Jørn Lande and Trond Holter present DRACULA – Swing of Death

DRACULA COVER


So.. Jørn Lande and Trond Holter put out an album together.. this has got to be just a ton of win, right? An outstanding and versatile vocalist with a resume that includes MASTERPLAN, AVANTASIA, and AYREON, alongside the extremely talented guitarist from WIG WAM? There’s no way this isn’t just a complete home run – or, so one would think. And hope. Unfortunately…

Jørn Lande and Trond Holter present DRACULA – Swing of Death (January 27 via Frontiers Records) had so many things going for it, up until you actually listen to the album while paying any attention to the actual content. Jørn’s vocals are spot on and full of the growly goodness that makes us love him so much. Trond’s guitar playing is greatness – I don’t think I’ve ever heard a song he played on where I didn’t love the music, and this album is no exception.

The problem with this album, and it’s a large one, is that the concept and most of the lyrics are just horrible. The concept is overblown and pedantic – Dracula and vampires in general had their day, and it’s not the present. The insistence on precisely rhyming every other line went out of vogue in the 1980’s and reminds me of a teenager on the north side of puberty writing horrible love poetry in their dark bedroom. The lyrics are insipid, boring, and forced – just because words rhyme, it doesn’t mean they go together.

One of the actual few high points of the album is the performance of Lena Fløitmoen – she’s a refreshing female vocal talent, and I wouldn’t mind hearing more of her in the future. Other than the songs she appears on, I’d think I’d prefer it if Jørn had just growled wordlessly along with the songs – I’d have given the album an easy 7/10 if I didn’t have to listen to the actual lyrics.

I’ve always wanted to be Jørn’s BFF, so we could hang out and do things. One of those things I’d have done for my pal would have been to do whatever it took to stop this album from being made. Hopefully my dream does not die with my brutal honesty.

Standout PRETTY GOOD TRACKS: “Save Me”, “Into The Dark”

RATING: 5/10

– FRANK ZABER


4 Comments

on “Jørn Lande and Trond Holter present DRACULA – Swing of Death
4 Comments on “Jørn Lande and Trond Holter present DRACULA – Swing of Death
  1. While all music is subjective, I think you really missed the boat on this one. The whole preface of the record is tongue-in-cheek, and that is exactly what you are knocking it for. Meanwhile the songs and performances are fantastic. This is one of the best albums of the last year or two, and arguably Jorn’s best work ever. Trond’s fretwork is stunning.

  2. Rustyn –

    First of all, thank you for all of those things that I must have missed when I was listening to this album. I was distracted – the Maestro was trying to puncture his eardrums so he wouldn’t have to hear any more of those lyrics, and I had to kneel on his head to hold him down so I could get the chopsticks away from him. The fact that he was foaming at the mouth in his anguish made that no small task, I can assure you!

    Back to your constructive thoughts – I am not sure you know what “tongue in cheek” means. I’ll save you the trouble of Googling it – this album was not meant to be funny. It was written to be a serious vampire tragedy. Do you think the undead are funny? Just wait – your hubris will come back at you when you get bitten by a ninja zombie and spent eternity wandering around sneaking up on meals (JORN! DONT YOU DARE STEAL THAT IDEA!)

    This is definitely the album of the year – if you only listen to Norwegian David Coverdale impersonators. Nothing against Jorn – the man has had some amazing albums. This is definitely the low point of his entire career and it’s obvious that he needs to find his muse and romance the hell out of her, because this whole album is a pig with lipstick on it – the pig is slightly more attractive, but it really doesn’t make one feel sexy, and you feel really dirty afterwards.

    Good news, though! I found where Jorn got his lyrics written, and Ive already used it to write the lyrics for my first single for my ninja zombie concept album. I would value your opinions immensely!

    http://www.song-lyrics-generator.org.uk/xsn614/undead-zombie-countess.html

    Yours forever, but not in a horribly gay vampire kind of way,

    Zaber

  3. As I said, Frank, it is all subjective to the listener, but I appreciate your narcissistic flippancy towards readers who dare to disagree with your point of view. Then again, perhaps THAT is my hubris talking because surely you could care less what an insignificant person like me thinks. Perhaps it is you who does not understand the meaning of tongue-in-cheek; perhaps head-in-ass is more fitting.

    Regards

  4. Pumpkin –

    Loosen up, unwedge the panties, and have a laugh. Don’t take everything so seriously. By all means, love this album all that you want, at least as much as legally allowed in your state/province.

    I respect your opinion. Please, by the same token, respect MY opinion that this is an unmitigated disaster of an album lyrically, and that I feel that my best use of this CD would be to slash my own wrists as an easy way out to avoid listening to it again.

    Best friends forever,

    Zaber

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