Jaded Heart Helluva Time Frontiers Records
Produced By: Chris Lausmann & Jaded Heart

Running Time: 61.30

Release Date: October 24


Musical Style: Melodic Hard Rock

Links: Frontiers Jaded Heart
Songs: 85%
Sound: 95%
The most challenging task any band could be faced with is replacing a member. Never an easy thing to do, that task becomes exponentially harder when the member is a key aspect of the band's sound. It's even harder again when that member is the vocalist and one of the principle songwriters.
Jaded Heart was faced with just this dilemma when they parted with long time vocalist and frontman Michael Bormann. This is where things get interesting.
In his replacement, they have opted for Swedish vocalist Johan Fahlberg. It is a bold move away from the vocal style that Bormann brought to the band Fahlberg is no vocal clone and a change from the bands past trademark sound.
Jaded Heart 2005 is something different and that is where the band will both benefit and struggle as the fan base is bound to be torn.
Yes, perhaps some of the band's magic and uniqueness has been lost, but what still remains is a fine melodic hard rock outfit.
The bands new sound is far more international there's a definite touch of Scandinavian rock thanks to Fahlberg's strong writing contributions and there is a smoother edge to the album. What is still present is the band's big guitar delivery and production style.
Also present is several great passages of huge vocal harmonies. The band has kept its soul in tact, while being driven by a new heart.
Bormann is a great vocalist and credit to the band, Fahlberg is an inspired replacement.
But Bormann I also a proven winner as far as songwriting goes and his track record is impressive. The band had a major gap to fill with his departure. Credit to them, as they have almost done that with Helluva Time featuring a few classic new Jaded Heart cuts.
But at the same time, it also falls short in a few other places, with a few songs that don't make the grade and could be classed as fillers.
Sonically, the album as a whole sounds fantastic. The production and mix is world class and compares favorably to any major label release. Thankfully the mastering problems that saw the volume of Trust all too loud have also been addressed and the CD volume here is perfect.
Track By Track:
The opening song Tomorrow Comes certainly does everything in its power to erase any doubts from the minds of fans and prove the band is on a strong footing.
This is one of my favourite Jaded Heart tracks in recent memory and almost raises the roof with its massive sound and huge chorus.
The moody intro of Hole In My Heart suggests a perfect follow up song is in order. The vibe is classic Jaded Heart but the song turns darker and more aggressive than expected. I like the vibe of the track and harmonies surround the chorus, but it isn't quite strong enough to follow up the monster opener.
And that kind of sums up the album. There are some absolute monsters here, but several tracks that don't reach as big a climax.
Somewhere is somewhere in between the stadium rock of Tomorrow Comes and the mood of Hole In My Heart. It has a chorus that passes without fanfare, but gets better each listen.
Dreams You Will Never See is utterly brilliant from the word go. This is a monster melodic rocker with a chorus as big as any JH fan could wish for. Superb production with an orchestral arrangement and layers of guitar fuel this anthem.
Who's Foolin' is another example of the new band. Thankfully it is another winner, which was quite important to follow up the monster that preceded it. The band takes a little Jovi, a little Leppard and a little Scandi rock to create a great uptempo rocker with a dark edge.
Paid My Dues is a curious inclusion. The band is no strangers to covers, having already provided one of the best hard rock covers in memory with Easy Lover. This cover of the Anastasia hit is a perfect fit for the band and the album.
Without You is the big ballad of the album and sees the band covering familiar territory. A strong chorus saves the song from being a heard it all before affair.
This point of the album sees things slip away a little. I'm not particularly fond of the hard rocking swagger of Love & Desire, despite a strong vocal and Shores Of Paradise sounds like a cut that didn't make Trust. Frozen Heart also misses a good chorus despite having a sonically impressive guitar sound.
Two songs save the second half of the album. The big rock anthem No One again proves the band can come up with trademark anthems and this one mixes a little of the old with the new elements Johan brings to the band.
And Love To Live closes the album in fine form. This fast paced rocker sums up the new sound and features a solid chorus.
The Bottom Line
Jaded Heart had to find a vocalist to replace the irreplaceable and I think they have done very well indeed. The overall songwriting on Helluva Time doesn't quite match that of the last few albums, but there are some definite highlights.
It bodes well for the future of the band this release won't blow everyone away, but it puts the guys in a position to keep on rocking into the future. Watch for lessons to be learnt from this release and for the next one to be a classic.
Discography / Previously Reviewed
Jaded Heart
Slaves And Masters
Mystery Eyes
The Journey Will Never End
Helluva Time

