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Hardline II Frontiers FRCD 109
Track Listing
Hold Me Down
Y (2)
Paralyzed (5)
Face The Night (1)
Do Or Die
Hey Girl
Only A Night (3)
Your Eyes
Weight (6)
Way It Is, Way It Goes (4)
This Gift

(*) Best Tracks

Album Details
Produced By: Bob Burch
Running Time: 46.42
Release Date: September 23
Released: EU JP
Genre: Hard Rock
WebLink: DoubleEclipse
LabelLink: Frontiers

Discography & (Rank)
Double Eclipse (1)
II (2)

Discography / Compilations

Review
Hardline are back! It only took them 10 years, but we won't hold that against them.
At least they have returned. Of course, this is a slightly different Hardline than the one that recorded that sensational multi million dollar debut album.
But the personnel not present have been replaced with a still very classy line up.
Back up front is the man with the mega-vocals, Johnny Gioeli, together with brother and rhythm guitarist Joey Gioeli.
Joining the original duo is famed drummer Bobby Rock, Michael T Ross on keyboards and replacing Todd Jensen on bass with Christopher Maloney.
The debut album of course featured the awesome guitar work of Journey's Neal Schon.
In Hardline 2002, is Josh Ramos, who's famous for his Journey-esque guitar riffs. While it would have been great to hear Neal's hard edged riffs again, Josh fits in perfectly here.
I class the debut album as an absolute hard rock classic. I love the band's sound and I am a long time fan of Johnny's vocals. But there remains a diverse range of opinions on that album. Many love it, but it also has it's detractors.
This album will harvest a similar reaction.
For those that are dedicated fans of the debut, I believe this album will mostly accepted and appreciated.
For those that didn't get the debut, this won't convert you.
The overall sound of the band has changed, with Johnny and producer Bob Burch updating the band's sound with a more modern rock sound.
It's a diverse album that actually sounds best when played from start to finish, right the way through and played loud. Soft just doesn't cut it!
The other notable aspect of Hardline 2002 is the recording budget.
These are different times, and although it is now cheaper to make records than ever before, it's hard to match a debut album that received a $10m+ advance.
The one small problem with this album is that a few songs are so freakishly good, that it leaves a few other tracks sounding like they don't quite make the grade. They do of course, but they don't match the intensity of those few instant classics.
Still, overall it's a very good heavy rock album with a modern edge, that rocks hard and should keep most fans of the debut happy.

Track By Track
The album opens in a fashion not unsimilar to the way the debut opened. A crash of drums and a pounding guitar riff.
Hold Me Down features an aggressive modern rock lead vocal from Johnny, in this instance not sounding like his normal self until chorus time.
The bridge and chorus are better than the muffled verse and the guitar riff holds the song together. This track takes some listening to in order to fully appreciate.
More instantly likable is the awesome rocker Y. It opens with a haunting vocal/acoustic guitar intro, leading to another effects altered vocal and them boom!
One of the great rock choruses of the year. This track has a really moody air to it and I love the effect of the song building from the verse to bridge and chorus. Some tasty guitar work from Josh and a great lead-out solo. Great track! Fans of the debut will love this.
Paralyzed follows and really gets the album rocking with a great sound. This is a track with a nice heavy guitar sound and aggressive edge. Again Johnny's sounding a little different, but his trademark growl isn't far away. The chorus is strong and the uptempo track should please most rock fans.
Face The Night is for me, the killer of the album. Unusual for me to favour a ballad as the best track of the album, but this track is total and utter class.
This is a great power rock ballad of the highest order. You may have heard similar before, but for me, you can never have enough great hard rock ballads. Production is first rate and Johnny's vocals are something to admire. Some more inspired Journey-esque guitar playing from Josh Ramos.
Do Or Die is another strong 'in your face' rocker. Mid to uptempo in pace, the song is filled with lots of wailing guitar riffs and has a modern edge, but retains it's melodic base.
Hey Girl is interesting. The songs has an acoustic classic rock verse that turns into an electric modern rock chorus and back again. It's an interesting pace change and fits well into the scheme of the album, however I don't think everyone will like this track, but it goes get better with each run through.
Only A Night is another album classic. Heard previously in acoustic form, this version features the full band and is now a mid tempo ballad. Like Face The Night, this is another great passionate ballad with Johnny in full control. This is a great example of classic melodic rock and is another album highlight.
Your Eyes is a mid tempo rock track, with a solid guitar sound that comes close to the band's debut. Unfortunately, I don't think the chorus is very strong and the songs loses some impact.
Weight is something else! This is a heavy modern rocker with one of the most aggressive choruses I have heard in a long time. One thing though - I love the song, but it could and should have been even heavier and more in your face! I love the sub-industrial vocal effects towards the last chorus...huge!
It's an aggressive song with lots of modern production effects included and should have been more like the live version featured at the Gods recently.
Way It Is, Way It Goes features another good chunky guitar riff - one of the heaviest of the album. It's so great to hear Josh play like this. The song is another modern rock track with a think and heavy guitar sound. Don't start listening and worrying about where the chorus is, it comes and it suits the song.
This Gift closes out the album in fine form. This is a haunting, slow moving track that actually would sound at home as an epic on any Axel Rudi Pell album.
Add the bonus of Neal Schon, for one of his classic, classy slow solos.
The track sounds like it could go 6 or 7 minutes, but it's over after less than 4.
Still, it's a great track for fans of slow melancholy ballads.

Points Summary - The Bottom Line
An excellent performance and excellent songwriting sees close to full marks awarded.
Sequencing (the running order of the album) also works in the band's favor, with the album sounding at it's best when played from start to finish.
Artwork - simple, but ok - as long as that logo is there!
Running time is also perfect, no fillers and not too short.
The only section to lose a couple of points is the production. It's definitely solid, with a few tracks sounding sonically amazing, but a couple of other tracks could have been improved slightly.

Buy it if you liked:
Hardline - Double Eclipse
Axel Rudi Pell - Oceans Of Time, Masquerade Ball

Line Up
Johnny Gioeli: Vocals
Josh Ramos: Lead Guitar
Joey Gioeli: Guitar
Bob Rock: Drums
Christopher Maloney: Bass
Michael T Ross: Keyboards
90
Points

Songwriting
38

Performance
24

Production
16

Sequencing
4

Running Time
5

Artwork
3

Available
Points
Songwriting:
40
Performance:
25
Production:
20
Sequencing:
5
Running Time:
5
Artwork:
5

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