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HARDLINE – “DOUBLE ECLIPSE” 1992 DEBUT ALBUM REIGNS WITH HARD ROCK RELEVANCY

Posted in 1990's heavy metal albums, 1990's rock bands, 1990's rock guitarists, 1990's rock music, 1990's hard rock albums, 1990's hard rock bands, 1990's hard rock videos, 1990's heavy metal music, 1990's rock albums, Album Review, hard rock album review, hard rock albums 1992, hard rock bands, hard rock guitarists, hard rock music, hard rock songs, hard rock vocalists, heavy metal albums, heavy metal albums 1992, heavy metal bands, heavy metal history, heavy metal music, heavy metal videos, metal odyssey, Music, rock music, rock music history with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 31, 2010 by Metal Odyssey

Best Metal buddy Scott Coverdale landed me another album, that flew under my Hard Rock radar many years ago. Here is how the phone conversation went, (after many, many moments of trying to guess what band Scott was quizzing me on): Dude, have you ever heard of Hardline? Neal Schon, man! Whoa… this band Rocks! This is one unbelievable album! The praise Hardline – Double Eclipse was getting from Scott went on and on. I don’t recall one microscopic fault that Scott could find with this album. Some excitable F bombs were probably dropped around in his praise as well, from what I recall. Metal truth be told, I informed Scott that I vaguely remember the Gioeli brothers being involved in a band… however, I never listened to them, ever. Connecting Neal Schon to Hardline was not in my Metal memory… that is why Scott is a Metal Odyssey – Metal Researcher. (I remember vividly Neal Schon being a key member of HSAS, with Sammy Hagar, back in ’84. I always liked the HSAS album Through The Fire a whole lot. Throw in the Metal facts that I revere Neal Schon for his accomplishments as a Rock/Hard Rock guitarist and my adoration for Journey, (and not all the Journey ballads)… well, Hardline – Double Eclipse needed to be finally heard by me!!

I do agree with Scott that Double Eclipse is a great album, it has many hard and heavy moments. I do differ on one key musical aspect of Double Eclipse… the ballads. Oh, they are present… oh yeah. Can’t Find My Way is as annoying to me as a long line at the gas pumps. Lead vocalist Johnny Gioeli is fabulous on Double Eclipse, it’s just that dreaded sappy emotion of Can’t Find My Way that ruins it for me. I’ll Be There is much more upbeat, both with the believably emotional vocals of Johnny Gioeli and the up-tempo of the entire song. Still, it’s a ballad. Change Of Heart brings on that love is in the air feeling… ugh. Understand, I have never embraced ballads in Hard Rock and Heavy Metal my entire life… I am very finicky about them. Ballads have their place… only why interrupt the Hard Rock flow of an album with them? Bad Taste rocks the F’n house down… and it is a song right before Can’t Find My Way! I got all pumped up, psyched out, only to get bummed out immediately after with sappy silliness.

Alright, enough with ballads, why I despise most of them and onward with the songs on Double Eclipse – that rage with the hard and heavy! Takin’ Me Down, (see music video below), takes me down a Hard Rock colliding with Heavy Metal path that I don’t mind taking. Neal Schon is scorching on guitar throughout the non-ballads of Double Eclipse, he really takes it to the top on Takin’ Me Down. The vintage guitar tone of Neal Schon never screams louder than on Hot Cherie… just a damn great Hard Rock song. Everything is a song that sounds like a ballad that was modified to become a more edgier and harder song at the very end, a memorable song for my anti-ballad ears.

Life’s A Bitch, Dr. Love and Rhythm From A Red Car are the first three songs on Double Eclipse, it’s a shame that the entire album could not have followed the Hard and Heavy blueprint of them. These first three songs are what Hard Rock meshing with Heavy Metal is all about! At the end of my Metal day, I will listen to Double Eclipse again… and again. My personal distaste for ballads is just that… personal. I will state, that the ballads heard on Double Eclipse are fantastic for what they are, especially if you are into Rock/Hard Rock ballads!

Just because the ballads heard on Double Eclipse don’t move me, does not mean that they should never be praised or enjoyed by others. Across the Metal board, the credibility in the vocals of Johnny Gioeli and the musicianship of each member of Hardline cannot be ignored or disputed. Johnny Gioeli has the quintessential Hard Rock meets Heavy Metal vocals… a standout singer who really seems to feel the songs, something I find most admirable. This 1992 debut album from Hardline holds strong Hard Rock relevance to what’s currently being created in 2010 and arguably better than a noticeable percentage of current Rock/Hard Rock today… ballads included.

