Written by: DR on 17/09/2009 19:54:15

To say I don't know a lot about Norway would be the mother of all understatements, I know Aerosol sprays were invented there, I also know that famous author Roald Dahl had Norwegian parents, and in one episode of "Top Gear" they raced to Oslo. That's about it. Oh, and Manchester United legend Ole Gunnar Solskjær is, of course, Norwegian. So when it comes to Norwegian music, being able to recite to you that one of Abba's members was Norwegian and I've heard the name "Dimmu Borgir" doesn't exactly portray me as a connoisseur of the Scandinavian music scene. I had never heard of Jorn Lande prior to receiving this album (chalk it off to my young age), so I was quite stunned (and a little disappointed in myself) to learn that he's a well-known man in the hard rock scene, performing with more than a fistful of bands and leading his own successful solo-career.

"Dukebox" is a greatest hits album, the perfect type of record for those who are listening to an artist for the first time. 16 songs to wet my whistle with, clocking up 1 hour and 16 minutes of that typical hard rock formula: staggeringly powerful vocals against the wall of frenzied, delicious and 'groovelicious' guitars (to borrow a word from PP). It's a style that Jorn doesn't really waver too much from, but does that really matter?

As I had just touched upon, Jorn Lande possesses a ridiculously great voice and not many people around can even so much as think about holding a candle to this 41 year old. Every song is just another song Jorn demonstrates his brilliance in. He steals the show. The musicianship is impressive, with plenty of solos and hot riffs and licks, but as good as it gets, it comes up just short to the vocals.

'Best of' albums are a great introduction to an artist, but as they only offer nothing more than a mere taste of an artist's discography it's hard to judge just how good someone really is. Fans of the guy already probably won't buy this, as new versions of "Young Forever" and "Out To Every Nation" hardly represent great value for money (unless you're a really hardcore fan), perhaps he should have thrown in some bonus or live tracks to entice one a little more. It's never going to change anyone's opinion on the genre, but for any hard rock followers who haven't really paid Jorn any mind as of yet, you're missing out.


Download: Tungur Knivur, Man of The Dark, We Brought The Albums Down
For Fans of: Masterplan, The Snakes, Millennium
Listen: Myspace

Release Date 28.08.2009
AFM Records

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