Lonely are the Brave

One of the easiest ways to get me to listen to an album is to record a song with Jorn Lande on vocals. While he’s not my favorite singer – not even in the top five, really – he seldom disappoints. Lande has one of those timeless rock voices, just enough smoothness and just enough grit, and his vocals are always spot-on and fitting, whether cranking out a classic rock number or a power metal burner.

So I always look forward to hearing music where he is the driving creative force, not just a guest star. Fans won’t find any real surprises here. You know what you’re going to get with Jorn, and that’s just what Lonely are the Brave delivers. Take a whole lot of Holy Diver/Last in Line-era Dio, a little bit of Whitesnake at their best, some 1970s and ’80s arena rock, stir it all up, and it comes out a little like this.

Lonely are the Brave opens firmly in Dio mode, with the dramatic title track and the memorable chorus of “Night City,” which would not have been at all out of place on either of those aforementioned Dio records. “War of the World” opens with a catchy guitar riff and features another one of those huge, dramatic vocal melodies. Then the record clips on with the galloping rocker “Shadow People.”

I will admit that the latter half of the record does lose me a little. While there aren’t any bad songs there, they just don’t catch my attention quite as well as the earlier songs did. Things pick up with the ninth track, the epic “Hellfire” that reminds me a little of Dio-era Black Sabbath. (Yes, there’s an awful lot of Dio influence here, but in a very good way.)

The bonus tracks found on the record’s limited edition version leave me scratching my head about why they weren’t included on the regular record. The raw rock ‘n’ roll of “Stormbringer” is one of the strongest tracks on the record, and “Like a Stone in Water” rocks with big swagger on the main riff, but also features its more dramatic moments.

If you’re looking for some great traditional metal, it doesn’t get much better than Jorn. This record is no different. It’s Jorn Lande. If you’re familiar, that’s all you reall need to know.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Fred Phillips
August 8th, 2008


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