My first encounter with Italy's Danger Zone, a rather obscure hard rock band with origins in the early Eighties, came with the 2011 release of the previously unreleased Line Of Fear, an album that got torpedoed by the rise of grunge. Of that album, I said it was basically derivative Eighties melodic hard rock. Yet, in the fertile sole of European melodic hard rock, Danger Zone found some favorable interest among critics and fans alike. Since that album, the band has released a new one with 2012's Undying, which I did not hear, and now arrive with Closer To Heaven, on Birgitt Schwanke's young Pride & Joy Music label.
The first word of description that comes to mind with this album is progress. Again, not having heard the previous Undying, this album is definitely a step in the right direction for Danger Zone. The band still turns to classic melodic hard rock for their musical formula, but they've also bumped up the AOR accessibility. You can hear it in the groove and hooks of songs like Go!, Here Where I Belong, and I Love Crazy. Yet that latter song also betrays Danger Zone's fundamental pursuit, straight up hard rock. All For You, Human Contact, and Higher Than High, for example are driven by strapping heavy riffs and a thundering bottom end. It's not to say they aren't with groove or melody, they're just heavier. An additional description for the band and music, which basically follows the band's roots, is that it is strongly and deliberately guitar driven. After all the founder and principal composer is guitarist Roberto Priori, and he brings the riffs and the ripping leads.
So, in the end, Closer To Heaven definitely finds Danger Zone progressing, adding touches of AOR to their music, while still staying in their comfort zone of traditional melodic hard rock. I'm guessing, once more, this album will resonate positively with their fans. On the other hand, except for a few songs, with two spins I was done.
Closer To Heaven definitely finds Danger Zone progressing, adding touches of AOR to their music, while still staying in their comfort zone of traditional melodic hard rock. I'm guessing, once more, this album will resonate positively with their fans.
Mat Sinner is both an icon and legend in the German, and the larger European, hard rock and heavy metal scene. Cranking out music since 1982, Sinner is an industrious and prolific musician and producer whether through his namesake band, the heavy metal heroes Primal ... [ Read More ]