Jaded Star play a mix of melodic heavy metal and power metal, and they do this very well. Realign is the follow up to 2015’s Memories from the Future, which I enjoyed as a particularly good example of the style.
One of the things I like about this band is how authentic they sound; this feels like a real band with real people and real passions. I suppose what I mean by this is that as someone who spends most of his time listening to underground extreme metal, the more commercial strains of the style sometimes sound too forced or plastic to me. For whatever reason, I don’t feel like this with Jaded Star; their natural charisma and character speak to me, despite the fact that the band’s singer is the only remaining member from their debut album.
I find Jaded Star’s mix of old and new influences quite beguiling. You can really hear the 80s hair metal in their sound in places, whereas in others there’s much more of a modern approach taken. At other times they channel power metal’s flamboyance really well, whereas at others they adopt a more emotive mien. Realign is a relatively diverse listen in this regard, and it’s clear a decent amount of time and effort has gone into these songs. This, combined with the 39-minute running time, makes for a very easily replayed album. That, and the fact that it’s got a lot of damn good songs on it. Well-written and full of catchy moments and memorable hooks, Realign hits the spot nicely.
The main star of the show is undoubtedly the band’s singer. Her range is impressive, and her voice faultless. Her performance is a strong one throughout these ten tracks, and she hits everything she tries to with ease. From fragile beauty to forceful power, her voice excels. The rest of the band aren’t found lacking though either, I’m pleased to say. The music is well-rounded and the tracks have clearly been considered as full, holistic songs, rather than merely being vehicles for a talented singer, as seems to be the case with many ostensibly similar bands. Special shout-out to the keyboardist too, who seems especially good at what he does on occasion.
Very, very good stuff indeed. After a five-year wait I haven’t been disappointed. If your tastes run to the more commercial, stadium-friendly bands, then I urge you to give Jaded Star some time.
Very highly recommended.