Jaded Heart’s new album Devil’s Gift was a lot of fun for me to review, as I’m not very familiar with German hard rock. While Jaded Heart does have a heavy side, I hesitate to say they’re really metal (maybe metal-lite?). Regardless, this German/Swedish band would feel right at home on most metal concert bills.
Vocalist Johan Fahlberg’s voice has a slight grit and confident melodic delivery that makes him a very versatile singer. His melodies remain engaging from beginning to end. There is also a theatrical tone to his voice – he strikes me as a heavy metal Adam Pascal. Every song is just as long as it needs to be, and there is a catchy hook around every corner. As a result, the album doesn’t outstay its welcome and every song is an enjoyable experience.
The first four tracks of "Devil’s Gift" are a rollercoaster of hooks and swelling choruses. But just when you think you know what to expect, “Tears of Our World” enters. This song is a real gem, for while most of the songs on this album bounce – this one stomps and tumbles, like a brick in a washing machine. This track also heralds a change in the album’s direction, as it is followed by “Phoenix,” a track with easily one of the most memorable choruses on the album, and “One World,” an aggressive and dirty sounding rocker with an empowering chorus.
The album concludes with “Final Moment,” a more somber song that highlights bassist Michael Mueller rather well. It’s also nice to hear Fahlberg’s voice explore a deeper range as he does in this track. This song makes a perfect closer, fading out with a lovely twin guitar melody by Peter Oestros and Masahiro Eto.
Open-minded metalheads and rock fans alike will likely enjoy "Devil’s Gift." Fans of Queensryche, Avantasia and Alter Bridge will be particularly pleased. Come to think of it, and I realize this might be heretical, but I actually like what I heard on this album more than any Avantasia record. Jaded Heart knows what they’re about and they approach their craft with confidence and delicacy. Every track has what you would expect, and yet every track has a little something different. "Devil’s Gift" is an absolutely solid release – besides the cover art, which is atrocious.
Label: Massacre Records
2. The Enemy
3. Set Free
4. Scream Of Anger
5. Tears Of Our World
7. One World
8. Story Of My Life
9. Coming Home
10. Conspiracy Of Science
11. Final Moment
12. Black Days (Digipak Bonus)
13. Flying High (Digipak Bonus)