Line Up:
Johan Fahlberg: Vocals
Barish Kepic: Guitar
Axel Kruse: Drums
Michael Muller: Bass
Henning Wanner: Keyboards

Essential For Fans Of:
Jaded Heart
Scandi Melodic Hard Rock
Track Listing
Tomorrow Comes*
Hole In My Heart
Dreams You'll Never See*
Who's Foolin'*
Paid My Dues*
Without You
Love & Desire
No One*
Shores Of Paradise
Frozen Heart
Love To Live*
--*Best Tracks

09/09/06: gregg -
Rating: 89
I'll agree with the rating. "Who's foolin' is one of the best songs of the year.

29/07/06: Kenneth M. -
Rating: 94
This is a great heavy melodic rock album which will fit nicely into any "rocker's" collection. Johan does an excellent job filling the sizable shoes left by Michael's departure and truly shines on the following tracks:
Dreams You'll Never See - Classic.
Who's Foolin'.
Tomorrow Comes.
Love To Live.

An honourable mention has to go to the band for taking a fairly pathetic/questionable choice of tune in "Paid My Dues" and turning it into a rather brilliant sounding rock song that makes you forget that there ever was an Anastacia version.

Highly Recommended!!! Now get out there and get it!!

21/06/06: Fernando -
Rating: 90
One of the best "heavy AOR" record of the year, killer chorus great works guys

29/04/06: Axe-Machine -
Rating: 88
Wow, well, half of this album is amazing. The only let down is that the other half is a little average. That being said however, the songs that are good flat out rock and hold promise for the bands future as they move on without Michael Bormann. Fahlberg does a good job and comes up with some killer chorus's to boot. Tomorrow Comes, Somewhere, Dreams You'll Never See, Who's Foolin', and the excellent cover version of Paid My Dues are certainly new classics for this band and I look forward to seeing them live. Oh, and also, the pruduction on this album is HUGE! Why can't every album sound this good? Highly Recommended.

13/02/06: Derek -
Rating: 95
While I generally agree with many of Andrew's reviews this is one that I categorically did not agree with. I am a fan of melodicrock/aor and when I purchased this cd I too was skeptical due to the departure of Michael Bormann. However, after listening to this recent release with Johan as the new lead vocalist I have to say this may be Jaded Heart's strongest release since the classic IV. In my opinion there is not a "filler" on the cd. The album is what you want in a melodic metal cd - it is catchy, memorable, and full of great guitars. The lead vocals and background/harmony are perfect. This cd is a must have for all that love melodicrock and if you are a Jaded Heart fan then don't be turned off by the change in lead vocalist.

30/11/05: CUTTER -
Rating: 100
This album ROCKS, probably the best "heavy AOR" record of the year!!!!!!

09/11/05: rgx -
Rating: 95
Fantastic album in all aspects!

09/11/05: Kalle -
Rating: 91
This is my first encounter with JH so I have no chance to compare the new singer Johan to Michael. I find this release very very good. With just one or two weaker tracks and a lyric or two that is a bit strange - this is a must buy for fans of TNT, Pink Cream 69, JLT or any melodic hard rock with attitude, great singing and superb production. I agree with Andrew and Alan - watch out for the next album!

01/11/05: Freddy De Keyzer -
Rating: 80
Strong european melodic hardrock !
Nice one from these guys.
They are no top band yet,there is still room for improvement on the writing department, but they are damn close.
Fine record !

01/11/05: Almir Fuschini -
Rating: 92
This is one of the Andrew's reviews that I don't agree with "a less than 90 rate".
It is, in my opinion, better than Trust and it has at least 10 great songs. The ballad is the weakest and The One is a little too AOR for JH.
Who cares when Shores of Paradise or Frozen Heart were written.
They are great anyway.
The new singer did very well, especially in songs like Tomorrow Comes, Paid My Dues and Who's Foolin' Who.

Helluva Time is an album that you can easily hear from beginning to end with the exception of Without You. So skip that one.
But this is no reason for you not to buy it.

01/11/05: Alan -
Rating: 85
I was determined not to like this album following the departure of Michael Borman, but I am pleasently surprised that I really like this album.

Much smoother in sound than previous efforts, I think we could see an absolute monster of a release for the next album.

Give this a chance and I think you might like what you hear.

ADD YOUR OWN REVIEW! (Ratings out of 100)