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In between full new albums Norwegian vocalist Jørn Lande has developed a habit of remixed or re-recording songs from his increasingly extensive catalogue for compilation releases or to use on the next album. Previous instances have been 2007's The Gathering, a best of album featuring re-recorded or remastered tracks from his first three album plus some from pre-solo bands, 2009's Dukebox, which was basically the same thing except with mostly different songs (although was clearly a contractual obligation release with AFM Records), as well as re-recorded versions of older songs appearing on each of the last four original studio albums. This time Lande has decided to remix several of what he terms his less obvious songs with a symphony orchestra added. This is definitely a more worthwhile thing to do and in some cases it works very well indeed. In others it doesn't, and the difference between the two levels of success centres around which parts the orchestra actually plays. On opener I Came To Rock, originally from last year's Bring Heavy Rock To The Land, the orchestra plays newly written parts in between the main riffs, substantially enhancing the song. This is also the case on Vision Eyes, Black Morning and War of The World. But with Man of The Dark and Sabbath cover The Mob Rules the orchestra simply plays the same parts as the band, so the effect is lost. Song selection is slightly questionable, with all but three songs having appeared on the last three albums, but explains why this album was ready so soon after Bring Heavy Rock To The Land with as many as seven selections coming from that record. The one previously unreleased track to appear is a cover of Dio's Rock 'n' Roll Children which was left off Jorn's Dio tribute album. The good outweighs the unnecessary, making Symphonic a worthwhile addition for Jorn fans while they wait for the next studio album. Casual listeners needn't bother, but this probably wasn't intended for them anyway.
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