Released: 2004, AOR Heaven/Sound Pollution
Reviewer: Anders Sandvall
Thomas, Stephan, Robert and Stephan all hail from Nürnberg, Germany. The four formed Frontline in early as 1989. Their debut album, THE STATE OF ROCK, was released in 1994. It sold well in Japan and Europe and is considered a classic album to this day. Among other bands, Frontline has supported such acts as Gotthard, Bonfire and Tyketto.
In 1995 Frontline released their second album, the completely acoustic TWO FACED. Shortly after the album’s release, problems began. The band couldn’t deliver a proper follow up and Stephan (drums) suffered from personal problems and left the band with Thomas (bass). To replace them Frontline took in Rami on drums and Thomas on bass. Soon they signed a new record deal and released the single “Man In Motion” from the album HEROES 1. Sadly, the album and single were only released in Japan because their European record company went bankrupt. The band then began to run into serious problems. They decided to enter the studio to record HEROES 2, but the album was never released because of a complicated contractual situation. Labels were afraid to sign Frontline and the band went underground.
In 2000 Frontline was contacted by Georg Siegel at AOR Heaven and a month later the album RIGHT ATTITUDE was out in stores. RIGHT ATTITUDE could be considered as a compilation album of the two HEROES albums and it became a huge success for the guys. A new album, AGAINST THE WORLD, was released 2002 and the band’s popularity rose. That album was followed in 2003 by ALMOST UNRELEASED.
For 2004 Frontline has a new album, THE SEVENTH SIGN (TSS). TSS was produced by bandleader Robby Böbel. He did a good job with the production and soundscapes, as TSS sounds just like it should when it comes to this kind of music. Böbel has created a very 80’s sounding album with the guitar and lead vocals at the top of the mix. He takes a lot of space with his brilliant guitar play and Stephan really gets a chance to show his vocal ability.
I would describe Frontline’s music as somewhat harder melodic hard rock . Look at the label they’re on you’ll now what I mean. Since I only have a promotional copy I don’t have the lyrics, but just by looking at the song titles you’ll see that the songs are mostly about love, like most band’s in this genre.
Frontline’s music is very radio friendly to say the least. All ten tracks on the album have potential to be radio hits. All ten tracks keeps a steady pace, so there are no ballads or up-tempo tracks which is a good thing I think. They use keyboards, but luckily they don’t overdo it. Altogether the music is very catchy and sing-along friendly.
To sum up the album I would say that the music is very well-played, with a skillful vocalist that can carry the tunes very nicely. They also have a very tight rhythm section and an excellent 80's style production.
Fortunately, there isn’t much negative to say, except to point out the worn-out lyrical themes. Do I have to say it again? There are other things to write about other than love. And even though I’m a big fan of 80’s hard rock/metal, it wouldn’t hurt my feelings if they had cut down on the 80’s influenced production. As always it almost always seems, I’m not happy with the album cover, but despite these shortcomings, this album is worth spending your money on.
Frontline really deserve to make it to the top and achieve some success. I don’t have an particular favorite track because all tens tracks are genuinely good. If you miss high quality melodic 80’s style hard rock you should absolutely check this out.