Saturday, December 13, 2014

Jorn Lande & Trond Holter present DRACULA / Swing of Death (2015)

Norwegian Rock/Metal Stars, singer Jorn Lande and guitarist Trond Holter (aka Teeny of WIG WAM), have created a new Rock Opera concept album about the life of Count Vlad the III, Prince of Wallachia, widely known as Vlad, The Impaler or by his patronymic name Vlad Dracul(a). The whole story explores the inner struggle inside the multifaceted and engorging character that this mysterious 15th century personality was, while also taking into account some of the metaphysical aspects that passed into literature, forming the whole basis of the vampire myth.

In the album Jorn Lande– who impersonates the main character Dracula - shares the lead vocals with Norwegian singer Lena Fløitmoen (representing Mina/Lucy from the Bram Stoker book). The duets feature Dracula and his women, which in the original Bram Stoker story is centered around Dracula’s first true love, Mina.

The drama of the story reveals Dracula’s inner battle, where he still remembers what true love was, and as he wandered the Earth for centuries with a thirst for blood, his loneliness and desire to be able to love again has led him to the brink of insanity.

The musicians that contibute here, except the Lande and Holter, are Bernt Jansen on bass, Per Morten Bergseth on drums and Lena Fløitmoen Børresen (duet vocals on “Under the Gun", "Into the Dark", "Save Me" and "River of Tears”). Musically "Swing of Death" is a well-crafted hard rock/ melodic metal disc that includes great performances, a tight musicianship and some really impressive and well-written tracks. There are plenty of melodies, catchy hooks and Trond Holter delivers some excellent riffs and solos. Take for example the stunning tune of "Walking On Water" that will put a wide smile upon the face of every serious melodic metal fan out there. Jorn Lande sings his heart out, the arrangements are grandiose and the chorus line is pure candy to my ears!! In "Swing Of Death", the ghost of Meat Loaf surrounds this excellent song while in "River Of Tears" we have another killer tune! The music, the compositions, the performances...everything here is flawed to perfection! This one is maybe the most straight forward rock tune of the album and rocked my world for good! "Queen Of The Dead" reminds Jorn's solo efforts while Holter's riffs are pure delight; heavy but with a strong melodic 'touch' this track is among my personal favorites from this album. The song that closes this really amazing effort, "Under The Gun" is a duet, very dynamic, with a dramatic vibe in it and is yet another highlight!

Great stuff!! These two very talented musicians overcame themselves and achieve to release a such a huge album! Trond Holter here, as a composer, delivers his best work to date and with Jorn Lande but, also, Lena Fløitmoen Børresen by his side is offering a record that will surely be a classic in the near future!
Heavy Paradise's Rating : 9,5/10

Track Listing :
 Hands of Your God; Walking On Water; Swing of Death; Masquerade Ball; Save Me; River Of Tears; Queen of the Dead; Into the Dark; True Love Through Blood (Instr.); Under The Gun

1 comment: