Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Danger Zone-Closer To Heaven

Pride & Joy Music

Formed in 1980 by skilled guitarist Roberto PrioriDanger Zone is a Italian band with three full-length releases to it's name now thanks to the soon-to-be-released (and must-have!) "Closer To Heaven". Arguably one of my all time favorite heavy/power metal turned hard rock/AOR bands, Danger Zone released the exceptional EP, "Victim Of Time", back in 1984* and in the process they easily set themselves apart from the crowd thanks to phenomenal playing and meticulously-crafted material! Having previously covered not only their 2011 album, "Line Of Fire", and 2012's "Undying", but also their 2014 cover of  E.Z.O.'s "Fire Fire" I had high hopes for the forty minute plus "Closer To Heaven". Thankfully Danger Zone's new 11 track album is everything one could hope for and more! Produced by Roberto Priori and Jody Gray at the PriStudio in Bologna, "Closer To Heaven" offers a near-perfect balancing act between melodic rock, melodic hard rock, guitar rock and even pop metal! It's no real secret that these days Danger Zone are more AOR than hard & heavy, but thanks to the (clean and crisp) heavy rock guitar playing of Roberto Priori none of that matters! Danger Zone's third full-length album flies straight at you with one great cut after another! On this Italian band's latest home run recording you'll be greeted by catchy AOR moments AND smoking hot hard rock blazers! That first part would be the album's first half (or if this was a LP then it would be the A side). Tracks 1-5 are AOR done just right! With stellar performances from Danger Zone's other key players (vocalist Giacomo Gigantelli, bassist Matteo Minghetti, and drummer Paolo Palmieri) and guest keyboard contributions from Pier Mazzini (Perfect View) and Michele Luppi (Whitesnake) this four-piece band cashes in all their chips on their chips on these first five cuts! And yet somehow once "I Love Crazy" kicks in all bets are off! Danger Zone shakes things up guitar rock-worthy tracks like "I Love Crazy", "All for You", and "T'night". Meanwhile we find "Human Contact" splitting the difference between classic AOR and slick modern hard rock and it's a thing of absolute beauty! Melodic hard rock fans will appreciate "Not That Lonely" and then there is the aptly-titled "Hard Rock Paradise" which closes things out on the right note. Not that there is a wrong note to be found anywhere among these 11 tracks! Each and every song on "Closer To Heaven" has something truly special to offer all but making this forthcoming LP a must-buy! If I offered a grading scale on my site this one would be a 9 out of 10 as there is nothing here that I don't like!! Had the band thrown in a straight-up metal number (something along the lines of the Judas Priest/Iron Maiden-like stone cold killer material off of "Victim Of Time"!) "Closer To Heaven" would be a 10 out of 10, but that's more a matter of me being super picky as opposed to the unsurpassed talent of this high-class Italian quartet! Due to drop on April 15th, "Closer To Heaven" is a fantastic piece of work from Roberto Priori and company and it should be enthusiastically embraced by new and old fans alike!


* If the band is reading this (and I hope they do) could we possibly get a expanded re-release of "Victim Of Time" on CD? Back in 2012 I mentioned how much I wanted to see this classic get it's proper due. What I wrote then still holds true. And that would be the following: "Somehow, some way this EP needs to get a proper re-release in CD form. The whole works should be in order from a re-mastered sound (even though the production is essentially flawless already!) to new art work (since I've always found the cover a bit cheesy), a bio, lyrics, rare photos and maybe even bonus cuts (how about the three demo tapes that followed this?). What is the hold up? If I had the funds myself I'd be knocking down doors to get this EP out to the metal masses!"

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Blogger Unknown said...

Thanks a lot from DZ for the great review! \m/

12:05 AM  

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