Night Hunter, the Street Symphonies Record release for the Daniel Gazzoli Project reeks of “get up outta your arena seat” 80’s hard rock and roll. The Italian guitar player and songwriter who also plays bass on the album, along with bandmates Leonardo F. Guillan (lead vocals), already known in the rock scene for a previous live collaboration with Soul Seller, Luca Ferarresi (drums), member of melodic rock band Perfect View, and Luca Zannoni (keyboards) put together a collection of tunes that might be considered retro rock. I think retro rock is a dumb term, because anyone who is willing to look and listen, will find plenty of the bands from the 80’s still out there playing and putting out new music, which by the way is still pretty damn good music.
That being said Night Hunter is a well-produced record borrowing its sound from 80’s metal bands like Whitesnake and House of Lords, but with a little heavier sound. The issue I have with this record is that even though the record sonically sounds very good, it seems to utilize a cheesy 80’s sounding keyboard on songs like “Liar” and “Heartblame” which takes away from the heavy riffing done by Gazzoli. I would appreciate this record much more if there were fewer keyboards or they were further back in the mix, leaving the guitars alone and up front, forcing less of a guitar/keyboard competition within each song.
The album leads off with the title track “Night Hunter,” which is very reminiscent of the main riff in Dokken’s “Unchain the Night,” moving next into the anthemic “Forged By The Pain.” There is no shortage of guitar pyrotechnics as you might expect since the namesake of the project is the guitar player and main songwriter. The nice thing is that the album is not one big long guitar solo, but takes the path that is more song oriented showcasing Gazzoli’s talents within the structure of the solo section of the song itself.
“Self Destruction Blues,” a Deep Purple inspired tune is one of the highlights for me. It’s got a cool groove with a heavy Hammond B3 Organ sound infused throughout the song, although still mixed a little too up front for me.
As you would expect from a hard rock band from the 80’s, you get the ballad in the form of “Prayer For An Angel.” As ballads go, this one is base written on piano and to be honest, I am the last person to ask about ballads. I am not a fan of ballads in general, but as it goes, this one fits the bill just fine.
The album closes out strong with the blazing rocker “The Beat Of My Heart.” This one is much more my speed than a ballad. Driving guitars with an upbeat tempo. Elevates the pulse and closes the record on a positive sweat stricken note.
The album does lend itself to the bands and music from the 80’s, but to me falls a bit short in offering up memorable hooks and catchy choruses that were present in many of those songs from that era.
As always, no matter your taste, go out and support live and record RnR music that makes you sweat!!
Review by: Steven Michael