Jono is a Swedish rock band that was formed by singer, keyboard player and composer Johan Norrby. He already released a solo record in 2006, an album which featured musicians that are nowadays his fellow band members. After this release, he decided to go for a band project which would include those who had helped him recording his album. He named the band after the first two letters of his first and last name. Two of his band names are already known in the music business. Guitarist Stefan Helleblad is also a member of Within Temptation and drummer Nicka Hellenberg played the drums on their latest album The Unforgiving (2011). Furthermore, the band includes keyboardist Johan Carlgren and bassist Janne Henriksson.
The fruits of the collaboration between those musicians can now be heard on their debut Requiem, an interesting sounding album on which all of the songs were written by Johan Norrby himself. Throughout the entire album you can hear that he most of all, likes to write songs that have a lot of pathos, passion and drama. Therefore it is not so difficult to hear that he must have been inspired by acts such as Queen, Mika, Robby Valentine and Valensia- all acts that have the same kind of singer that just sounds like Johan when he sings in the higher regions. They also include a lot of pathos, passion and drama in the music they released, music that was most of all written and performed on the piano just like Mr. Norrby probably did. The nine songs on Requiem display a fine combination of progressive rock, rock and pop. All of them are very much worth listening to and are sometimes related to the music which bands such as Europe, Supertramp, Toto, The Sparks and Muse have released on their albums. However the ultimate highlights on this album were for me the title track and Symphony, which are very bombastic pieces of music with many beautiful orchestral parts and melodic guitar playing.
Without a doubt, Jono could be proud of this very professional sounding debut. Those who like the music made by the acts mentioned above should try this album without hesitation. They probably will enjoy it as much as I did!
*** Henri Strik (edited by Robert James Pashman)
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