Jaded Heart – Heart Attack (Massacre Records)

Friday, 14th October 2022
Rating: 8.5 / 10

German melodic metal act Jaded Heart have evolved from their AOR roots over the course of decades and fourteen previous studio albums. Containing members who would go onto acts like Circle II Circle, Silent Force, Mad Max and Bloodbound among others – the current incarnation has been together since Fight the System from 2014, gelling together quite seamlessly. Heart Attack is the fifteenth full-length from the quintet, eschewing drum samples from a computer to go for an authentic, natural vibe in as many ways possible. While certainly setting themselves up in a familiar 80’s-oriented influence tree, there is that modern sensibility that allows these eleven tracks to simmer, shake, and hopefully garner interest from a multi-generational pool of listeners.

The quintet executes their material in a sharp, focused manner – the hooks immediate, the powerhouse vocals glistening with ideal chorus support, the rhythm section on point to drive home the swinging grooves at any tempo. Spirited high-octane riffs accelerate the heart rates in power metal territory that allow “Lady Spider” to be an initial highlight – vocalist Johan Fahlberg gliding to the upper heavens in his confident register, the quick hitting drum fury as well as bluesy, tasteful shredding providing that extra cherry on top approval. Staccato stunted chords give “Right Now” a bit more sleaze/street level atmosphere, the cleaner transitions building momentum for the payoff, blockbuster chorus. Everything from Accept to Dokken, Pretty Maids to Skid Row comes to mind depending on the song in question – favorites include the twin-guitar harmony fueled “Bridges Are Burning” with its circular riffs and infectious chorus as well as the eight-minute “Descent” featuring an exquisite instrumental mid-section beyond the penetrating main musical sequences. The additional guest songwriting/solo contributions from members of Helloween, Insania, and Eisbrecher color the already professional efforts of the band in a stronger light – a case where outside looking in support pays off in the long run.

European-styled melodic metal with US influences and domestic finesse seems to have a fervent yet cult-like following in North America – going over much better across the pond. No matter though – Jaded Heart with Heart Attack allows the world to experience another set of strong songs that scratch, claw, and cement themselves from speakers to the stage in firm command of excellence.

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