Jaded Heart are a new entity for me, Turned onto them by a photophobic vegan and his German life partner, Gary and Peter from Screaming Symphony. If Their Latest release, Guilty by Design is anything to go by, it will be well worth the effort to delve into their back catalogue.
I’m on my first listen as I write. This is a departure from my usual method, I like to listen multiple times over a few days in order to, as best I can, understand an album in its entirety before committing thoughts to paper.
The most important part of any melodic metal band is the vocals. Not the lyrics, but the vocals, they have to be a part of music, sit within and infront of it, never tonally separate from it. Johan Fahlbergs vocals sit exactly where they should. He does not detract from the rest of the band, instead adding the depth of musicality that only a well performed vocal part can. For the most part, There is the occasional inflection that jars me from within the music, there is also a bit of a lack of uniqueness about Johans voice.
Peter Östros starts this album with a repetitive lead, but it’s truly kicked off by Bodo Strickers huge snare slapping you about the face in the intro to No Reason. Providing the space for Johan to show of his talent, and the punctuation to get your neck bent from the get go.
Like a lot of melodic metal, harmonies abound for both guitars and vocals. Not nearing anything like the Blind Guardian levels of ridiculousness. Tasteful and mostly subdued, opting to add to the depth of a part rather than assault your ears with choral orchestration every 2nd line.
The 3rd song of 14, Seven Gates of Hell begins with the feel of an epic, though quickly they find a verse, a common theme I’m finding, moments of pure brilliance that make the parts between those moments pale in comparison. Almost like Peter is killing time with generic riffage until he can open up and provide the backing for some serious hooks in the vocal line. This isn’t always a bad thing. It allows for Michael Müllers bass to poke its head out from behind the wall of guitars, and provides much needed contrast to make the brilliant moments just that little bit more shiney.
After living with this album for a few days, I like it. It’s a good album, well worth the time it takes to listen, and after going through a few of their other albums, I’d recommend doing the same. This album doesn’t really bring anything new to the scene, but what Jaded heart have done with Guilty by Design, is done well. Plenty of lofty moments and musicality. Punchy enough for those of you whose hair hasn’t yet fallen out (bastards) to get it out.
This is the End is another standout track of this album. I shows me the capacity for the kind of depth of songwriting they hint at in their other songs is there. This album, could have been great if they allowed themselves to flesh those moments out. They have an unrealised capacity to write a classic, if instead of 14 four or five minute songs, they would allow themselves the time produce something truly great.
Jaded Heart – Guilty by design is available through Massacre Records.