(8/10) 'Another album with coverversions and hopefully better than the latest Hammercult release' ... this was my first thought when I got Jorn's new album. And yes, it is far better. The great rock singer from Norway recorded twelve rock/metal classics that are all well selected.
It's not the first time that the singer publishes an album with cover versions, thinking for example about the 2010 release "Dio" which was a tribute to the extraordinary frontman.
This time Jorn takes a bit of a wider approach, selecting songs that seriously could be on every playlist of a good rock radio station. Now doubt that Jorn's interpretation of Deep Purple's "Stormbringer" is excellent, as well as Black Sabbath "Die Young" or "Rainbow in the Dark" from Dio. These are songs that fits to his voice very well, proven e.g. by the mentioned "Dio" album. Also "Final Frontier" from Iron Maiden is an thrilling interpretation with Jorn sounding partly even similar to Bruce Dickinson.
The tunes that surprise more and that had a higher risk of failure are the ones that are anchored in rock rather than in metal. Taking "Killer Queen" and create a 'Jorn-ized' version of such a classic is a brave decision. Jorn faced the challenge and I must say that his variation sounds quite good. It might not reach the level of the original, but I think no cover can ever get close to Freddie Mercury's version. The same goes basically for "Hotel California" from The Eagles. The original song is still recognizable, even though Jorn added some heaviness to the classic, supported by his rough rock vocals.
However, the biggest surprise is "Running Up That Hill". Yes, Jorn took Kate Bush's hit an made a rocking version out of this fragile and soulful number. I could imagine this being the biggest challenge, an undertaking that was worth the effort. I like the original from Kate Bush, but Jorn's arrangement is exciting too since it gives the top 10 hit a new expression.
All in all "Heavy Rock Radio" is what it pretends to be - a well done rock/metal collection that could be a well selected playlist of a rock radio station, featuring newly interpreted highlights in rock, done by one of the greatest metal singers these days.
- I Know There's Something Going On
- Running Up That Hill
- Rev on the Red Line
- You're the Voice
- Live to Win
- Don't Stop Believing
- Killer Queen
- Hotel California
- Rainbow in the Dark
- The Final Frontier
- Die Young
Label: Frontiers Music
Genre: Heavy Rock
Release Date EU: June 3rd, 2016