Thursday, May 24, 2012

Review: Hardline “Danger Zone”

AOR/Melodic rock
Hardline was formed when brothers Johnny (vocals) and Joey (guitar) Gioeli teamed up with Journey/Bad English guitarist Neal Schon, Todd Jensen (David Lee Roth, Alice Cooper) on bass, and Deen Castronovo (also coming from Bad English) on drums. Their 1992 debut album “Double Eclipse” became a favorite among fans of polished AOR, but the change in musical tides did not help things commercially and the band soon parted ways.

In 2002, Johnny and Joey reignited Hardline with an all new line-up, resulting in the long-awaited follow-up album simply called album “II”. This time out, Josh Ramos (The Storm and Two Fires) took Neal Schon’s place on lead guitar. Another record, “Leaving the End Open” was released in 2009.

Frontiers Records President Serafino Perugino continued to champion the band and Gioeli decided to give Hardline another go with the Italian songwriter and producer Alessandro Del Vecchio (Edge of Forever). Hardline now has a European based line-up featuring Francesco Jovino (UDO), Thorsten Kohene (Code Of Perfection, Eden's Curse) and Anna Portalupi (Mitch Malloy).

While the band only retained one founding member, the sound on “Danger Zone” largely remains the same: driving verses, big choruses, and slick production. For fans of Journey, Europe, or Bad English, you are in for a nostalgic treat. There are plenty of juicy cuts for us melodic rockers to sink our teeth into and savor. Among the upbeat tunes, highlights include “10,000 Reasons”, “Never Too Late For Love”, “Stay”, “Look At You Now”, and “What I’d Like”. The band has always churned out high quality power ballads, and the big winner this time is “Stronger Than Me”. All in all, “Danger Zone” is a very strong record.

Hardline – Official site.

Check out the video for “Fever Dreams”:

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