Johnny Gioeli (Hardline, Axel Rudi Pell) and Deen Castronovo (Journey, Hardline,The Dead Daisies, Revolution Saints); two of the most important musicians in the melodic hard rock music scene. Of course, those two go a long way back and more precisely in the most successful era of Hardline, when Double Eclipse was released, in which Gioeli was the singer and Castronovo the drummer. 25 years later, Frontiers Records brought those two together again and the result is more than great!
Apart from the duet Gioeli-Castronovo, “Set The World On Fire” also consists of Mario Percudani (guitar), Nik Mazzucconi (bass) and of course the well-known Alessandro Del Vecchio (keys, production). You can tell apart the hits, from the very first seconds, especially because of their exceptional melody and the great way it matches with those voices. The three hit songs I loved the most are “Set The World on Fire”, “Fall Like an Angel” and “Through”. I would list the third one among the songs that, when playing-you don’t want to leave the car until they are done playing on the stereo. As expected most songs are AOR oriented and wouldn’t be considered as a whole, without the up tempo ballads like “Who I Am” and the lovely unexpected cover “Need You Now” (Lady Antebellum’s).
The album is exactly what I was expecting from those two. Deen is an exceptional singer with such a great pitch that makes me wonder why he didn’t replace Steve Perry back in the days when Journey were looking for a new singer. It’s really interesting how much Deen and Steve sound alike. On the other hand, nobody can doubt Gioeli’s dynamic voice and that’s why he is one of the best melodic rock voices in the hard rock community. Axel Rudi Pell proved once again that he knows too well to pick his singers….
I truly believe that this album doesn’t need more analysis. Musicians with such strong past couldn’t have released a bad album. “Set The World On Fire” is the proof. I highly recommend it to all the AOR & Melodic Hard Rock fans.