Fastball Music (2012)
Originally known as more of a German melodic hard rock act, the addition of Swedish vocalist Johan Fahlberg in 2005 and guitarist Peter Oestros in 2006 now makes the five-piece more of a Teutonic/Scandinavian union. Signing with Cologne, Germany’s Fastball Music, the eleventh studio offering “Common Destiny” arrives at a time when the style appears to be gaining momentum in all corners of the globe. Which should be great news for Jaded Heart, as they’ve been flying the flag high for melodic hard rock since 1991- a transitional time period for the movement when heavier (or more alternative) groups gained the lion’s share of the spotlight and basic hard rock or glam/ image oriented music seemingly was put out to pasture.
Handling the production load as a band along with Michael Voss and Chris Lausmann as co-producers (they were mixing partners for the last two Jaded Heart albums), the 12 songs on “Common Destiny” feature large, impactful vocal melodies, symbiosis between Peter’s flurry of hard rock riffs and Henning Wanner’s keyboard rhythms and a professional bass and percussion duo who keep a laser beam focus on crisp, tight performances that accent each song’s vision. “Buried Alive” features a sizzling , shred-worthy solo against a multitude of mid-tempo hooks and melodies like the best Dokken/ Fifth Angel days. “Run And Hide” is another slice of driving hard rock, Johan’s voice sustaining some comfortable high notes while a lot of the musical harmonies have a bit of early Elegy in the spirit of technique and power. A rarity on a melodic hard rock album is the lack of a ballad- but refreshing to my ears as there’s enough variety in “Common Destiny” to keep your interest, be it energetic or more rock radio friendly.
I’m sure the favorites will change, but currently the Rainbow meets older Yngwie edge to “No More Lies” and the Sunset Strip influenced “Saints Denied” are two that evoke my fist banging, air guitar or karaoke-like vocal desires. Jaded Heart prove that your best albums in the genre don’t have to be relegated to your early youthful rebellion years- another potent release to add to their fine discography.
Rating: 5 / 6
Composed by Matt Coe