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Jaded Heart – Stand Your Ground

Jaded Heart
Stand Your Ground
by Rachel Montgomery at 27 November 2020, 6:30 PM

JADED HEART brings the 80s oomph with their powerful synthetic sound. Their intense melodies have been rocked out for the literal decades they’ve been around. Founded in 1994, they put out their first album, “Inside Out” with a big sound, bucking the trend of darker, heavier sounds. Notably, they covered PHIL COLLINS’ “Easy Lover”, bringing the original melody up to eleven with their loud synthesizers. With their heavily synthesized sound, their new album, “Stand Your Ground” should come as a shock. This is the first album the band has released without their classic keyboard sound. Gone are the traditional synthesizers or the recognizable 80s acts. How does it far against their signature sound?

The opening track, “Inception” is a thematic introduction giving us a taste of the guitars. The first full song, the title track “Stand Your Ground” comes in with galloping guitars and a lower, gnarled vocal style. The guitars are lower than their usual, light fare. This album definitely has a lower, edgier sound than their previous works. “One Last Time” has a distinctive gothic sound to it, continuing the darker tone of the first two tracks. I love how the chorus soars and echoes, but I doubt these guys are winning any contest for clear, operatic vocals anytime soon – on their new album (and their older works – while it sounded like they had fun recording “Easy Lover” it wasn’t the best vocal rendition).

However, their musicianship really shines through on this new album, especially the guitars. The guitar work in “Break Free” howls and whines with the same great rock-n-roll quality, especially in the solo. I love how clean the technique in the solo is so you can enjoy every lick and note. “Embrace A Demon” was also a great track, with strong vocals and pounding vocals. Despite the lack of keyboards, the band still makes their choruses soar. The close strong, with an intense, dark ballad. “Inside A Hurricane” digs into the rhythm and subtly plays with the speed, especially around the chorus.

Honestly, if you played “Stand Your Ground” and then another album of theirs, I wouldn’t know it was the same band. Although the album sounded like your run-of-the-mill traditional hard rock album, I personally preferred it to their older style – it’s cleaner. The VAN HALEN influence was definitely noted, so if you’re looking for new music that sounds like that band’s early days (Before “Jump” and SAMMY VAN HAGAR brought the keyboards), you’ll be in for a good time. If you like newer traditional rock, this would also be a good album for you to check out. However, if you’re looking for something more experimental or avant-garde, this one’s a skip. I will say – if you were a fan of the band, unless you’re really into the synthesizer sound of 80s cheese, you won’t be too sad to hear no keyboards.

Songwriting: 8
Production: 9
Musicianship: 8
Memorability: 6

4 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Inception
2. Stand Your Ground
3. One Last Time
4. Reap What You Sow
5. Break Free
6. Hero To Zero
7. Kill Your Masters
8. Embrace A Demon
9. Hopelessly Addicted
10. Self Destruction
11. Stay
12. Lost In Confusion
13. Inside A Hurricane
Lineup:
Johan Fahlberg - Vocals
Peter Östros - Guitars
Masahiro Eto - Guitars
Michael Müller - Bass
Bodo Stricker – Drums
Record Label: Massacre Records
     


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