Jaded Heart - Devil’s Gift

Jaded Heart Devil’s Gift cover
Jaded Heart
Devil’s Gift
Massacre Records
Jaded Heart now has more albums with their new singer Johan Fahlberg, than they do with original frontman Michael Bormann. Since his departure, the band has slowly shifted from a more melodic hard rock sound to a melodic metal sound. At first, it wasn’t quite bad, but in the recent past their releases have been pretty hit and miss, despite owning a pretty complete discography, which makes me question myself a bit…
Certainly for the band to soldier on, it must make some sort of sense, but despite their highly melodic style and sensibilities, the band I initially fell in love with, has changed beyond recognition with only bassist Michael Müller providing a link with the past. Without being terrible – both their overall sound as well as song writing feels pretty generic.
While I find more to like in “The Devil’s Gift” than its predecessor, guilty by design that’s not saying much, since I had a hard time liking anything on there.
Here “Wasteland” offers a decent opener, in the style of Readman era PC69, only a bit worse, only for “Conspiracy of Science” to tire, with its busy bee guitars, harder edge and hit and miss melodies.
“Final Moment” is more dramatic with more melodic parts switching with more aggressive ones gracefully, but ultimately failing to register as a really great song, and with Johan pretty much reaching his limits and sounding barely comfortable singing this.
“The Enemy” for some reasons brought me to mind the first couple of Blaze Bailey solos, if he was a little more melodic and you can start thinking how wrong this sounds in the context of Jaded Heart. It would have made for a pretty cool, Blaze song though.
“Set Free” is a dodgy continuation of the previous song, with more double bass as it verges into power metal territory. Some decent melodies and a nice, if not pretty metallic solo, don’t do much to aid it.
“Screams of Anger” is marginally better, but the fact I wish it was a Europe cover is telling.
“Tears of Our World” is a heavy and pretty symphonic piece, but while some of its melodies are not completely ropey, it’s too “heavy hearted” and doesn’t even feel like it entirely belong in this place. I do like its solo though and find some redeeming qualities in its bridge.
“Phoenix” is almost full on metal, as much as the band can sound. Its urgency is evident, and its comparative fury almost manages to convince you it’s worth a chance, but the lack of build and the vocal that sounds like a bad mix between post millennium Messiah Marcolin via Blaze, doesn’t make it any favors.
“One World” attempts to work in a similar fashion as “Tears…” with probably worse results due to its more monotonous nature and plain chorus.
“Story of My Life” had me fed up, really as it couldn’t really diversify itself from half of the other songs on the album, as it relied on the same tricks that every other song on the album does, it actually felt like a SOTO reject, which… I guess I am not saying to flatter it.
“Coming Home” must be song number one million and one, by a German band to use that title and other than a very derivative riff, has little other to show.
“Black Days” is one of two bonuses – a thumbing rocker that seemed to be somewhat better than most of the songs on the album, more in line with “Wasteland” than anything else.
“Flying High” is the other one and despite having some pretty ominous verses – it has a pretty lighter chorus that’s actually rather satisfactory. Go figure that these two should be “bonuses”.
It’s sad, but Jaded Heart have long stopped being reminiscent of the excellent band they used to be, during the 90s and early 00s. The band that now uses the name ain’t terrible, but its output has been at best patchy. With maybe 4 out of 13 songs actually doing something for me and an overall sense of “god – this is pretty generic”, all about it – it’s understandable that I’d pass on this demonic gift.