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Frontline - 2002 Against The World



ARTIST: Frontline
ALBUM: Against The World
LABEL: Point Music
SERIAL: 28481
YEAR: 2002

COUNTRY OF ORIGIN:

LINEUP: Stephan Kaemmerer - vocals * Robby Boebel - guitars, keyboards, programming * Chris Lausmann - guitars, keyboards * Thomas Bauer - bass * Rami Ali - drums

TRACK LISTING: 01 Against The World * 02 My Destiny * 03 Lightning Eyes * 04 Time Stood Still * 05 I Don't Know * 06 Man With A Broken Heart * 07 One Night * 08 You Should Know Me * 09 Don't Break My Pride * 10 Change His Life * 11 Any Other Way


Background
Well, what can I say? Frontline (as were Fair Warning) are one of my favourite melodic rock bands. Not sure they fit the AOR bill anymore, as their sound has heavied up quite a bit. Frontline's previous efforts are all worth having in your collection that's for sure, and they deliver consistent high quality rock every time. 'Against The World' follows on from their 2000 album 'Right Attitude' (or is it 'Heroes Part II'?), and continues a new chapter in their music. Perhaps not in the same stellar territory as 1997's fantastic 'Heroes' opus, but then again, what album is I ask you? The songs on this album have been pruned back from a set of about two dozen, the best ones making it to the final selection. Again, Robby Boebel has a major hand in precedings, producing the whole thing plus handling the songwriting and guitars/keyboards. The Journey like vocals of Kaemerrer are as distinctive as always, and though I like his style, many others do not. On the whole, Frontline's assets far outweigh their liabilities, and when pitched against all the other contenders out there in hard-rock land, there ain't too many that stand in front of them!


The Songs
Standout tracks include the very AOR (and here's me saying they weren't AOR anymore?) 'My Destiny'. Those stabbing keys bringing back reminders of the 1982-83 era. The opening bars from 'Lightning Eyes' sound so familiar, yet Frontline put their own impressive take on it. 'A Man With A Broken Heart' flows out of mid-tempo mode, and as you would expect with the song-title, emotion is key. The pace picks up with the racy 'One Night', complete with fast-tracked bridge, choruses that uplift and a solo that burns up fuel! Another highlight would be the melodic 'Don't Break My Pride'.. how easy is it for these guys to churn out melodies so effortlessly?


In Summary
Some tried labelling this as their favourite album for 2002, but in retrospect and upon reflection, I think that statement was a bit bold. A great album nonetheless, and Frontline fans need no introduction nor reminding of that fact. As a band, they are still pumping out great music, and it will be interesting to see how their next studio album turns out. As I said before, all their material is worth getting, so be a completist and do yourself a favour..


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