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Jono - Life CD (album) cover

LIFE

Jono

 

Crossover Prog

3.91 | 30 ratings

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kev rowland
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars This is the fourth studio album from Swedish band Jono, which started as a solo project of singer Johan Norrby (hence the moniker "JoNo"), who has been singing, writing, and playing music in various bands and projects over the years. This applies also for all the other members of the band. Guitarist Stefan Helleblad is a member of Dutch symphonic sensations Within Temptation. Drummer Nicka Hellenberg also played all the drums on Within Temptation's "The Unforgiving" and has an impressive resume involving bands and recordings. Both keyboard player Johan Carlgren and bass player Janne Henriksson are frequently hired for both live and studio sessions. Leo Olsson - also a busy musician - joined the band in 2015. The first thing I noticed was that these guys don't conform to what I expect from bands on the Frontiers label, namely that the music was certainly quite a lot slower, and that not only did it appear that more thought and care had gone into proceedings, but that here was a band that are determined to keep their own identity.

Johan is one heck of a singer, but although this may have started as a solo project this is very much a band, and a band who are out to provide melodic hard rock with some interesting progressive tendencies. Definitely more crossover than progressive metal, whatever anyone else says, this is a great mix of styles that is going to find interest with fans of Kansas and Queen. There is no rush to get through to the end, but instead the arrangements are layered, and while no-one ever forgets that guitars turned up are incredibly important, it is the keyboards that underlie much that is going on and provides the foundation. With a singer as strong as Johan, the band are able to take it all very calmly and can rely on him to hit the notes and then stay on pitch.

The overall impression is that here is a band at the very top of their game. I haven't heard any of the other albums, but if they are as good as this then I am going to have to seek them out. This is high class melodic rock that in some ways contains elements of the Seventies, yet is very much of the present day.

kev rowland | 4/5 |

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