Enemy Eyes is a new project put together by the American vocalist Johnny Gioeli with History’s Hand being a cracking old-school hard rock album. Gioeli is an exciting singer with a long and illustrious career in the world of rock being the voice of Hardline, the long-time singer with Axel Rudi Pell as well as Crush 40 with this album being, incredibly, his 100th official release. He created Enemy Eyes to be a classic hard rock band fused with elements of European metal and if you are into Ronnie James Dio and his work with Sabbath and Rainbow then this is most definitely an album that you need to check out. Gioeli has been especially busy over the last few years having released the excellent solo album One Voice as well as a thrilling collaboration with Deen Castronovo on the World On Fire record. Gioeli has one of those voices that can adapt to just about any format and he is equally at home with a soaring melodic rock ballad as he is when in full-on rock god mode as he has so much power, control and passion at his disposal and can breathe life everything he delivers.
Johnny Gioeli has pulled together a tight and compact team of excellent musicians with the Soundchaser and ex-Rage guitarist Marcos Rodriguez, Annihilator drummer Fabio Alessandrini and ‘have keyboards, will travel’ genius that is Alessadro Del Vecchio and he provides the bass too. The songs are typical classic metal with that special intense and anthemic flavour with Gioeli investing raw emotion into every track making this music from the heart that is storming, brooding metal at its best. Hard and heavy yet the core remains melodic so there is all the harmony and associated hooks that help to make the music immediately accessible and ‘trademark’ Gioeli so just the one listen is enough to make it an old friend and this is surely a rock album you will keep returning to.
The material is exceptional with the songs being perfectly put together and just about perfect 5 to 6-minute mini-epics that hit between the eyes as Gioeli and band deliver up a master class in how to deliver classic rock to the masses. Gioeli is an artist we should relish as he has an outstanding voice that is the guarantee of great music which is why he has been so much in demand as a guest performer too. He realises that his band is every bit as integral to the music and he has packed his team with some amazing talent and if you have yet to experience the power, might and majesty of Marcos Rodriguez, Fabio Alessandrini and Alessandro Del Vecchio then you are urged to check them out. The guitar of Rodriguez is stunning throughout with his solos being intense and jaw dropping-ly good with Alessandrini booming out the beat like a metronome on steroids and Del Vecchio lays down layer after layer of incredible keyboards and his bass work too is exemplary.
History’s Hand is another of those brilliant albums that could have been recorded at any time in the last 50-years such is its relevance to the hard rock cause and if it had come out in the late ’70s then it would no doubt be considered as one of those ‘reference’ albums like Heaven & Hell or Rising and I can think of no higher praise than that.
- Here We Are (3:50)
- History’s Hand (4:59)
- Peace And The Glory (3:35)
- The Chase (5:47)
- Preying On Your Weakness (5:28)
- What You Say (4:16)
- What I Believe (4:09)
- The Dream Is Gone (4:22)
- The Miracle In You (4:50)
- Broken (4:28)
- The Rat Race (4:31)