Jorn - 'Dio' Review

Jorn - Dio
Jorn - Dio. Frontiers Records

Masterplan and Jorn frontman Jorn Lande has been a lifelong Dio fan, is obviously influenced by him, and began working on an album of Dio covers a few years ago. The album was slated for a spring 2010 release a while ago, and after Dio's passing it turned into a tribute album. The label went ahead and released Dio as scheduled, which drew some criticism, but there's no criticizing Lande's passion for Dio's music.

He was chosen by Black Sabbath/Heaven And Hell members to sing with them at a July Dio tribute concert.

In addition to Dio covers, the album opens with “Song For Ronnie James,” an 8 minute homage to Dio that incorporates numerous RJD lyrics and song titles, such as “The legend lives, like a rainbow in the dark. For the children and the runaway heart.” On paper it may seem a little cheesy, but Lande delivers it convincingly and it works.

The Dio covers are a combination of well-known and more obscure tracks. “Stand Up And Shout” (from 1983's Holy Diver) and “Sacred Heart” (from the 1985 album of the same name) are popular selections from the Dio canon, but songs like “Shame On The Night” (from Holy Diver) and “Sunset Superman” (from 1987's Dream Evil) are lesser known.

There's also a live version of "Straight Through The Heart." Lande stays away from the obvious Dio classics like “Holy Diver,” "We Rock" and “Rainbow In The Dark,” which was probably a wise move.

In addition to the Dio band material, Jorn dips into the Rainbow catalog as well, covering "Kill the King" from the band's 1978 album Long Live Rock 'n' Roll.

Ronnie James Dio was one of the greatest metal vocalists in history, and covering his songs is a challenge. Lande is a powerful singer as well, and has the pipes to handle the music, and a passion for the songs that require emotion and a wide vocal range to pull off.

“Lonely Is The Word” is right in his wheelhouse, and is one of the strongest songs on the album.

There will probably be a deluge of Dio tributes released in the near future from both well-known and unknown artists, but I have a feeling Jorn's Dio will end up being the cream of the crop.

Jorn - Dio Track Listing:

01. Song For Ronnie James
02. Invisible
03. Shame On The Night
04. Push
05. Stand Up And Shout
06. Don't Talk To Strangers
07. Lord Of The Last Day
08. Night People
09. Sacred Heart
10. Sunset Superman
11. Lonely Is The Word / Letters From Earth [2010 version]
12. Kill The King
13. Straight Through The Heart [live]

(released July 27, 2010 on Frontiers Records)

Disclosure: A review copy was provided by the publisher. For more information, please see our Ethics Policy.