Here is the music video for Takin’ Me Down… it’s pretty darn cool, despite the visual being a tad fuzzy:

Hardline – Double Eclipse was released on April 28, 1992, on MCA Records.

Hardline, as they appeared on their debut album – Double Eclipse:

Johnny Gioeli – lead vocalist

Neal Schon – lead guitar

Joey Gioeli – rhythm guitar

Todd Jensen – bass guitar

Deen Castronovo – drums

Track Listing For Hardline – Double Eclipse:

Life’s A Bitch

Dr. Love

Rhythm From A Red Car

Change Of Heart

Everything

Takin’ Me Down

Hot Cherie

Bad Taste

Can’t Find My Way

I’ll Be There

31-91 (Metal Odyssey note: an acoustic guitar instrumental – very mellow, yet good)

In The Hands Of Time

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JOURNEY – “Arrival” is a 2001 album I finally bought in 2009

Posted in 1970's classic rock bands, 1980's classic rock bands, 1980's rock albums, 1980's rock music, 1980's hard rock, 1990's hard rock music, Album Review, classic hard rock, classic rock, classic rock albums, classic rock bands, classic rock music, essential classic rock albums, essential rock albums, Hard Rock, hard rock album review, hard rock guitarists, hard rock songs, hard rock vocalists, Music, old school hard rock, Rock, rock album reviews, rock music, rock music vocals, rock vocalists, vintage rock albums with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 20, 2009 by Metal Odyssey

main-150When it comes to Rock and Hard Rock Music, I always have put Journey on my listening rotation. I am guilty of not keeping up with the purchases of new CD’s over the years from Journey, “Arrival” is a perfect example of this. After the 1986 album “Raised On Radio”, I never picked up “Trial By Fire”, “Arrival” (until now) or “Generations”. You betcha I did grab a copy of “Revelation”… the Walmart 2 CD/1 DVD version too. It is not as if I totally forgot about Journey, these albums are just victims of the hordes of releases out there I have always wanted to buy… financially it is impossible to buy everything. Man, I am impressed by this Journey album… more than that, I cannot believe it took me this long to land “Arrival” into my music collection. I guess after each listen to “Arrival”, all I can really say to myself is what was I waiting for and thinking?  (I should have just bought this album years ago and stop worrying about how much money I spend on music!). I can’t comprehend how this album has not sold over a million copies? What gives? If “Arrival” was fronted by the legendary Steve Perry and released back in the 1980’s, it surely would have been multi platinum… wouldn’t it? Who knows, we shall never know, it is all make believe speculation on my part. All I do know is that “Arrival” is chock full of Rock and Hard Rock songs that are premium quality, in my Metal opinion. The song writing on “Arrival” is so outrageously good, I shake my head and thank the fact Journey is still around Rocking today.

Neal Schon is tremendous on guitar, (as usual), especially on “Livin’ To Do”… a choice favorite song of mine from this album. “Higher Place” is the opening song, the one and only song I was familiar with before I bought “Arrival”. “Higher Place” is the perfect table setter for this album, it has all things Journey about it happening. “I Got A Reason” is another song that really stands out for me, the lyrics and upbeat melody delivers plenty of highs here.  Steve Augeri on lead vocals does sound extremely close to Steve Perry… yet I will always state – there is only one Steve Perry, only one. With that off my chest, Steve Augeri does a smash up job on lead vocals, this guy can sing. On “With Your Love”, Steve Augeri makes me really like a ballad for a change. Neal Schon again, on guitar, adds the strength to this ballad that makes it rise up with musical emotion. I cannot hesitate to recommend “Arrival” to any fan of Classic Rock and Hard Rock, of any generation. Walmart has this CD in their retail store… that is where I found “Arrival”, plus it was an even five dollars. Five dollars, for a sealed (not used) CD… there are many times the Walmart CD aisles Rock.

Journey, as they appeared on “Arrival”: Neal Schon on guitar & backing vocals, Steve Augeri on lead vocals, Jonathan Cain on keyboards & backing vocals, Ross Valory on bass guitar & backing vocals and Deen Castronovo on drums & backing vocals. “Arrival” was released on April 3, 2001.

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