Artist:  Shining Line
   Title: Shining Line
   Label: Avenue Of Allies  

The Melodic and Hard Rock genres may no longer be the stuff of MTV or popular radios station as it was in the mid eighties, but it is still a genre with a wealth of talent amongst it ranks.   This has been shown on more than one occasion with the growing number of project albums released over the past few years, each one showing what great songwriters and musicians the genre has or what great vocalists both male and female we have in the genres, and now this trend is continued with Italian based rockers Shining Line. 

The band are the brainchild of drummer and song writer Pierpaolo “Zorro11” Monti and long time pal bassist Amos Monti.  The pair along with thirty (yes thirty) of the finest musicians and vocalists in the Melodic and Hard Rock genres have put together a real gem of an album, along with the array of talent, musically the pair have taking no chances on the production and mixing side of things, with the mighty atom Alessandro Del Vecchio not only producing the album, but also providing all the keyboards for the album as well.  We also find the illustrious Michael Voss mixing the album and providing vocals as he duets with Carsten “Lizard” Schulz. Now with such a stunning backing, does this album have what it takes to please the most challenging of genre critics, the Melodic Rock fans themselves.  Well quite simply YES!

The album gets off to a fantastic start with ‘Highway Of Love’, with the first guest vocal spot being taken up by Erik Martensson, who delivers a mighty punch to get things underway.  A real classy start to the album which sets the bar for the rest of the album.

Harry Hess takes up the mike duties for the emotive tones of ‘Amy’, a real joy to hear Hess again, this one makes you want to dig out those Harem Scarem albums out once more and swim in their Melodic ocean of sound again.

If I had to pick a favourite from this album, which is almost impossible to do as each track has something different that brings a smile to your face, then it would have to be ‘Strong Enough’, with Robbie La Blanc bringing his own power and grace to proceedings on this mid tempoed rocker.  This song is definitely one of the many standouts on the album.

The instrumental ‘Heaven’s Path’ provides Del Vecchio with a real chance to show why he’s not only a top notch producer, but one of finest keyboardists in the genre.  Then we have the first of the female vocals and what a voice, Robin Beck brings in her heavenly pipes to bring out the best in ‘Heat Of The Light’, a touching slow burning slice of AOR that will simply blow you away.

The tempo is picked up big style with ‘Can’t Stop The Rock’, a real ballsy Hard Rock track with Mikael Erlandsson bringing the heat for this one, even Voss gets in on this one providing the guitar solo for this song.  Like the opener a real groove filled rocker and one to get your dancing shoes on for.

We get a little mellow as Michael Shotton does what he does best on ‘The Meaning Of My Lonely Words’.  This one has class written all over it, one for the die hard fans of the genre for sure. Then its time to turn up the heat once more with what I think should have been the title track ‘The Infinity In Us’, with Michael Voss on lead vocals while Carsten “Lizard” Schulz provides the backing vocals for one of the tracks of the album, plus check out the Vinnie Burns guitar solo, it’s simply superb.

The second of the female vocals comes from unmistakable Sue Willet who duets with Bob Harris on the excellent ‘Still In Your Heart’, then it’s time for Schulz to step up to the plate for the hard rockin’ ‘Homeless Lullaby’ aided and abetted by Ulrich Carlsson on vocals, with Johan Bergquist providing backing vocals on this triple header vocal assault that rocks big style.

‘Follow The Stars’ sees one of the most prolific musicians and vocalists around Phil Vincent on lead vocals, where he delivers one of the finest vocals on the entire album for me.  Then things get back to the full on rock vibe with ‘Unbreakable Wire’, where Brunorock and Jack Meille bring a little harder edged feel to proceedings, with a touch of sleaze, which always goes a long way in my book.  

The album comes to a close with a three part rock epic starting off with 'Pt 1 Blossom From Night To Dawn’, a great instrumental piece with Marco Tansini and Mario Percudani providing some stirring guitar licks, while Del Vecchio makes the keys sing, all the while Zorro11 and Monti keep it real with a solid back beat.

'Pt II Alone' really gets the blood pumping through your veins as Michael Bormann provides the vocal for this melodic rock gem, before the album closes with another instrumental ‘Pt III Overture: Death Of Cupid’, which rounds off a great album, no a superb album.

Tobias Sammet may rule the Metal world with Avantasia but Zorro11 and Monti have made their pitch to take over the Melodic and Hard Rock world with Shining Line, with what is one of the finest albums in the genre.  I for one can't wait for album number 2!   

Tracklisting:

01.Highway Of Love
02. Amy
03. Strong Enough
04. Heaven's Path (Instrumental)
05. Heat Of The Light
06. Can't Stop The Rock
07. The Meaning Of My Lonely Words
08. The Infinity Of Us
09. Still Is Your Heart
10. Homeless Lullaby
11. Follow The Stars
12. Unbreakable Wire
13. Under Silent Walls Pt I - Blossom From Night To Dawn (Instrumental)
14. Under Silent Walls Pt II- Alone
15. Under Silent Walls - Pt
III - Epilogue: Death Of Cupid (Instrumental). 

                    

 

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