There once was a band called Gotthard...then Leo Leoni decided to create a tribute band with Lords of Black's Ronnie Romero on vocals...the end! Wait, hold on - Gotthard is still alive and kicking! Well, Leoni was out to recapture the band's past - dusting off some older tracks from 1992-2005 Gotthard albums and give them the ultimate refresher - the Ronnie Romero experience. For those who have yet to familiarize themselves with Mr. Romero - let me introduce you to one of the hottest talents in the world of rock/metal today.
With no disrespect to the late great Steve Lee, there isn't a singer out there today that could take old Gotthard songs and make them substantially better. Songs like "Firedance," "Get It While You Can" and "Ride On" are more relevant now than ever - even Leoni's guitars have extra vigor. Joining Leoni and Romero on the venture are former Gotthard (and U.D.O.) guitarist Igor Gianola (g), Gotthard mainstay and drummer Hena Habegger and Mila Merker on bass.
In Romero, CoreLeoni adds some rough edges a la Ronnie James Dio to the music, giving it a metallic crunch making it so much more appealing to fans of the heavier side of hard rock. "Walk on Water" - the album's best - can easily appear on a Lords of Black album. "Tell No Lies" and "Get It While You Can" have an extra nasty, dirty, bad ass stank - the perfect formula for classic hard rock.
For the sound, Leoni produced "The Greatest Hits, Part 1" as he has for much of the Gotthard back catalog. Crisp, sharp and full - the ingredients for perfect sound have all been confirmed along with a stellar mix.
CoreLeoni is not only the perfect tribute to early Gotthard, in many ways it exceeds it - refreshing and modernizing the sound with one of the best singers in the business. The album title indicates a Part 2 is in the plan, but I sure hope this lineup considers writing original material. "Greatest Hits, Part 1" is a bit misleading because this is no compilation album - it is so much more and so worth adding to your hard rock collection.
Label: Frontiers Music Srl (2018)
1. Love Theme From "The Godfather"/Firedance
4. Get It While You Can
5. In The Name
6. Let It Be
7. All I Care For
8. Walk On Water
9. Here Comes The Heat
10. Tell No Lies
11. Ride On
12. Anytime Anywhere
13. El Traidor (Bonus Track)