Bring Heavy Rock to the Land

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How much does the Norwegian gentleman named Jørn Lande love heavy rock and metal? Well, let us count the ways: on top of his two decades spent fronting far too many heavy metal bands to mention (Masterplan, Ark, Avantasia, Vagabond, etc.) and recording seven solo albums under the edited Jørn handle, his eighth was dedicated entirely to covering the songs of the late metal singing legend Ronnie James Dio. That, my friends, is a lot of love for metal -- and don't forget he's from Norway: land of elves and gnomes and metal. Anyway, it therefore stands to reason that Jørn's ninth studio album should be named something as unabashedly obvious as Bring Heavy Rock to the Land…because you know he shall…yes he shall. Therefore, notwithstanding a slight hangover from the late 2000s immersion in all things Dio (both the title track and "Black Morning" worship Holy Diver), Jørn and his hairy henchmen are back to their all-purpose metal-mongering ways on this head-banging, fist-pumping, horn-throwing set, featuring hard-charging power metal (the "Kill the King"-like "Chains Around You"), power balladry ("The World I See"), and epic majesty ("A Thousand Cuts") in equal measures. Heck, Jørn is so metal you can bet your bottom dollar that his first exposure to Christopher Cross' "Ride Like the Wind" -- which he covers here -- came via Saxon's version, not the original. That's Jørn, people: metal warrior to the end, so take him as he is, or respect his singular fixation, if nothing else. He's just doing what he loves.

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