Basically, Swedish musicians JoNo create and play music they always wanted to hear themselves. Started as a solo project of vocalist and keyboard player Johan Norrby; clever people now will see where the band's name comes from, the project became a band and released their debut album Requiem (see review) in 2013. Partners in crime still are keyboard player Johan Carlgren, bass player Janne Hendriksson, drummer Nicka Hellenberg and guitarist Stefan Helleblad, the latter, well known as Within Temptation's engineer at first and since a while full member of the Dutch sensation.
If you are now triggered by the name Within Temptation, you should know this band JoNo plays quite a different kind of music. AOR with bombastic and symphonic elements is what Silence holds, heavily influenced by Queen. The compositions are accessible and should appeal to the majority of listeners that are used to melodic style progressive rock. The Queen resemblance is obvious when you listen to Johan's vocals and piano on Wasting Time. In addition, Stefan plays a perfect Brian May reminding guitar solo. But another band also comes to mind, perhaps equally influenced by the old British rockers; A.T.C.. Listen to Your Life's guitar sound and you will recognize the sound of JoNo's fellow countrymen. Dreamerrr!!, I almost forgot Supertramp's music as an influence, until the piano part of In My Life kicks in. But fun aside, Silence is an album that is hard not to like; the melodies are catchy, Stefan's guitar sounds wonderful and the bed of keyboards in this composition is overwhelming. Johan's voice is one you have to like, he is bombastic, theatrical and very Freddie Mercury at some points. My personal favourite is Clear. Why Clear? It should be clear; it's the only song that has a section with heavy guitar parts.
JoNo appeals to a wide variety of listeners with their second album; Silence. Perhaps aiming for the mainstream listener and in a way the songs are very suitable for broadcasting. I hope Swedish radio will pick up JoNo's album and give them the credits they deserve.
***+ Pedro Bekkers (edited by Astrid de Ronde)
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