‘Set The World On Fire’
2018 release from Frontiers Music, srl.
Johnny Gioeli – Vocals. Deen Castronovo – Vocals, drums. Mario Percudani – Guitar. Alessandro Del Vecchio – Keyboards, backing vocals. Nik Mazzucconi – Bass. Giorgia Colleluori – Co-lead vocals on track 6. Manalo Raoul Christian Navarro – Additional acoustic guitars on track 6.
Artist location: USA. Italy.
4.5 out of 5 stars rating.
Reviewed by David.
- Set The World On Fire.
- Who I Am.
- Fall Like An Angel.
- It’s All About You.
- Need You Now (Lady Antebellum cover, featuring Giorgia Colleluori).
- Ride Of Your Life.
- Walk With Me.
- Run For Your Life.
- Remember Me.
- Let Me Out (The Veronicas cover).
Johnny Gioeli and Deen Castronovo go all the way back to Hardline and the sensational debut, ‘Double Eclipse’ where Deen played drums for the project and thus started a lifelong friendship. And now these two incredible artists are finally back together again for the first time since that album in 1992.
I heard a rumor from Johnny some time back when we spoke that he and Deen had something in the pipeline and would be working together again in the future. He of course could not divulge any other news than that to me, but with his solo record having just been announced I thought perhaps Deen may be joining him on that album, or at least joining for a few tracks of it.
Well little did I know that it was much bigger than that! They were doing a full record together featuring BOTH of their voices and one of the top men in the industry right now, Alessandro Del Vecchio. Three amazing artists and three of the nicest guys out there together with the considerable talents of Mario Percudani and Nik Mazzacconi.
Now I am a HUGE Gioeli fan. I first heard him when he and his brother Joey had a band called Brunette. Then came that classic Hardline debut and since then we have heard him on more records from Hardline, Crush 40, Accomplice, Axel Rudi Pell and several guest spots for folks like Doug Aldrich, Herman Rarebell and Wolfpakk among others. The man’s voice has always been amazing, but in a very rare turn, he has only gotten better with age and in my opinion he sounds better now than he did in 1992. Not to mention he is one of the most humble and coolest cats there is. He sat and spoke with me long after the allotted amount of time we had set aside was up, never once seeming like he would rather be anywhere else then there chatting with a fan like me.
The first time that I heard of Deen was when he was the drummer for supergoup Bad English. He went on to join Bad English bandmates Neal Schon and Jonathan Cain as a member of Journey from 1998 to 2015 and has been a part of several other bands and projects and is currently a member of another supergroup, The Dead Daisies. The guy has played with a who’s who of legends over the years and is one of the top drummers in the business right now.
For years I knew what an amazing drummer he was but it was not until I saw Journey in concert around 2007 that I found out what a truly astounding singer he was also. At this point Steve Augeri had just left the band and Jeff Scott Soto came in as vocalist and Deen took on some of the lead vocals as well. I had heard him sing on the 2005 record ‘Generations’, but when I saw him live and he sang lead on songs like ‘Open Arms’, I was completely blown away! This guy could flat out SING!
Then in 2015 we got the smashing debut record from Revolution Saints and he cemented his place in the melodic rock community as a full fledged vocalist and I absolutely love listening to him sing! An incredible vocalist and drummer.
The two of these guys together along with Ale, how could this record not be amazing!
‘Set The World On Fire’ opens the album up for us. This track was released as the second single of the record and is a hard rocking gem of a song and by far the heaviest track of the record. I absolutely love it! Check out the link to the music video near the top of the page.
‘Through’ was the first single and is one of the best songs on the record in my opinion. It is a simply wonderful track with superb vocals from both of the guys and one to stand alongside the best of Alessandro penned songs. You can find a link to the music for this one near the top of the page also.
‘Who I Am’ is a great, more mid-tempoed track and another excellent vocal from both of the men while ‘Fall Like An Angel’ brings us back to a more rocking tune, and another great one to be sure.
The album is set up as a duet record, but each of the guys have two solo tracks on the album and ‘It’s All About You’ if the first one of the record and up first is Johnny. Ballads are where I feel Gioeli’s voice really shines brightest and he sounds fantastic on this power ballad.
Next up is a cover of the country trio Lady Antebellum’s smash hit ‘Need You Now’. This song features Johnny and Eternal Idol frontwoman Giorgia Colleluori on vocals. This felt like an odd choice for a cover to me and honestly at first listen it really did not work for me. Sure, they did a good job with it, but it seemed a bit out of place on this record. However after subsequent spins of the disc I found myself enjoying it more and more for the album.
The second solo track of the record features Deen putting his voice behind the Jim Peterik song ‘Ride Of Your Life’. It is a terrific, upbeat tune and Deen does a superb job with it. Definitely a highlight for me.
From the mid-tempoed ‘Mother’ (which features some excellent harmonizing on the chorus), to Deen’s second solo, the ballad ‘Walk With Me’, to the upbeat ‘Run For Your Life’ and ‘Remember Me’, the record continues on with great song after great song and brings us to the final track. ‘Let Me Out’ is Johnny’s second solo track, this time opting for a cover of The Veronicas song ‘Let Me Out from their 2014 self-titled album. I never cared much for the original, but this is a definite improvement on it and Johnny sounds superb on this acoustic ballad. What a voice!
So that is the record and honestly most of it took a bit to grow on me. It is a bit different what with the two lead vocals on the majority of the album and I really was not sure if I was going to enjoy an entire record of the two vocalists going back and forth, but what Ale, Johnny and Deen did with album works absolutely beautifully and should not be missed by any fan of any of these guys. Everyone on this record shines and sounds utterly fantastic!
If you are familiar with Del Vecchio’s work (let’s face it, if you are reading this then you are more than familiar with Ale’s output) then you will know what you are in for here musically. The man did an outstanding job writing this one and our two vocalists knock it out of the park, like they always do.
A fantastic piece of melodic rock that fans should eat up!
‘Set The World On Fire’.
‘Who I Am’.
‘Fall Like An Angel’.
‘Ride Of Your Life’.