Line of Fire

Line of Fire

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There was a time in the late '80s when such bands as Firehouse and Europe were well represented on MTV's Headbangers Ball and by patches/pins on the denim jackets of certain metalheads (admittedly, mostly female). With an added emphasis on melody -- as evidenced in the vocals and guitar work, Journey is another prime influence -- North Carolina natives Line of Fire prove to be a hybrid of those aforementioned bands. Admittedly, this sound sticks out like a sore thumb in the early 21st century (the Darkness, who plod upon similar terrain, have a harder edge and are more Queen-like), but you have to hand it to the trio for sticking so close to the sound of its forefathers. All it takes is a listen to such tracks as "Faith in Fire," "Remind Me," "Falling Down (Hear My Prayer)," and "Time to Say Goodbye" and you'll be transported back in time to an era when poofy hairspray hair, spandex, and Adam Curry were all considered "hip." There's no denying the "technical talent" here: perfectly placed guitar playing (courtesy of duo Ed Darst and Nikki Dimage) and singing (courtesy of Shawn Pelata, who also sings in the metalcore band Killwhitneydead under the alias of Dr. Extremus Melodicus), in an '80s pop-metal sorta way.

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