Album Review – Danger Zone / Closer To Heaven (2016)

Let this talented Italian band bring you the best Hard Rock from the 80’s you can think of, and you’ll then feel a lot closer to the always coveted Rock N’ Roll heaven.

Rating4

Cover mediumAfter you take a listen at Closer To Heaven, the brand new release by Italian Heavy Metal/Hard Rock band Danger Zone, you will certainly start asking yourself why those talented rockers are not among the top Hard Rock bands in the world such as Whitesnake, Scorpions, Def Leppard and Van Halen, even being founded in the early 80’s (more specifically in 1983) like most of our favorite bands from this always pleasant subgenre of heavy music. If you’re a fan of that old school Hard Rock sending a message of love and freedom to the entire world, this album is for you, and Danger zone will soon become one of your favorite new (or maybe I should say veteran) bands without a shadow of a doubt.

Due to adverse circumstances, the band had to go on a hiatus between 1989, a few years after the release of their debut EP entitled Victim of Fate, until 2011 when their first full-length album Line of Fire finally became a reality after so many years on the shelf. However, it was worth the wait, as all their releases after the band got back together in 2010 are beyond awesome, and of course it couldn’t be any different with Closer To Heaven. Always loyal to their roots and never giving up on their dreams, this Bologna-based band offers the listener 11 tracks of pure Hard Rock from the 80’s without sounding cheesy or outdated in Closer To Heaven, and that’s all that’s needed for this album to be considered a mandatory addition to your Hard Rock collection.

I know I’ve already mentioned the name of this band in this review, but if you love the Hard Rock played by Scorpions you’ll go crazy with the opening track Turn It Up and its blazing riffs, powerful keyboards and a gripping rhythm, all perfect for lead singer Giacomo Gigantelli to provide his classy vocal lines. Then in Go! (Closer To Heaven), an acoustic start flows into a powerful Hard Rock ahthem that sounds taken from those cult romantic comedies from the 80’s, where keyboardist Pier Mazzini nicely complements what lead guitarist Roberto Priori and guitarist Danilo Faggiolini offer through their solos and riffs respectively; while in Higher Than High I really thought for a few seconds that the iconic Klaus Meine was about to start singing. This song showcases that traditional Hard Rock that dominated the American territory during the 80’s, with a chorus catchier than anything you can imagine and Roberto kicking ass with his guitar solos.

danger zoneNow let drummer Paolo Palmieri and bassist Matteo Minghetti, both supported by Pier’s keyboard notes, guide us all on a Rock N’ Roll road trip in the amazing I’m All In, with highlights to the great performance by Giacomo with his passionate vocals, followed by Here Where I Belong, a semi-acoustic power ballad where the whole band works together and in sync to fill all spaces in the music with smoothness and energy, creating a pleasant atmosphere for couples to enjoy it together. The following tune, I Love Crazy, is a solid display of American Hard Rock with the traditional riffs by Roberto and Danilo shaping the musicality, and you’ll surely start banging your head or tapping on your desk with the beats by Paolo (not to mention its lyrics will stick to your head and you’ll get yourself singing them everywhere you go).

In the average All For You, a promising start slows down a bit too much, making the whole track sound like filler despite another good vocal performance by Giacomo; whereas in the thrilling T’night, with the keyboards by Pier shining brighter than ever and fire flowing from the guitars, the band blasts a classic Hard Rock chant perfect for people to go crazy on the dance floor at a Rock N’ Roll party. And it seems that the party doesn’t have a time to end based on what the band brings forward in Human Contact, again presenting Scorpions-like riffs and electrifying vocals by Giacomo.

The unstoppable guitar duo Roberto and Danilo steal the spotlight in what’s in my opinion the best of all songs in Closer To Heaven, entitled Not That Lonely, and with Paolo offering the most Rock N’ Roll beats you can think of there’s nothing I can say about this song but that it kicks fuckin’ ass hands down. And lastly, Hard Rock Paradise is an ode to all things Hard Rock, reminding me of some of the biggest classics by Van Halen with all its elements taking us back to the golden years of Hard Rock. Well, I’m pretty sure that was the band’s main goal when they wrote this rockin’ anthem.

You can find more details on the past, present and future of Danger Zone at their Facebook page or YouTube channel, and party until you drop to the sound of their dancing Hard Rock and Rock N’ Roll by purchasing Closer To Heaven at the Pride & Joy Music webstore, on iTunes or on Amazon. You don’t need to travel back in time to the 80’s to listen to good Hard Rock music: simply let Danger Zone bring that for you and you’ll feel closer and closer to the coveted Rock N’ Roll heaven while listening to their powerful hymns.

Best moments of the album: Turn It Up, I’m All In and Not That Lonely.

Worst moments of the album: All For You.

Released in 2016 Pride & Joy Music

Track listing
1. Turn It Up 4:22
2. Go! (Closer To Heaven) 3:50
3. Higher Than High 4:10
4. I’m All In 5:12
5. Here Where I Belong 4:26
6. I Love Crazy 4:26
7. All For You 4:24
8. T’night 4:35
9. Human Contact 4:13
10. Not That Lonely 3:35
11. Hard Rock Paradise 4:29

Band members
Giacomo Gigantelli – vocals
Roberto Priori – lead guitar
Danilo Faggiolini – guitar
Matteo Minghetti – bass
Pier Mazzini – keyboards
Paolo Palmieri – drums

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