Dracula Swing of Death is a modern day rock opera nearly four years in the making. It is a labor of love presented by Jorn Lande and Trond Holter (aka Teeny from Wig Wam) based on the life of Count Vlad III, better known as Vlad The Impaler or his patronymic name Count Dracul(a), widely regarded as the basis for most modern vampire mythos.
Lande plays Dracula and Lena Floitmoen Borressen plays Mina/Lucy, his first true love as a human before selling his soul to the devil becoming a vampire in the Bram Stoker novel.
The stormy weather and old world feel in the acoustic guitar riff of opener “Hands of Your God” sets the tone for what is yet to come. Tracks like lead single and video “Walking On Water” and “Queen of The Dead” are similar to Lande’s solo material or his work in Allen/Lande with Symphony X frontman Russell Allen.
Elsewhere, songs like “Save Me,” “Into the Dark” and “Under The Gun” sound like Lande guesting on a Within Temptation, Nightwish or Delain album, complete with massive ABBA-tinged choruses and title track “Swing of Death” is a vintage 30’s romp with an infectious chorus that brings to mind The Rocky Horror Picture Show.
“Masquerade Ball” follows the template of the classic opera. Imagine if Phantom of the Opera was a Dio album. While “River of Tears” showcases a powerhouse chorus very reminiscent of Holter’s days in Wig Wam.
Here’s the bottom line- Dracula Swing of Death is an epic tour de force that demands repeat listens.
Rating: 9 out of 10