Published on December 24th, 2016 | by Justin G.
Hardline: Human Nature
It’s been four years since the last Hardline album (2012’s very strong Danger Zone), but Johnny Gioeli and company are back with a new offering, titled Human Nature. Josh Ramos is back on guitar, but other than that the lineup is intact here, which is a welcome development.
Gioeli and keyboardist/producer Alessandro Del Vecchio set out to write an album that brought back the sound of Hardline’s classic 1992 debut Double Eclipse, with catchier, harder rocking songs (not that the last few Hardline albums didn’t have their share of those), and it’s safe to say they succeeded. Human Nature has pretty much everything you’d want in a Hardline album. Ramos’s guitar work is fantastic, with catchy melodies and really rocking solos, and of course Gioeli’s vocals steal the show. As fun as it is to hear him belting out cheesy metal anthems with Axel Rudi Pell, melodic rock like this is where he really shines.
I sometimes think Del Vecchio spreads himself too thin writing so many albums for the Frontiers label each year, but when he gets it right, he really gets it right. He knows what makes this band tick, so whether the pace was upbeat and rocking (“Where Will We Go From Here,” “Nobody’s Fool”), laid back and ballad-like (“Human Nature,” “Take You Home”) or somewhere in-between (“Running on Empty,” “Where the North Wind Blows”), we’re getting prime Hardline songs.
Obviously those of us who have been following Hardline to this point will find Human Nature a must-buy album. The fact that it’s arguably their best album since their comeback is the icing on the cake. Those who haven’t kept up with the band lately, or haven’t heard them at all but enjoy bands like Eclipse, House of Lords and Giant, will find Human Nature a fantastic introduction to this great melodic rock band.
Summary: Hardline really can do no wrong