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Decent follow-up - 72%

Bloodstone, November 6th, 2006

This album is to the previous 'Danger Zone' much like Mötley Crüe's 'Theatre of Pain' is to 'Shout at the Devil', in that it is of a similar style, but has a more laid-back and commercial feel, in a bad way. It's neither as heavy, nor as metal and the songwriting has taken a turn for the just plain worse. Granted, it's nowhere nearly as disappointing as 'Theatre', given that 'Shout' is an undisputed and timeless classic whereas 'Danger Zone' checks in with a mere "solid" status, but the similarity in the overall quality decreasing due to a (highly probable) compromise of integrity is definitely there.

The songs on here just don't kill the way they did on the previous album. The intensely screaming/screamingly intense heavy fucking metal delivery of the year before has transformed into somewhat of a more poppy buttrock one, and that goes for the songwriting too in several places. It's a bit like the two songs "Midnight Mover" and "Screaming For a Love-Bite" found on the Accept album from the same year ('Metal Heart', 1985), with their Def Leppard-esque multi-layered-and-harmonized vocal choruses and Van Halen-esque poppy riffs and licks, but with the one exception that those two songs are pure classics and just fucking kick ass, and really no song on here even comes close to that level of quality. For the record, I'm just as much a fan of 80's buttrock as one of old-school heavy metal; it's just that Sinner doesn't sound nearly as comfortable straying into poppier territories as when done by Accept (probably the biggest influence on this band as one can expect; same country, same era and on this album even one of the guitarists is the same - not Wolf Hoffmann of course, but Hermann Frank, who played alongside him on 1982's 'Restless & Wild' and 1984's 'Balls to the Wall'). For one, Accept sure do it with a lot more energy, which is always a good thing with this type of music.

Well now, even with a slightly corrupted spirit, there is still plenty of no-frills heavy metal power to gain here (it's 1985 dammit, kinda hard to go that much wrong), but as previously indicated, missing from here is that one totally killer, addictive cut that can make an entire album more memorable as whole. On 'Danger Zone' you had the opening title track serving just as that, but in case you're wondering, the opener on this album, "Born to Rock", certainly is NOT the answer to that. It's not even what you could consider a highlight, it just kinda plods along really. As for the best song, "Shout!" (as in "Shout at the Devil", really, the chorus is very similar) would be a good candidate, boasting a swift and energetic opening riff straight out of the Randy Rhoads school of kicking ass. Other above average cuts include a couple of solid crunch-groovers in "Out of Control" and "Hand of Fate", the energetic yet atmospheric and quite melodic "Emerald" and the all-out speed metal assault of "Too Late to Runaway" that would make UltraBoris ejaculate himself silly (maybe it already has, considering he liked the previous album so much - but if so, where's his review of this I wonder?). Plenty of solidity here, yes, but again, no real ungodly Metal Health (a.k.a. "Bang Your Head" by Quiet Riot, who are generally shit but certainly have a few classic songs under their belt) or Rock You to Motherfucking Hell (Grim Reaper) type of numbers to be found anywhere.

In conclusion, nothing spectacular to see here folks, but I suppose if you really loved 'Danger Zone', there should be well enough here to keep you happy. However, let all you haters of Gay Los Angeles Music be aware of stuff like the try-too-hard, balladic fluff of "The Storm Broke Loose" or the cheesy chorus of "Bad Girl" before purchase. Do take note of the cover art, it is actually to a degree indicative of the music on here.