Hardline - II
Frontiers Records
Hard Rock
11 songs (46:47)
Release year: 2002
Frontiers Records
Reviewed by Mike

This is the hard rock album that I had been looking forward to since I heard it was being recorded. Ten years after their outstanding debut album, Double Eclipse, Hardline returns with their second album simply titled II. The Gioeli brothers are back, but Neal Schon (Journey) did not participate on this album. So, does this album surpass or at least match the quality of its predecessor? Short answer: No. It's not a bad album, but unfortunately it is nothing special either.

After listening to the first track, Hold Me Down, I had a terrible feeling in my stomach. This song is a plodding, down tuned affair with too much of a modern rock feel to it for my tastes. Luckily, the classic hard rock sound of the band returns for the rest of the album, albeit less melodic and less hard hitting that the debut album. Now there are a number of melodies on this album, but they are not nearly as catchy or urgent as I was expecting. Also, there aren't many hard rocking songs on this album except for Paralyzed and Do or Die. Y, Paralyzed, Do or Die, Your Eyes, Weight, and Way It Is Way It Goes are the standouts of the disc, but none of these songs will knock your socks off with intensity. Johnny Gioeli's voice is in top form and certainly makes these tracks worth hearing even though the melodies and the overall tempo might be a bit less impressive than on the debut. The production is excellent as expected and the harmony vocals are very thick, serving as a great back backup for Giolei's emotional and energetic voice. There are four ballads on this disc (Face The Night, Hey Girl, Only a Night, and This Gift). Only a Night is a worthwhile ballad featuring some notable guitar work. However, the other three are very easy to skip after a couple of spins and they weigh the album down given there aren't enough hard hitting tunes to balance the album in my opinion.

Overall, this is not a bad hard rock album to own. Fans of Johnny Gioeli's outstanding vocals will probably like this album for his voice alone. However, the reduced melodic quality of the album coupled with the overall softer delivery of the album will lessen your desire to play it over and over again.


Killing Songs :
Y, Paralyzed, Do Or Die, Your Eyes
Mike quoted 73 / 100
Other albums by Hardline that we have reviewed:
Hardline - Double Eclipse reviewed by Ben and quoted 87 / 100
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