How do you start a review when you are speechless? I am not sure but I am going give it my best. CoreLeoni The Greatest Hits Part I will be in my top five albums I have reviewed this year. I know we are only in February but mark my words. I have to start off by saying that I have always been a passive Gotthard fan. I have always liked their music but the US market didn’t give them due credit. In 2010 Gotthard front man Steve Lee was killed in a motorcycle accident, so when I heard that Leo Leoni was re-recording some of their old songs I was intrigued. A new spin on old songs can make a big difference, but at the same time needs to be a respectful tribute to their fallen front man. Then I saw who was singing on these songs and I was instantly sold. Ronnie Romero is one of the best singers in the world today. He is currently singing with Rainbow and sang on The Ferrymen’s debut album, which happened to be on my top five albums of last year. Romero’s singing has been compared to Ronnie James Dio and Jorn Lande, although I feel his delivery and sound is as close to Robin McCauley as it gets.
The Greatest Hits Part I begins with the love theme from “The Godfather,” pauses shortly, then rips right into “Firedance,” a thick guitar riff followed by an incredible Romero introductory scream, setting the stage for what is to come from The Greatest Hits Part I. “Firedance” is a very rhythmically driven song, and gives the listener the ability to hear Romero’s voice at its purest. One of my favorite tracks is “Higher.” It showcases Leo Leoni’s mesmerizing guitar talent. “Higher” has a faster pace and is the anthem I picture myself listening to as I drive down an oceanside highway in a convertible, making each turn while the combo of Romero and Leoni lead the way to Rock and Roll euphoria. As much of a road cruising anthem “Higher” is, the true diamond on The Greatest Hits Part I is the power ballad “Let it Be.” It starts off like any power ballad, with a melodic and slow rhythm guitar, but when Romero starts the vocals it all comes together beautifully. Romero peaks during the chorus of the song and Leoni sets the track on fire with a blistering guitar solo making this a power ballad that I found myself listening to over and over.
Leo Leoni has paid a very respectful tribute to Steve Lee and Ronnie Romero’s vocals are very similar to Lee’s in fact. Core Leoni The Greatest Hits Part I has a very classic metal sound in a modern world, and this year Gotthard celebrate the 25th anniversary of their debut album. I can not think of a better way to commemorate the bands success as well as celebrate the life of their fallen front man than the release of The Greatest Hits Part I. Core Leone The Greatest Hits Part I will be release February 23, 2018 via Frontier Records.