Hardline is one of those bands that I get pretty geeked about, when I hear they're releasing a new music. Hardline studio albums are few and far between, only releasing 4 albums in the last 20+ years. The band has been on and off since the early 90's, and with many line up changes as you can imagine. You really never know who is going to play on a record, with the exception of vocalist Johnny Gioeli. It was pretty much a given, that you would see Josh Ramos (ex-Storm) on guitars, until their latest release Danger Zone. Danger Zone marks a whole new line up of unknowns, backing up Mr. Gioeli. Also, looking at the credits, it appears that most of the CD was written by the keyboardist Alessandro Del Vecchio (who?).
Danger Zone starts in typical fashion with the melodic rocker Fever Dreams. It's your standard midtempo AOR/melodic rocker. Unfortunately, the first few tracks on the CD are just cookie cutter AOR styled tunes that don't have alot of substance. Yeah they're catchy and Gioeli sounds great, but they just fall a little flat. That is the problem with band's putting out new product and others writing for them, you lose that originality factor. It wasn't until the 4th track, What I Like, that things started getting interesting. It is a mid-tempo rocker with more punch and flavor. It is followed by the killer ballad Stronger Than Me. From this point on, the record stands on it own, with only a few misteps. All in all a killer record, maybe not as strong as their last one, but no slouch.
Bottom Line: Hardline proving that they can still do it, even if Gioeli is the only original member left. A nice variety of melodic hard rock. Hardline fans will not be disappointed.
Standout Tracks: Stronger Than Me, Never Too Late for Love, Don't Want to Break Away and What I Like.
-Ragman is wondering what Mr. Ramos is doing, killer guitarist.