Frontline - Heroes

geoviangeovian Earth Orbit
edited November 2022 in Year-1997

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ARTIST: Frontline
ALBUM: Heroes
LABEL: Teichiku
SERIAL: TECW-25583
YEAR: 1997

COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: image

LINEUP: Stephan Kaemmerer - vocals * Robby Boebel - guitars, keyboards * Chris Lausmann - guitars, keyboards * Thomas 'Hutch' Bauer - bass * Rami Ali - drums

TRACK LISTING: 01 Our Love * 02 Heroes * 03 Moving Closer * 04 Break My Heart Again * 05 On The Run * 06 Someone To Love * 07 Sign Of The Light * 08 Pain Will Last Forever * 09 Get To You * 10 I Must Be Dreaming * 11 All I Wanted * 12 Tonight We Set The Night On Fire * 13 Man In Motion

RATING: image

Background

Often described as the German equivalent of Journey, and yes their influences pick the bones out of the very best bands of the genre, but they add their own considerable talent.

Since hearing their 1994 debut 'The State Of Rock', I have admired their sound, direction, and most obviously, their material.

Stephan pulls no punches as to his Steve Perry influence, but the guy who brings it altogether is guitarist Robby Boebel, whose appreciation for quality and perfection borders on the 'exquisite'.

'Heroes' the album drew a lot of conversation on Internet discussion lists at the time of it's release due to two things: it's unnerving similarity to Journey, and the fact that it was a Japanese release only. This annoyed the European fans especially, who felt they should have had the first go at it, rather than the Japanese.

In any case, those who really wanted it obtained it, and very few complained about it, because quite simply, the album is a classic.. period. For me personally, the album of 1997 and in my top 10 for the decade.

The Songs

A few lineup changes, including a new rhythm section and the addition of Chris Lausmann as a permanent member (he appeared on their '95 album 'Two Faced'). The songs (and there are a few of them, 13 in fact) are some of the best melodic hard rock to have ventured out of Germany.

The opening pair of 'Our Love' and the title track 'Heroes' are sensational, and perhaps best reflect their intention. How about this for their lyrics on 'Heroes':

'My love for the Beatles will never die
Later it was Journey with 'Wheels In The Sky'
Like a 'Juke Box Hero' I felt with Lou Gramm
While Toto were telling me to 'Hold The Line again'..'

On 'Moving Closer' they add some modern elements such as loops and samples, but the finish is pure hard rock.

'Break My Heart Again' has many pristine passages throughout. I can't help but be impressed by the Journey 'Raised On Radio' influence of 'On The Run'. I was all set to start singing 'Positive Touch', such was the galloping similarity. Awesome..

'Sign Of The Light' is more pure AOR, with stabbing keys and strong guitars.

'Pain Will Last Forever' is a gorgeous brooding piece, which has a subtle blues theme underpinning it.

'I Must Be Dreaming' is a faster paced affair, very similar to the best scandi bands out there.

My favourite song is the essential 'Tonight We Set (The Night On Fire)', a beautiful pulse driven track with guitars and keyboards to burn. I think the best effect for listening to 'Heroes' is to play the thing loud! That way you'll appreciate the gloriously rich production of Boebel. The man is a star.

In Summary

For those completists among you, you'll be aware of their next album 'Right Attitude' which was released locally in Europe on the AOR Heaven label. It has eight of the tracks from 'Heroes' plus seven new ones which came from the 'Heroes' sessions.

All of the songs have been completely redone, and it will truly be a great compendium to go with this Japanese release. What more can I say, probably one of the most essential bands in AOR currently in operation.


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