Review: Coreleoni- Greatest Hits Part I

It’s still hard to believe that it’s already been eight years since the passing of one of rock ‘n’ rolls truly great frontmen- Mr. Steve Lee. Him and his band- Gotthard are one of the true masters of melodic metal and their guitarist Leo Leoni felt the time was right for a tribute to their fallen vocalist and more to the point their friend. With that in mind, Leo and fellow bandmate Hena Habegger drums, Ronnie Romero vocals, Jorg Gianola guitar and Mila Merker bass set out to do just that on their 25 anniversary. The end result for Frontiers Records is Coreleoni “Greatest Hits Part 1.” It is a truly masterful performance of classic Gotthard songs with a slightly modern twist to pay tribute to their longtime friend. The little kid at the beginning of “Firedance” is no indicator at all of the metal contained within and it takes just seconds when you listen to “Downtown” to hear the similarities between Ronnie Romero and the almighty Steve Lee. Whereas “Higher” is a rollicking thrill ride and “Get It While You Can” has a slow and dirty riff that takes you on a little journey to the nudie bar. They somehow made “In The Name” which is one of my all-time favorites, heavier than it was before and Ronnie Romero’s voice in “Let It Be” has just enough rasp to it to make this one of the best ballads ever recorded. “All I Care For” is another out of this world ballad that tugs on your heartstrings. The only new song “Walk On Water” is an absolute beast that will leave you asking “Why isn’t this a real full time rock band again”. “Here Comes The Heat” is another scorcher that rocks you hard ‘n’ heavy while “Tell No Lies” sounds better than the original version on “Open.” At the same time “Ride On” is a fast paced race on and icy highway and just when you think it can’t possibly get any better they unleash “Anytime Anywhere” and totally blow your mind. Here’s the bottom line- It’s really great to see them dust off these old staples in the Gotthard catalog and breathe new life into them for a new generation. Rating: 9 out of 10 Eric Hunker