JADED HEART – Helluva Time

JADED HEART - Helluva Time


Frontiers Records
Release date: October 10, 2005

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Jaded Heart have, believe it or not, been dishing out their brand of Teutonic Melodic Metal for nearly 14 years now. The seeds of Jaded Heart were sown in 1990 by former Bonfire man, Michael Bormann on vocals, and his guitarist/brother, Dirk. The line up was augmented with Michael Muller (bass), Axel Kruse (drums), and they released their debut platter, Inside Out in 1994, but not before Dirk quit due to personal reasons.

A number of albums followed through the ’90s, together with tours with the likes of Glenn Hughes and the criminally underrated Mother’s Finest.

Six albums down the line and the founder member, Michael Bormann, elected to leave the band to pursue a solo career. Such a pivotal member of the band leaving would leave most bands reeling, however, this gave the band time to take stock and press ahead with their brand of Melodic Rock.

Replacing Bormann is ex-Scudiero frontman, Johan Fahlberg, who was discovered following a lengthy audition process.

Helluva Time represents the debut release for the new line up, and their first as a band since 2003’s Trust.

The opener, “Tomorrow Comes,” sets the tone with crisp guitars and an ‘80s big drum sound, a la Leppard, and a great chorus to boot with multi-layered vocals. New vocalist, Fahlberg stamps out his authority throughout the track.

The following number, “Hole in My Heart,” continues in a similar fashion, but with a lighter verse and a hard-edged chorus.

“Somewhere” commences with an acapella intro followed by a fine driving riff, and another great harmony vocal in the chorus.

Musically you can hear Def Leppard, Blue Tears, Bonfire, and the much missed Electradrive as reference points. The combination of hard-edged guitars and vocal harmonies brings to mind mid to late ’80’s influences, with “Who’s Foolin’ Who” being a typical example.

When a band tackles a cover version there is always that tricky question … do you stick as closely as possible to the original or do you reinterpret it and make it your own? There are not many covers out there that surpass the originals, with Van Halen’s exceptional Kinks cover, ”You Really Got Me” being one of the exceptions. The sole cover song on this album is “Paid My Dues.” Overall, it’s a brave move tackling a song by Anastasia, bearing in mind the fine set of pipes that she possesses. Hats of to the band, as they have done a great version of this song … it’s totally different compared to the original, yet retains the spirit of the song while at the same time has the band’s trademark sound stamped right through it.

“Without You” is the album’s token ballad. It’s not a bad song, but a little derivative. You can almost see the black and white road video for this one. Having said that, if this was released in 1989, it would undoubtedly have been a hit.

The final section of the album continues along the same lines as the opening section, and closes with the fast-paced rocker, “Love To Live.”

Jaded Heart have experienced a big upheaval in losing such an important member, however, they have successfully weathered the storm and produced a solid and enjoyable album that grows on you after repeated listens.

If you like your rock melodic with big choruses, then you could do a lot worse than to pick up Helluva Time.


  • Mick Burgess

    Mick is a reviewer and photographer here at Metal Express Radio, based in the North-East of England. He first fell in love with music after hearing Jeff Wayne's spectacular The War of the Worlds in the cold winter of 1978. Then in the summer of '79 he discovered a copy of Kiss Alive II amongst his sister’s record collection, which literally blew him away! He then quickly found Van Halen I and Rainbow's Down To Earth, and he was well on the way to being rescued from Top 40 radio hell!   Over the ensuing years, he's enjoyed the Classic Rock music of Rush, Blue Oyster Cult, and Deep Purple; the AOR of Journey and Foreigner; the Pomp of Styx and Kansas; the Progressive Metal of Dream Theater, Queensrÿche, and Symphony X; the Goth Metal of Nightwish, Within Temptation, and Epica, and a whole host of other great bands that are too numerous to mention. When he's not listening to music, he watches Sunderland lose more football (soccer) matches than they win, and occasionally, if he has to, he goes to work as a property lawyer.

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