Danger Zone - 'Line Of Fire' (Avenue Of Allies) Print E-mail
CD Reviews
Written by Gaz E   
Thursday, 13 January 2011 05:00

dangerzone-lineoffireSomething of a holy grail for melodic rock aficionados this one; mothballed in an AOR archive for over two decades, this long-lost second album from Italian rockers Danger Zone finally sees the light of day in a special limited edition, remastered from the original source.


Signing a deal after impressing whilst supporting the mighty Saxon in Italy in 1988, Danger Zone headed off to Los Angeles, where the streets were paved with perm solution, to play some well-received gigs and begin work on their second album - a first, 'Victim Of Time', had been released in their home country in 1984 - with some of the knob-twiddling heavyweights responsible for albums by the likes of Loudness, EZO, Stryper and Meat Loaf, but protracted label negotiations and the illegitimate birth of the grunge beast meant that Danger Zone, like so many of their bouffant brethren, walked the short path to obscurity at the dawn of the Nineties.


That second album, 'Line Of Fire', has become something of a lost treasure to melodic rock fans the world over who have continuously demanded the album finally see release. Well, dreams do come true as German label Avenue Of Allies are about to release the Lost AOR Of The Covenant, remastered from the original source by the band's guitarist Roberto Priori, as a special limited edition in an individually numbered slipcase.


Opening track, and title song, 'Line Of Fire' begins with a bout of guitar widdling that has me squinting my ears and pretending that it is of the fingers of Messrs Van Halen or Schon, before turning into standard (for its time) melodic rock territory. While the song itself may sound like an aural time capsule the production does not - the remastering work done on this album has to be applauded as it will certainly stand up against modern rock albums of its ilk. The second track is the first of three cover versions (two of which were recorded for "business reasons") included on this ten track affair, and it was these tracks that actually made me want to investigate this release further, for curiosity value alone. Danger Zone have taken the T. Rex classic 'Children Of The Revolution' and hair metalled it up to mixed results. My gut feeling is that laying swathes of blistering fretwork over this timeless song amounts to heresy but, remembering that these cover tunes were de rigueur in the Eighties, I have to admit that this version is no worse than the scores of similar examples from that time; it might not be 'Smokin' In The Boys Room' but, thankfully, it isn't the bastardized Poison version of 'Rock And Roll All Nite'.


The other cover version that piqued my interest (the third, a version of 'That's Why I Fell In Love With You' by country singer Eddie Rabbitt, I have to be honest and say that I am not familiar with. Danger Zone appear to make it their own though as it sounds like a generic Eighties power ballad) is 'Let Me Rock' by Chequered Past, the supergroup of sorts that featured Michael Des Barres, Sex Pistol Steve Jones and Nigel Harrison and Clem Burke (he of the most consistently awesome haircut in rock 'n' roll history) of Blondie. Possibly to the chagrin of the legendary musicians involved in the creation of this song and their fans, this song does seem like it would have been prime meat for a cock rocking makeover and Danger Zone did just that, turning it into a Leppard-esque anthem.


Another song of interest is 'Fingers', a mid-paced, sexier rocker that features the guest backing vocals of none other than the infamous Grace Jones on what turns out to be the album's stand out track. 'Walk Away', as the title subconsciously suggests, is yet more standard power balladry while 'Hardline' reminds me of the kind of song that would be on Side 2 of a Kiss album of that time, before album closer 'Love Dies Hard' leaves the listener with thoughts of Dokken.


Singer Giacomo Gigantelli, sometimes lost when entertaining the lower register, showed real talent when his pipes were fully warmed, and lead guitarist Roberto Priori certainly had major guitar hero potential in his blurred fingers. Maybe the melodic rock world will get another chance to discover this as Danger Zone are back together and working on new material. Until that surfaces, AOR fans should invest in this lost album as, while it may not offer anything new, it will cheer them like a phone call from an old friend.