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Hardline: Danger Zone

So the Hardline name has been dusted off again for a fourth time. Arguably best known for at one time containing a couple of erstwhile Journey and Bad English members the band is now really a vehicle for sole founder member, vocalist Johnny Gioeli. With Eden's Curse alumni Alessandro Del Vecchio and Thorsten Koehne on board there was no way in which Danger Zone would ever be a turkey and it isn't.

Yes, it's a little bit overlong and generic at times but in many ways that is just what melodic rock fans crave and Hardline certainly deliver more here than on their most recent effort Leaving the End Open. Whether non-melodic rock fans will a) ever hear Danger Zone or b) be won over by it are moot points but this is definitely solid at worst.

Unsurprisingly given the composition of the band at the moment there is a much more European take on the genre, for instance the title track clocks in at over six minutes and is fairly dark. Fear not though fluff fans as there are plenty of nice just on the right side of the middle of the road rockers which invoke mental images of driving down highways etc and for that we should be grateful.

Track Listing:

  1. Fever Dreams
  2. 10.000 Reasons
  3. Danger Zone
  4. What I'd Like
  5. Stronger Than Me
  6. Never Too Late For Love; Stay
  7. I Don't Want To Breakaway
  8. Look At You No
  9. Please Have Faith in Me
  10. Show Me Your Love
  11. The Only One

Added: May 20th 2012
Reviewer: Pete Pardo
Related Link: Band MYSpace Page
Hits: 2884
Language: english

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Hardline: Danger Zone
Posted by Steven Reid, SoT Staff Writer on 2012-05-19 17:23:25
My Score:

In recent times Frontiers have released albums by bands that fall into three categories. There have been the tried and tested, safe melodic rock names, such as Trixter, Jeff Scott Soto, or Tyketto. The big budget, household acts, Toto, Journey and Whitesnake and then also the odd surprising genre expanding release from Primal Fear or Royal Hunt. Definitely falling into that first category comes the fourth release under the Hardline name, a band undoubtedly best known for their Double Eclipse debut which featured Journey's Neal Schon and Dean Castronovo. Since that 1992 release, many other musicians have passed through the Hardline ranks, some well known, some not so. However the two remaining constants have been singer Johnny Gioeli and the straight up, hard hitting melodic rock that he and Hardline have provided.

It took a little persuasion from Frontiers to convince Gioeli to revisit Hardline once more, but on the whole and ably abetted by Eden's Curse/Edge Of Forever keyboard player/singer Alessandro Del Vecchio, Danger Zone turns out to be a worthy effort. Ironically for an album with a title suggesting edgy, cutting edge stuff, the main criticism of Danger Zone is actually that is all pretty safe stuff. Well put together, impressively produced, catchy in all the right places, but safe. That's not to say that melodic rockers and those especially taken by the more keyboard, less guitar led Euro side of the genre, won't find much to enjoy here. "What I'd Like" bears a strong resemblance to the Yngwie Malmsteen/Joe Lynn Turner collaboration "Heaven Tonight", bursting as it does with melodic enthusiasm, "Stronger Than Me" relies on a sumptuous keyboard backing to create a country tinged power ballad, while "Look At You Now" bounces acoustically along on a Tyketto like melody. Gioeli, who has been fronting guitarist Axel Rudi Pell's band for many a year now, has lost none of the sparkle from his voice, while unsurprisingly Del Vecchio neither wastes a single keyboard note, nor lets things down through his consistently consistent songwriting. However it does have to be said that of you are looking for some sort of twist on the sound that used to be the Frontiers Records staple, then you maybe should look elsewhere.

Good without being great, there has already this year been a fair few melodic rock releases offering a much more exhilarating ride than Danger Zone. However there have been far, far more, which have failed to find the joyous, infectious vibe that this album does with a confident ease.

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