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Jørn Lande is one of the most prolific artists in heavy metal and his new album, which comes less than a year after his last one, is probably the first essential Jorn record since 2004's Out To Every Nation. This could very well be down to his latest change in personnel, which have provided Lande with new writing foils. Traveller is the first Jorn album written and recorded without any involvement from guitarist Tore Moren, who departed after 2012's Bring Heavy Rock To The Land, and maybe it's that change of dynamic which has led to this revitalised sound. Replacing Moren is guitarist Trond Holter, who co-writes on five of the ten tracks here, all of which are darker and heavier than most of Jorn's music has been for a few years, with excellent riffs throughout. In particular the riffs on Overload, Rev On, and Carry The Black, all written with Holter, are amongst the best grooves to feature on a Jorn album to date. Guitarist Jimmy Iverson also gets a chance to show off his chops on Monsoon when he turns the middle of the song into a slow, bluesy workout. Generally speaking Jorn has parallels drawn to Dio, and if that were to be done here, it would be with Dio's excellent later, heavier, groovier albums Master of The Moon, Killing The Dragon and Magica. Indeed it seems like closer The Man Who Was King is about Ronnie James Dio and it's good that Jørn continues to acknowledge this most important influence. Jorn fans should be very happy with this album. It's more consistent than any of the last three or four albums, and the heavier, darker tone really suits Jørn's voice. Jorn has of course undergone yet more line-up changes since the album was recorded, but Holter has stayed, and at the moment that seems to be a very important factor.
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