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Daniel Gazzoli Project: Night Hunter

Night Hunter is the debut album from Italian guitarist Daniel Gazzoli and his Project – although what stops them being a band, I'm not quite sure? Either way, if the album's moniker reminds of you of the sort of song titles Dokken worked with in the 80s, then you'll be pretty close to the mark, Gazzoli clearly influenced by the guitar playing of George Lynch, while his bio unashamedly, and quite correctly, sites Dokken, Ratt, Whitesnake, Bon Jovi, House Of Lords and FM as touching points. That's exalted company to be trying to keep and in all honesty Night Hunter doesn't quite hit those heights… but it isn't all that far away. Singer, Leonardo F. Guillan has the sort of voice you can thoroughly invest in, his willingness to throw everything he's got at the driving rock of "Forged By Pain" allowing you to believe every word. With Gazzoli burning the frets, the pair make a mighty combination.

The album's title cut, as it's name suggested, reminds of Dokken, the commercial but fierce riff biting and gnarling from the off, but with the keyboards of Luke Ferraresi taking up a much more prominent role on the easy vibe of "Liar", a more pure AOR meets Magnum pomp comes to the fore. The biggest surprise possibly comes in the shape of "Don't Leave Me Alone" where the keyboard sound from the self titled Bon Jovi album is unexpectedly resurrected and expertly combined to a Grand Prix like melody.

Not everything comes off quite so impressively, "Run" just a little too twee for its own good as the keyboards slide into parpdom, while the curiously titled "Heartblame" sounds like it could come from any number of those Frontiers Records 'project' albums – which, to be fair, for many people might be another plus point. However, with "The Beat Of My Heart" pounding along on Luca Zannoni's excellent drumming and another Lynch like guitar burst, and "Self Destruction Blues" adding a dirty, sleazy edge with Hammond organ sliding into view, as small budget debuts go, Night Hunter hits its mark much more often than not. Intentionally dated, but in a reverential way rather than an ironic one, what Daniel Gazzoli Project have created here is a classy, vinyl length, trip back to the 80s. If your musical heart still resides there, you'll find many welcome memories on this album and a lot to like.

Track Listing
1. Night Hunter
2. Forged by the Pain
3. Liar
4. Self Destruction Blues
5. Heartblame
6. Run
7. Prayer for an Angel
8. Dont Leave Me Alone
9. The Beat of My Heart

Added: August 5th 2017
Reviewer: Steven Reid
Related Link: Night Hunter at CD Baby
Hits: 1442
Language: english

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