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Articles Home » 2012 Articles » Hardline - 2012 Danger Zone
 
Hardline - 2012 Danger Zone



ARTIST: Hardline
ALBUM: Danger Zone
LABEL: Frontiers
SERIAL: FRCD 552
YEAR: 2012
SPONSOR: Frontiers (Haulix)

COUNTRY OF ORIGIN:

LINEUP: Johnny Gioeli - vocals * Alessandro Del Vecchio - keyboards and backing vocals * Thorsten Koehne - guitars * Anna Portalupi - bass * Francesco Jovino - drums

TRACK LISTING: 01 Fever Dreams * 02 10000 Reasons * 03 Danger Zone * 04 What I'd Like * 05 Stronger Than Me * 06 Never Too Late For Love * 07 Stay * 08 I Don't Wanna Break Away * 09 Look At You Now * 10 Please Have Faith In Me * 11 Show Me Your Love * 12 The Only One

RATING:

WEBLINKS: www.hardlinerocks.com


Background
Johnny Gioeli has long been considered a great lead singer in the melodic rock genre. Even as far back as the days of Brunette. But it's his next band Hardline along with brother Joey that became far more endearing as time went on. The fact that Journey's Neal Schon chose to get involved (if only because he was involved with Gioeli's sister Dina, whom he married) only helped to improve the bands stocks. As did the backline of former Wild Dogs and Bad English drummer Deen Castronovo and former Sequel and Harlow bassist Todd Jensen. Moving ahead twenty years Johnny has kept Hardline alive, albeit with a European influence. In fact the band has something of a Euro supergroup look about them, and the names onboard are all familiar if you're been reading this site for awhile. After refamiliarising myself with Hardline thanks to their 1992 album 'Double Eclipse', I came away with a healthy opinion of their twentieth anniversary. Not that the band have only just returned. Nope. They did return in 2009 with 'Leaving The End Open' containing an all American line-up including Josh Ramos and Atma Anur. I gotta say, the production on this new one sounds like a million bucks! The kudos for that award must surely go to Alessandro Del Vecchio, keyboardist and producer.


The Songs
It's pretty positive all round. The back-end of Jovino and Portalupi is rock solid. Listening to this album under headphones you can feel the power emanating from the drums, while the basslines from Anna go some way toward disproving that you don't have to be a solidly built male to lay down some thunderous 4 string magic as Anna does. You get that impression when you listen to and watch the 'Fever Dreams' video. I was quite impressed watching this, as I could see clearly what potential this combination has. '10,000 Reasons' showcases Gioeli's amazing voice, still in good nick by the sounds of things. Next up is the title track, a bit of a stomper thanks to the heavy bottom end. Following this is the sterling 'What l'd Like', uplifting some parts from Yngwie Malmsteen's 'Heaven Tonight' just to add familiarity to it all. 'Stronger Than Me' is the albums sweeping anthem moment and a good one it is too. If you enjoyed that debut 'Double Eclipse' (and I'm sure most of you did) then 'Never Too Late For Love' goes closest to simulating the style from twenty years ago. 'Stay' is another winner for mine, commercial enough to be considered a single perhaps, in the old world model of albums and singles. 'I Don't Want To Break Away' adds a modern twist to Hardline's hard rock template, while 'Look At You Now' sees Hardline turn up the melodic tap even further. It's a gorgeous tune and one I'll keep going back to. 'Please Have Faith ln Me' further displays the Euro hard rock influence with symphonic strings provided by Del Vecchio. It's an attribute I'm not too keen on to be honest, as mentioned in other reviews such as Place Vendome. The final pairing of 'Show Me Your Love' and 'The Only One' both rock out hard to the very end, completing a strong set.


In Summary
For me, this is a surprisingly good CD. In my eyes though, nothing can touch that classic 'Double Eclipse' effort from yesteryear, but in saying that, this is a set of songs that are different in nature, plus the band lineup is completely different. Not discounting that we are twenty years on. Johnny Gioeli still sounds fantastic and I for one am happy that Hardline exists and releases quality melodic rock in the 21st century.


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Comments
#1 | gdazegod on June 12 2012 00:10:07
YouTube Video:
#2 | gdazegod on June 12 2012 00:12:38
YouTube Video:
#3 | jeffrey343 on January 20 2013 02:46:43
There are a few absolute killers on here. It took me a few months to really give this a chance. But I listened to it a few days while in the right frame of mind, and I realized just how good it is. It helps, as always, that it ends with two of the best tunes.

I think one reason I hesitated is because I didn't love "Double Eclipse" as much as some of you. It's a good album, but I didn't get a hold of it until maybe five years ago, and it didn't beat out a lot of other older ones I found for the first time. I'll revisit it. But this new one is definitely good stuff.
 
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