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Hardline

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Biography

Hardline emerged in the early 1990s with a sound that paired the muscular architecture of heavy metal with the soaring melodies and radio-ready sheen of glam and melodic hard rock. Founded by siblings Johnny and Joey Gioeli, both of whom had previously played in Brunette, and ace guitarist Neal Schon of Journey and Bad English fame, the band issued their debut album, Double Eclipse, in 1992. Despite enduring myriad personnel changes -- Johnny Gioeli has been the group's sole constant member -- Hardline have persevered for nearly three decades, releasing albums like Leaving the End Open (2007) and Life (2019), and carrying the torch for classic melodic guitar rock. Formed in 1991 by vocalist Johnny Gioeli, guitarist Joey Gioeli, guitarist Neal Schon, bass player Todd Jensen (David Lee Roth), and drummer Deen Castronovo (Bad English), Hardline released their debut LP, Double Eclipse, via MCA Records in 1992. The album spawned a pair of singles in "Takin' Me Down" and "Hot Cherie," both of which found some success on the mainstream rock charts, but with grunge and hip-hop on the rise, Hardline were forced into early retirement. The Gioeli brothers decided to form a new iteration of the band in the early 2000s, recruiting Josh Ramos on lead guitar, Bobby Rock on drums, Christopher Maloney on bass, and Michael T. Ross on keys. They inked a deal with Italian melodic rock label Frontiers and released their aptly named sophomore effort, II, in 2002. In the interim between II and the band's next LP, Joey Gioeli left the music industry to manage the family business. 2009's Leaving the End Open also saw release via Frontiers, and featured a lineup consisting of Johnny Gioeli, Josh Ramos, and Michael T. Ross, along with newcomers Jamie Brown (bass) and Atma Anur (drums). Italian keyboard player and producer Alessandro Del Vecchio (Edge of Forever, Eden's Curse) joined Gioeli for album number four, 2012's Danger Zone, which also included Thorsten Koehne (guitars), Anna Portalupi (bass), and Francesco Jovino (drums). 2016's Human Nature saw the return of Ramos to the studio, with Portalupi, Jovino, and Del Vecchio staying on. In 2017, the band toured in support of the album, as well as in celebration of the 25th anniversary of their debut record Double Eclipse. Life, the band's sixth studio long-player, appeared in 2019 and saw Mario Percudani taking over on guitar. ~ James Christopher Monger
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