A regular feature highlighting some of the great album releases each month. I don’t do album “reviews” - these are just recommendations; simply a few words about the artists and the albums that appeal to me each month. These will be albums from which I’ll have been playing tracks on the Friday NI Rocks Shows recently.

This month there are album releases from Hardline, Laurenne/Louhimo, Strÿkenine, Big City, Heaven & Earth, Resurrection Kings, Rian, Lee Aaron and more.




HARDLINE – “Heart, Mind and Soul” - Frontiers 9th July


“Heart, Mind and Soul” is the seventh album from Hardline and their fourth with Frontiers since 2012. It was released on 9th July. Singer Johnny Gioeli is once again on top form and never disappoints whether it be with Hardline or Axel Rudi Pell. Three tracks from the album have featured on the Friday NI Rocks Show so far – “Fuel to the Fire” in April, “Surrender” in May and “If I Could I Would” in June.


Hardline formed in 1991 and the original line-up featured Johnny on vocals, his brother Joey Gioeli and Neal Schon on guitar, Todd Jensen on bass and Deen Castronovo on drums. The first album “Double Eclipse” was released in 1992 but the band had split by the end of that year. The brothers reformed the band in 1999 with a new line-up and released the album “II” in 2002. Joey departed in 2003 and it was 2009 before the third album “Leaving The End Open” was released.

The band signed to Frontiers for the release of “Danger Zone” in 2012. All four albums with Frontiers have featured Johnny on vocals alongside bass player Anna Portalupi and keyboard player Alessandro Del Vecchio. The last two albums have included guitarist Mario Percudani and drummer Marco Di Salvia. This is actually the first time that two consecutive albums have featured the same line-up. They all play on the “Life Live” album released in 2020 as well.


Website - http://www.hardlinerocks.com/


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LAURENNE/LOUHIMO – “The Reckoning” – Frontiers 9th July


This is another of those great musical collaborations that Frontiers are so adept at producing. This one features Finnish vocalists Netta Laurenne from Smackbound and Noora Louhimo from Battle Beast. The former initiated the project and wrote the songs and produced the album alongside her husband Nino Laurenne who plays guitar on the album. The track “Bitch Fire” featured on the Friday NI Rocks Show on 21st May and “The Reckoning” on the Show on 11th June.


In addition to the two singers, the album features Nino Laurenne on guitar, Sampo Haapaniemi on drums, Pasi Heikkla on bass and Vili Itapelto on keyboards. There are also a number of guest guitarists. The album was released on 9th July.

Netta Laurenne has released two solo albums as well as the Smackbound album “20/20” which was released by Frontiers in 2020. She also works as an actress.

Website - https://www.nettalaurenne.com/

Noora Louhimo has released four albums with Battle Beast since 2013 and released a solo album earlier this year. She has also guested on tracks with other artists including Amaranthe, Arion and Magnus Karlsson’s Free Fall. She is one of the vocalists on Magnus Karlsson’s Heart Healer Metal Opera album released this year.

Website - https://nooralouhimo.com/


Facebook page for the project - https://www.facebook.com/laurennelouhimo


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STRŸKENINE – “Strÿkenine I” – Pride & Joy 16th July


Swedish melodic rock band Strÿkenine released their debut album through Pride & Joy Music on 16th July. The band formed in 2015 and released an EP called “Nowhere To Run” in 2018. The track “Once And For All” was included on the Friday NI Rocks Show on 16th July.

Strÿkenine was formed in Stockholm by guitarist Andi Sarandopoulos, drummer Henrik Remesaho and singer Jacob Petäjämaä whilst they were still in their teens. The following year they were joined by guitarist Alex Zackrisson and bass player Tony Bakirciouglu. Also playing on the album are keyboard players Patrik Törnblom (who was a member of the band from 2017 to 2020) and Passi Oksman.


Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/Strykenine


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Last Updated (Saturday, 24 July 2021 23:19)