Hardline – ‘Life’
Album Review By Adam McCann
Frontiers Records/Melodic Rock/Hard Rock
Considering its accessibility and appeal, the world of melodic rock forever lives in the shadow of many of its related genres. But, for those who venture into its confines will find a world of excellent bands with song-writing abilities than can take on and beat even the biggest multi-platinum selling arena acts. One such band are Hardline who’s latest album ‘Life’ is their first in three years.
As expected, ‘Life’ does not break any moulds or stray beyond the band’s regular confines. Yet, this is not necessarily a bad thing; Hardline have their sound and within their remit, they make some excellent music. In fact, the most significant change to Hardline is the exit of guitarist Josh Ramos and the arrival of Mario Percudani; Percudani brings with him the expansive melodic playing that made Gioeli/Castronovo so appealing. Yet, when combined with the expert song writing abilities of Alessandro Del Vecchio, it is the vocals of Johnny Gioeli which push ‘Life’ well into the limelight. Tracks such as the beautiful acoustic closing ballad ‘My Friend’, the stand-up rocker ‘Helio’s Sun’ and the album’s opening track ‘Place To Call Home’ which has a guitar riff similar to that of ‘Hooligan’s Holiday’ from Mötley Crüe all show that with ‘Life’, Hardline are more than capable of writing superb songs. However, it is the exquisite virtuoso performance of the Queen classic ‘Who Wants To Live Forever’ that show just how far Gioeli can push his vocal limits, easily making it the standout track on the album.
Unfortunately, ‘Life’ will not appeal to everybody, but for those fans of melodic rock this album will undoubtedly be on repeat. It is enjoyable and fun and an excellent addition to the Hardline catalogue.
Rating : 81/100
MHF Magazine/Adam McCann