OOOH… DANGER ZONE! Love the cover design, even though it has more of an Axel Rudi Pell feel to it.
So finally, Hardline has released a new album in a suitable time frame with the previous (Leaving the End Open), which was in 2009. Now, I saw the video for Fever Dreams (which looked like it was shot in a steel warehouse), and the first thing that came to mind was:
“WHO ARE THESE GUYS?”
No Joey [Gioeli], no Todd Jensen, no Michael T. Ross, no Jeff Ramos…The band looks like Johnny hired extras from the Sopranos. Regardless, complete with Johnny’s Dio-like vocals, the band has retained a classic, hard rock sound that once defined a entire generation. Plus this album, being released in 2012, is a twenty-year anniversary of Hardline’s birth, which Johnny describes as ‘his baby’. Francesco Jovino (UDO), Thorsten Kohene (Code Of Perfection, Eden’s Curse) and Anna Portalupi (Mitch Malloy) make up the line-up, but thankfully they’re a far cry from mediocre. Johnny’s no wash-up either; his vocals are as powerful as ever (Circle of The Oath and Rise Again EP being a further testament), and the songs still follow the original pattern of hard hitting love-inspired hits, abandoning the “Hot Cherie” styled approach.
All in all, Johnny as songwriter Alessandro Del Vecchio are a real rock duo, and these songs can really be used as a eye-opener to skeptics who think the music died after the post-Nevermind era in the nineties. Johnny’s more of a trooper than the Iron Maiden song, and I’m really looking forward to the next material, already knowing that this amazing front-man always brings “the best” to the table… Hopefully we can get a consistent Hardline lineup this time…