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Jaded Heart – Guilty By Design Review

Released by: Massacre Records

Release Date: Out Now!!!

Genre: Hard Rock

Links: https://www.facebook.com/jadedheartmusic/

 

Line Up:

Johan Fahlberg – Vocals
Peter Östros – Guitars
Masahiro Eto – Guitars
Michael Müller – Bass
Bodo Stricker – Drums

 

Tracklist:

1. No Reason
2. Godforsaken
3. Seven Gates Of Hell
4. Remembering
5. Rescue Me
6. Salvation
7. No Waiting For Tomorrow
8. Watching You Die
9. So Help Me God
10. Bullying Me
11. This Is The End
12. Torn And Scarred
13. My Farewell (Digipak Bonus)
14. My Own Way Down (Digipak Bonus)

 

It’s hard to believe that Jaded Heart have been around for 23 years now. When I became Internet conscious around 1999-2000, this was one of the first bands I discovered surfing the web for music. By this time they were on their fourth album and making a name for themselves as one of the premiere melodic hard rock bands on the scene. Original singer Michael Bormann left the band after the album Trust and was replaced by Johan Fahlberg. I’m not going to lie, I find myself partial more to the earlier albums, but everything they’ve released since has been pretty good. With the release of album #12, entitled Guilty By Design, the band are sounding better than ever. Yet I still find myself rather listening to the earlier albums.

There’s nothing really wrong with the album: it’s hard hitting, excellent performances, and good songs. And it has nothing to do with Fahlberg as a singer, because he has a very powerful voice and delivery. It just seems that gone are the great catchy hooks, this sound that set them apart from most other bands on the scene, and a keen sense of dynamics. This album is mostly full force throughout with very minimal moments of the AOR style of previous days, going more for an Edguy melodic power metal sound instead. Again, nothing wrong with that at all, as I am an Edguy fan too. I just liked some of the quieter moments and ballads, the neat covers they did back in the day. It’s as if they have ceased to be the same band they once were, so why still use the same band name? I know it sounds like I dislike this album, which is the furthest from the truth. It’s a great album with songs like “Remembering,” “Torn and Scarred,” and “No Waiting For Tomorrow.” The musicians gel well too, laying down their parts to perfection and entertaining the listener.

Maybe it’s just me. Guilty By Design is as solid a hard rock album as has been released in a while, but I do lament what the band once meant to me. Perhaps under a different moniker I would feel completely different about them now, but who is to tell. If you are an older fan and can get past that and accept them as they are currently, this album is sure to please you immensely. I can also see new fans loving this album too. I really enjoyed it even with my misgivings and lamentations, because it is that damn good. But just like the great KISS debate, I have my preference of eras for Jaded Heart too.

 

Written by: Chris Martin

 Ratings:  Chris   8/10

 

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