeze, Deep Purple, Black Country Communion) performed admirably from all reports.
Moving on to the future, then; now we have Jorn Lande‘s latest, Bring Heavy Rock To The Land. Sure, the title may be a bit cheesy. The music is not. If you are fully expecting the conquering hordes of metal, then you will not be disappointed. Though things may get mellow and a bit introspective at times – briefly – for the most part this is a fully loaded, guns-a-blazing attack on the senses! There is a lovely acoustic introduction for the opener, My Road, but it is by far the shortest track here. There are some epics for the prog-heads. There are also tunes of radio-ready length for the deejays and the ladies. The title track, being one of the former, is an epic indeed, and clocks in at just under seven minutes. It is a tune full of bluster and braggadocio, and had this listener imagining a Scandinavian onslaught of epic proportions indeed. This is a metal missive for the masses, folks. If you are not convinced that bringing heavy rock to the people is a good idea by the end of this, then you were not listening! Pay attention!
Next up is A Thousand Cuts, another epic, proggy jam, one can only assume about rock road warriors. At least that’s the impression I got. Of course, I would happily entertain other interpretations. This one is eight minutes long, but worth the time if you like the rock! I thoroughly enjoyed this one. However, as much as I dug it, the next track really exceeded my expectations. Track #4 is Ride Like The Wind, a Christopher Cross cover! Yes, dear reader, your faithful scribe was as surprised as you no doubt are. Upon listening, I was pleasantly so. Jorn takes this number and re-works it, and makes it his own. The track is reborn, but remains faithful to the original as well. Any lover of the 70’s One Hit Wonder phenomenon may take an interest in this one.
Chains Around You is another uptempo slammer, and will probably nail you to your chair if you are sitting. Perhaps it would be better to stand. This particular track is firmly entrenched in ‘storyteller’ mode, if you will. You will understand what I mean when you listen to it. The World I See slows down for a bit, see earlier mentioned ‘mellow’ section(s) above. As I said before, it’s very brief. Fear not. Time To Be King will restore your faith, as it’s bells, drums, guitars, ROCK! This chugging thumper is a prelude to the even heavier Ride To The Guns. Cannons, indeed! As expected, there are wailing guitar solos-a plenty, from beginning to end. Speaking of sweet guitar solos, check out the mellower track Black Morning for a very cool fade-out guitar solo. I Came To Rock, the closer, is just like the title says, baby! Total rock out track, and just makes one salivate for more. I wanted to give him a four, but I just can’t.
Fives all the way, sir!