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Spirit Black

4.3 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Audio CD (8 Jun. 2009)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Frontiers Records S.R.L.
  • ASIN: B002610HTA
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  Vinyl  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 271,010 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
One thing is certain, this is the album that is filled with very good music.
If you like hard rock and heavy metal you shouldn't be dissapointed.
Good riffs, nice arrangements, strong voice of Jorn and exploding solos are the best markers of this album.
Jorn has been always providing good tunes (whether his or covers) and this album gets into this category very well.
Nevertheless two songs on this album are fillers for me so I rate it with four stars (I do not publish titles, I'll let you decide if you agree with me). However Spirit Black is very often played in my home.
Stay heavy!
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Format: Audio CD
I agree with the other reviewers that Jorn Lande is one of the best vocalists to have emerged in recent years.I also agree that there are elements of Whitesnake and Dio but how is that a bad thing?! Not to these ears it ain't!!
Whilst Jorn's voice has got overtones of DC and RJD, as with the likes of Shinedown, Alter Bridge and other 'new' rock bands, the production brings the sound right upto date. As for the songs, these are - in my view - very strong and stand shoulder to shoulder with the best stuff on 'The Duke' and 'Out to Every Nation' but (at the risk of repeating myself) the production gives it a modern sheen.
Highly recommended. Cheers. JB
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Format: Audio CD
I agree with the previous review.
Even though the last 5 years Jorn is one of my favourite singers
his latest effort lacks the inspiration that all his solo albums have (Lonely... was good but couldn't compare with e.g.The Duke). 'Spirit black' sounds like a compilation of songs 'left out' from his other albums. That's a damn shame.. The amazing voice is still there, the production is top notch, the playing is amazing but what about songs? First 2 are ok, number 3 is the best and the cover of 'I walk alone' is also great. But the rest of the album is just plain...boring...
Jorn i know you can do better, we're waiting for a killer album!!
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
A great album but needs more songs in my opinion quite short .
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: HASH(0x9343f738) out of 5 stars 17 reviews
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9345ad74) out of 5 stars One of the best from 2009 7 Jan. 2010
By wizey - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
Jorn Lande, one the finest voices of the rock/metal scene of recent times, and also one of this era's most frustrating artists. We know what this man is capable of and we continue to wait for the absolute classic masterpiece album that we always think is just around the corner, but instead get more Jorn plodding songs. A year or two ago I would have jumped in an got any album the man had his name on, but after being immensely disappointed with his previous album Lonely Are The Brave I had some reservations about this one until a friend persuaded me to buy it. And thank the stars he did! This is the best album Jorn has released in many years under his solo band moniker, and arguably even THE best.

The biggest criticisms I have of his solo albums are that they all tend to be formulaic, and suffer from too many plodding songs in the vein of some Dio/Black Sabbath songs. Rarely on these albums does he rip the throttle open, and vocally I don't think he pushes himself enough either. In my opinion his better vocal performances are on the Ark album Burn The Sun, Millenium's Hourglass album and the first two Masterplan albums. Then when you consider the two Allen-Lande albums and his vocal contributions for Tobias Sammett's Avantasia album Scarecrow (and what an effing great song that one is too!), I think it's plainly obvious that Jorn's best vocal performances come when he works with other musicians. Like many other great singers, I think he needs to work with other musicians to bring out his best. With his solo work I think he tends to stay within his comfort zone which is a shame as this is not when Jorn flies with the gods of rock.

As far as Spirit Black goes though, thankfully he has a better batch of songs on this album and whilst as usual there are the more plodding tracks, he does let fly on occasion and the plodders are better than those on his other recent solo albums. Road Of The Cross is a perfect example of this. The song sounds like Dio and Iommi could have done it on Black Sabbath's Heaven & Hell album almost three decades ago, but that's a good thing! It was a great Black Sabbath album and this is a great song, one of the albums best.

The opening track is another I like a lot, which has a riff and beat to it that reminds me of the classic Montrose song Rock Candy. Again Jorn has chosen to open with a slower paced track rather than a cannon shot as most artists do these days, but still it's a great song and it works. The last half of the album in my view is better than the first, with the second five songs (I got the digi-pack with bonus track) all being great. Rock And Roll Angel is my favorite song on the album. An acoustic opening with mellow vocals before the big guitars kick in, then a great chorus. And I really couldn't give a toss what the lyrics actually are, the song just sounds so pure old school cool! I love it.

Burn Your Flame is a welcome increase in speed, reminiscent of some of the classic Whitesnake or Coverdale era Deep Purple rockers. Gimme more of this anytime! World Gone Mad is another I love with a great sounding old school hard rock riff and thumping drums, with Jorn's magic voice over the top. I Walk Alone is another slower paced song which initially sounds like it's gonna be another of the usual Jorn plodders, but man when this one gets going it's magical. The chorus lets Jorn open up those lungs and push himself to produce his best. (And noteworthy... it's a song written by someone else). The chorus makes this song very infectious.

