HARDLINE – Danger Zone (2012)

HARDLINE - Danger Zone (2012)

Clean version


The story of HARDLINE is well known in melodic/hard rock circles. Formed by brothers Johnny and Joey Gioeli, with Todd Jenson, Dean Castronovo and Journey’s Neal Schon, released a fantastic debut album Double Eclipse, still widely regarded as one of the finest releases from the end of the hair rock golden era.

Second album ‘II’, with only the Gioeli brothers remaining from the original line-up, was good but not up to the heavenly-high standards set by the first release. With 2009’s ‘Leaving The End Open’, the band’s third studio album, they returned to the good melodic sounds.

Soon after the release of ‘Leaving The End Open’, Hardline’s mastermind and singer Johnny Gioeli did not realistically feel that another album of the band would have seen the light of day sometime soon.

But fate wanted that when Frontiers records management sent Gioeli some song demos written by Alessandro Del Vecchio (Edge Of forever and Eden’s Curse, but also colaborator with with AXE, Mitch Malloy, Bobby Kimball and several other top musicians and bands), the singer became excited once again and wanted to give Hardline another go.

So now Hardline have been completed with a Europe-based lineup featuring Del Vecchio, Francesco Jovino (U.D.O.), Thorsten Koehne (Eden’s Curse) and Anna Portalupi (Mitch Malloy).

The new album “Danger Zone” follows the path of the last album, with an updated sound and a convincing melodic friendly approach, but more hard rocking, and with welcomed nods to the awesome debut.

That’s clear on the catchy tempo of the terrific “10.000 Reasons”, where the pumping bass, the surrounding keyboards and the harmonic vocal arrangements reminds you many tracks of the nineties album.

With Del Vecchio as main songwriter, this is a keyboard dominated record, and I love it. And of course, Gioeli monster vocals are a-la-carte on every track.

Title track “Danger Zone” is a groovy midtempo rocker with a lot of climatic moments, “What I’d Like” sports a very melodic hard rock riff, and follower “Stronger Than Me” is an interesting modern semi-ballad with pianos and fine guitars.

“Never Too Late For Love” is one of my favorites, a pure melodic rock song featuring one of the best driving guitar riffs of the recording and a great refrain.

“I Don’t Want To Breakaway” has modern breaks but vintage organ-keys, a different track than the rest of the material here, but really interesting.

“Look At You Now” is one of these Hardline songs with acoustics used in an orchestrated way. The verses and in the I-follow-you way, with the main vocals supported by backings all the time. Good stuff.

“Show Me Your Love” offers some edge with its simple but effective hard rocking structure, while “The Only One” will remind you some late eighties sounds.

Hardline has released a very credible contemporary melodic rock record with a much more edge than the previous album.

“Danger Zone” is an upbeat disc, prove of this is the absence of syrupy ballads. It’s plenty of very melodic moments, yes, but the main premise is to rock. And rocks good.

Johnny Gioeli is the only remaining member of original Hardline, but this excellent singer knows what the fans of the band wants; and he deliver the goods here. This time, helped by a very solid songwriting, musical direction and production by Alessandro Del Vecchio.


01. Fever Dreams

02. 10,000 Reasons

03. Danger Zone

04. What I’d Like

05. Stronger Than Me

06. Never Too Late For Love

07. Stay

08. I Don’t Want To Breakaway

09. Look At You Now

10. Please Have Faith In Me

11. Show Me Your Love

12. The Only One

Johnny Gioeli – Lead Vocals

Alessandro Del Vecchio – Keyboards, Backing Vocals

Thorsten Koehne – Guitars

Anna Portalupi – Bass

Francesco Jovino – Drums



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