Artist: Shining Line
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.
are the brainchild of drummer and song writer
Pierpaolo “Zorro11” Monti and long time pal bassist Amos Monti.
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.
quite simply YES!
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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