Hardline - Double Eclipse
Melodic Hard Rock
12 songs (52'52)
Release year: 1992
Reviewed by Ben
Archive review

Hardline’s Double Eclipse is definitely one of the most underrated and overlooked albums in the Melodic Hard Rock genre. Fans of Axel Rudi Pell’s current killer vocalist, Johnny Gioeli should pick this up because he also fronts Hardline. His rough yet melodic vocals are a major factor in the enjoyment of this album and put together with Neal Schon and his brother Joey Gioeli’s guitarwork and the hook filled catchy songs, this provides an extremely pleasurable listening experience. The music of Hardline can best be described as melodic and memorable biting hard rock much like Harem Scarem or Axxis. Why this album wasn’t a huge hit in 1992 when it came out still surprises me as well as the fact that a bunch of Melodic Hard Rock fans don’t even know about this band.

The style of songs on Double Eclipse is quote varied and starts off with an arena rock one such as Life’s a Bitch with its gang shouted verses and the fist pumping chorus. This one reminds me also a bit of Def Leppard, especially with the huge chants. The pure melodic and emotional side comes from songs like Everything and their “hit”, Hot Cherie. Everything is a smooth number, with a great guitar tone. The intro lick is subtle yet forceful at the same time, it’s packed with feeling. Speaking of feeling, Johnny’s voice is tremendous here, it has such emotion to it that the song is almost overwhelming. The chorus is also pure hard rock bliss and the “singability” factor is quite high, one of the catchiest songs I’ve heard in a long time. Hot Cherie is another emotional tune with a longing feel to it. The lengthy keyboard intro segues into a mid paced rock song with a forceful chord progression to it. Johnny has a breathy delivery on this song, you can hear him inhale and exhale quite a bit like Andi Deris does on the song Time of the Oath. Once again, this is a subtle but important element of the track and without it you would notice that something vital was missing. Another extremely catchy song with a soaring guitar solo in it as well. I must also point out that while Neal catches a lot of flack for being in a band like Journey it was with this album that he showed everyone out there that yes, he can rock hard and also shows off some of his guitar skills that aren’t used too much in Journey like his killer solos.

There are also some overtly hair metal tracks on Double Eclipse as well, some of them work great others just stumble over their feet and fall flat on their face. An example of when this structure works is with Bad Taste. This is just a simple and fun song that also provides some feel good atmosphere after the emotional Hot Cherie. Dr. Love however is a skip over and it’s a shame because it starts out with so much potential. A cool lead intro goes into Skid Row type of chug rhythm but then the chorus comes along and it kills the song. Johnny’s performance isn’t at fault but the cheesy backing vocals ruin the song and it makes it sound like a Kiss b-side. Hell, it also doesn’t help that Kiss has a song called Dr. Love as well. There’s three power ballads as well and despite the “na na na na” parts in I’ll Be There, they are all quite good. In the Hands of Time is especially great, in fact it’s just brilliant. Neal gives us some gorgeous sounding acoustic guitars in the intro and the rest of the band simply gels together perfectly for this song. Even the guitar synth effects are placed perfectly and add that much more to the impact. Another killer performance by Johnny’s vocal chords and a shredding guitar solo that seal this with a stamp of high quality melodic rock. I would rank In the Hands of Time up there with I Remember You, Hysteria, Know it Ain’t Easy, and Walk Away (those last two were Pretty Maids songs by the way) in that upper echelon of classy Power Ballads.

Fans of great Melodic Hard Rock would do well to go out and buy Double Eclipse right now. You will enjoy this album greatly, after owning it for about five years now it still finds its way into my stereo on a regular basis. Johnny’s vocals are simply put, godly and Axel Rudi Pell was a smart man in choosing him to front his own band. Hardline were a great band and if they had kept on making albums in the vein of Double Eclipse they would easily be up there with Pretty Maids and Bonfire in terms of Melodic Hard Rock champions.

Killing Songs :
Life's a Bitch, Everything, Hot Cherie, and In the Hands of Time
Ben quoted 87 / 100
Other albums by Hardline that we have reviewed:
Hardline - II reviewed by Mike and quoted 73 / 100
2 readers voted
Your quote was: 100.
Change your vote

There are no replies yet to this review
Be the first one to post a reply!