The Sun Goes Down is probably my second favorite song on the album, so I'm really glad I got the version with this one on it! (Again... written by someone else, i.e. Thin Lizzy). Although the hard rocking guitars and pounding drums are absent, this song is so smooth, with a great groove, a majestic guitar solo sounding very Pink Floyd-ish, it's just way cool. A great song to finish the album.

The other three songs I haven't mentioned so far (Below, Last Revolution and City In Between) are by no means bad songs, but really they are just average Jorn songs which don't compare the rest of the album.

In general I don't think Spirit Black is as good as any of the albums Jorn has released with the other bands I mentioned earlier in this review, but it's definitely right up there as far as his solo stuff goes and I find it a thoroughly enjoyable album that gets frequent play out of my home and car audio systems. Plus it's got to get the votes for best album cover of the year. (I don't understand it, but it looks effing wicked!) If you're Jorn fan you won't be disappointed. And if you're a fan of hard rock/metal and haven't got into Jorn yet, be prepared to spend a lot of money buying his work! But it's well worth it.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9345add4) out of 5 stars All Hail Jorn the King of Hard Rock! 3 Oct. 2009
By Michael - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Jorn Lande is one of the keepers of the melodic rock flame. His singing style is comparable to David Coverdale with even more power and passion. I know it sounds hard to believe but it's true. His songwriting is strong reflecting his classic rock influences such as Led Zeppelin, Deep Purple and Whitesnake. The production on his albums is second to none. The only negative points I can mention regarding his last few solo albums is that the songs can get a little too similar in style and the album running times are getting shorter. These are minor complaints in light of the consistent quality of music he releases and I have no hesitation in recommending this latest solo album. The bonus track "The Sun Goes Down" by Thin Lizzy is definitely a highlight of this release.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x94413768) out of 5 stars Jorn is simply fantastic! 21 Aug. 2009
By Cr8zeeCanuck - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
I'm not really a heavy metal fan; some of it is okay. But how can you not like this guy? This is very, very good. Love the hard edge, his powerful voice, which comes across very clear (he doesn't shout incomprehensibly). Spirit Black, I Walk Alone, and Road of the Cross . . . my favourites, but all are good. Lyrics outstanding. Buy it for this fair price if you like hard rocking music!
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9345f078) out of 5 stars Jorn keeps 'em coming 3 Oct. 2009
By Justin G. - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
I'm starting to wonder if Norwegian super-vocalist Jorn Lande ever takes a break. Just one year after releasing both the Lonely Are the Brave album the Live in the USA DVD and contributing to the latest Ayreon and Avantasia releases, Jorn is back with Spirit Black, his sixth studio offering. And that's in addition to a new "best of" compilation and allegedly rejoining Masterplan.

I think Lonely are the Brave is a stronger album, but Spirit Black is still pretty amazing. I've yet to hear a bad (or even mediocre) Jorn album, and I'm happy to report that Jorn doesn't disappoint here. Spirit Black seems a bit darker than Lonely are the Brave, but it's still the same essential Whitesnake/Dio/Thin Lizzy-inspired melodic hard rock that Jorn is so well known for. I love the 80's style anthem "Rock and Roll Angel", and "World Gone Mad", "Road of the Cross" and the title track all stand out, but there really isn't a weak moment on the entire album. The album's closing song - "I Walk Alone" - is an interesting choice, having previously been written for former Nightwish diva Tarja Turunen's debut solo album. I've heard both versions, and I have to say Jorn makes it sound like it was written just for him.

If you're already a Jorn fan, do you really need anyone telling you this album's worth buying? Every Jorn album is worth buying, and Spirit Black is no exception. For those of you who may have heard Jorn elsewhere and are just now looking into his solo material, you're in for a treat.

Edition Notes: Early versions of Spirit Black come housed in a digipack and include a bonus track - a cover of Thin Lizzy's "The Sun Goes Down". You know how great Jorn is with covers, and you know he loves some Thin Lizzy, so this one is definitely worth the money.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9345f228) out of 5 stars This could be Jorn's best solo album yet! 26 Sept. 2009
By JP - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
As good as his previous "solo" albums were, I always felt that, as a whole, these albums weren't quite up to the standards set by his work in "bands", especially the 2nd Ark album and Allen & Lande. Though they all have some good songs, and a couple of great ones, each also had songs that I just didn't care for.

But Spirit Black grabbed me upon first listen and has only gotten better with subsequent listens. It's every bit as good as World Changer and Out To Every Nation, my personal favorites among his 6 solo releases (not counting "The Gathering" since it's really a best of, Unlocking the Past and Live in America).

And it's definitley a (big) step up from his prior release, Lonely are the Brave, which is my least favorite album with him. Of course there's no such thing as a bad Jorn album so it's really a matter of degrees of good.

In fact, if you are new to Jorn, and are wondering what to start with, I would recommend this after only Allen and Lande's The Battle and Ark's Burn the Sun, a position I used to recommend The Gathering for.

But among these 3 I'm sure that, once you get one of them, you'll get the other 2 soon after.
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