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Articles Home » 2005 Articles » Line Of Fire - 2005 Line Of Fire
Line Of Fire - 2005 Line Of Fire

ARTIST: Line Of Fire
ALBUM: Line Of Fire
LABEL: Tribunal Records
YEAR: 2005
CD REISSUE: 2010, Divebomb Records, DIVE012
SPONSOR: Line Of Fire


LINEUP: Shawn Pelata - vocals, keyboards * Ed Darst - guitars * Nikki Dimage - bass, keyboards * Cliff Paul - bass * Justin Collins - drums

TRACK LISTING: 01 Faith In Fire * 02 Live And Let Go * 03 Fade * 04 Paradise * 05 Remind Me * 06 Morning Light * 07 Can't You See * 08 Salvations Edge * 09 Falling Down (Hear My Prayer) * 10 Time To Say Goodbye



North Carolina's Line Of Fire know what they are doing when trying to attract an audience. Splashed all over their website and bio are the logos of Boston, Def Leppard, Foreigner and Journey, with the tagline 'For Fans Of'. However I fail to hear traces of at least two of those acts and to even compare it to those legends is of course futile. Line Of Fire have immersed themselves in attempting a return to the grandiose AOR we all cherish, but to describe this as an 80's throwback would be misleading. Line of Fire might have you think otherwise, claiming to own a 'completely vintage sound from an age that should never be forgotten'. Rather this is a typical modern AOR effort, that although competent, lacks the melodic punch of the bands Line Of Fire seek to emulate. For 2005, this is realistically as pure as AOR gets from a new act, but is it memorable and durable to last decades?

The Songs
After a helping of this debut I can safely determine 'Faith In Fire' to be the key track, with the most ties to the 80's, a Steve Perry imitation from Pelata, some dazzling keyboard/guitar interplay and an overall late 80's atmosphere. Sadly the bulk of the album doesn't seek the same direction. This however, is worth hearing, Neal Schon would be proud of the guitar work which might pass for Journey circa 1983. 'Live And Let Go' uses a more modern guitar sound not nearly as melodic and the chorus has all the attributes of Tyketto or even Winger at their best. The guitar tone of 'Fade' isn't in keeping with vintage AOR, it's all too dour for my liking. 'Paradise' again heads for Journey in the verses, but once the hook is delivered memories of Danger Danger's debut come rushing through. It's etched in that 1989 era more than the heyday of Boston or Foreigner. Acoustic guitar work usually leaves a cold feeling and in this instance, it hurts the track 'Remind Me', whereas the riffs running through 'Morning Light' are decidely heavier but lacking the killer instinct when it comes to the chorus. An acoustic ballad is inevitable on an album such as this and 'Can't You See' drifts by in a dream like state, though missing some real twists which yester-year AOR thrived on. A title such as 'Salvation's Edge' is immediately suspect, and the music is heavy handed and serious. How they can cite Foreigner as a reference point leaves me somewhat puzzled. 'Time To Say Goodbye' salvages some of the lost momentum, the high point being the vocal work of Pelata, although it has to be said you'll feel you have heard this track a thousand times before such are the well worn melody lines.

In Summary
Line Of Fire might have been a little too quick to compare their sound to that of genre legends. If they hadn't I might not have expected as much from an otherwise fine debut. Fans of Boston or Foreigner should not assume there is something here for them, although clearly Line Of Fire are attempting to attract melodic rock fans in general, which is acceptable, but rather they should be pushing themselves harder instead of prominently featuring acts with no bearing on their work except perhaps for Journey. On the basis of a track like 'Faith In Fire' there is hard proof they could make a full album of classic AOR in a similar style, but we will just have to see if things work out for LOF. I give them credit for attempting to stick to a style of music many disown or disregard, so at least I can say their motives are genuine.

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#1 | gdazegod on September 20 2007 01:36:52
This isn't the worst album I've heard. I actually sat down with this the other day and thought it was ok. 'Faith In Fire' and 'Can't You See' are pretty good. The latter sounding like Firehouse. Some of the songs come across as similar sounding, but musically, there is no question it's AOR all the way. clap
#2 | Jez on June 16 2008 12:29:02
Very Good, solid Melodic Rock/ AOR with more than a nod towards Journey. Excellent sound for a small label product aswell, which some other bands that shall remain nameless should take note of. My one and only misgiving over this one is that it lacks one or two real killer tracks, although there is still some good tunes on show, with the excellent 'Paradise' being my star pick. As I said, very good For a debut album and a band definately worth keeping an eye and ear on in the future.
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