Review by Andy Houghton for MPM
American melodic hard rockers Hardline have a long and fitful history, with a couple of breakups and a roster of over twenty band members (lead vocalist Johnny Gioeli has been the only constant member) over their three-decade career.
However, things have been more stable for the band since their most recent reformation in 2011, when they joined the Frontiers Music label and entered their so-called ‘Italian era’.
Now the band have released ‘Heart, Mind And Soul’, their seventh studio album, and it’s packed with anthemic, hard-rocking songs that contain something for everyone, whether you’re a fan of Gioeli’s soaring vocals, Percudani’s sizzling work on guitar, or Del Vecchio’s skills as the band’s songwriter and producer.
The rapid-fire riffs come thick and fast, most notably in ‘Surrender’ which vies with ‘If I Could I Would’ for the title of standout track.
Both songs are arena-ready with punchy vocals and expansive instrumentals, and ‘Surrender’ in particular has one of the best guitar solos of the album: Percudani’s guitar is on fire, while the super tight rhythm section of Portalupi and Di Salvia is locked in
It’s not all fast and furious hard rock though; the ballad-like ‘Heavenly’ is a slower-paced and more subdued number, while closing track ‘We Belong’ is a nuanced, delicate song that demonstrates the band’s ability to show restraint and give Gioeli’s vocals room to shine.
The end result is a gritty, hook-heavy album from masters of the melodic hard rock genre. ‘Heart, Mind And Soul’ shows that, thirty years on, Hardline can still deliver the goods. Recommended.
Johnny Gioeli | Lead Vocals
Alessandro Del Vecchio | Keyboards, Backing Vocals
Mario Percudani | Guitars
Anna Portalupi | Bass
Marco Di Salvia | Drums
- Fuel To The Fire
- If I Could I Would
- Like That
- Waiting For Your Fall
- The Curse
- Searching For Grace
- ‘80s Moment
- We Belong
‘Heart, Mind And Soul’ was released on July 9th, 2021
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