November 23, 2021

If you are a fan of AOR or melodic rock then you are in for a treat as there is a new contender in town and they are Memoria Avenue, a fresh outfit from Norway with a classic AOR sound and with a fully rounded and perfectly developed melodic rock debut album that provides an instant and most gratifying hit.

The band was put together by the guitarist Tor Talle and Jan Le’Brandt who is simply described as a talented new singer and he is most certainly that and then some more. He has a wonderful, mellifluous and truly soulful voice that reminds of Michael Bolton in his AOR prime and there is enough of John Wetton in there to which makes him a major prospect. It appears that he is not entirely unknown as he has previously sung with Big City as well as fronting a popular covers band in Svigermord. Tor Talle it seems is well known in Norway for his Northern Light project and the band Skyscraper too as well as being one of those unsung guitars for hire which has allowed him to work with the likes of Joe Lynn Turner (Rainbow, Deep Purple), Fergie Frederiksen (ex-Toto), Rob Moratti (ex-Saga), Steve Overland (FM) and the much missed Tony Mills (TNT, Shy) and they are not bad names to have on your CV. Talle and Le’Brandt then brought in a talented team with the much in-demand keyboardist Dag Selboskar (Da Vinci, Evenrude, Street Legal, Trine Rein), bassist Svenn Huneide (Stoneflower, Da Vinci) and drummer Bjørn Olav Lauvdal (Street Legal, Da Vinci, The Wheel) and all seem well versed in delivering delightfully fluid and very easy listening AOR.

As with so many other bands, the boys in the group delight in delivering a delicious and full sound that harks back to those golden days of the ’80s with a particular emphasis on Toto and Survivor, a little of Journey plus a healthy dose of Asia thrown in for good measure. The songs are tight and perfectly delivered with all of the hooks and vocal harmonies that come as standard with melodic rock. Tor Talle plays some truly great guitar without ever trying to steal the show and much of the thrilling work actually comes from the stunning keyboards of Dag Selboskar which are a pure delight. Of course, Jan Le’Brandt will have praise heaped upon him which is quite right and just as he gives a remarkable performance on this simply stunning debut album which is a true AOR delight.

Memoria Avenue

  1. Stuck (3:46)
  2. Stranded (4:11)
  3. Can’t Blame It On The Rain (4:32)
  4. The Air That I Breath (4:19)
  5. Waiting Forever (4:32)
  6. Nathalia (4:49)
  7. Sometimes (4:47)
  8. Run With Me (4:59)
  9. If You Fall (4:22)
  10. Someday (5:12)
  11. High As A Kite (4:09)
  12. Picket Fence (5:21)