One of the unique benefits of musical is that it is a truly uniting global force and our languages and cultures may be different but we are all the same when we strip everything back to the basics and music can and does bring us all together. So, what we have here is a new neo-classical metal band from Peru which is not a country I would not normally associate this genre with but here they are and, based on this stunning debut, they are here to stay, a little like Paddington bear but with guitars instead of marmalade sandwiches! Cosmic Visions kicks off in fine form with Evil Strike a 56-second statement of intent which is similar in style to Van Halen’s Eruption and announces that this is a band on a mission.
Dangerous Project is made up by five extraordinary musicians in singer Jose Gaona, Oscar J. Martin (Icarus/Astral Fire) on guitar, Eddy Geott on bass, Adnagun Franco on drums and Luber Elend on keyboards and my first thought was ‘who is the second guitarist’ and the real surprise is that there isn’t one even though Oscar Martin contributes enough riffs and solos for three guitarists, this man is one hell of a player.
Dangerous Project trade in traditional metal with that delicious neo-classical twist that truly thrills and there is just so much here to enjoy. Certainly, if you are a fan of Ritchie Blackmore, Rainbow, Deep Purple, Yngwie Malmsteen and Axel Rudi Pell then this is an album for you to enjoy and there are just so many outstanding solos that the album will satisfy even the most demanding metalhead. Brilliantly and beautifully played acoustic guitar sits comfortably alongside mazy and sublime solos and then for those who like it fast and furious then there is plenty of speed guitar work to revel in too. However, this is not the Oscar Martin show as vocalist Jose Gaona has the pipes to really impress with his powerful and commanding delivery and he handles the quieter and more reflective moments with precision too. Like his fellow South Americans, the Chilean pair of James Robledo of Sinner’s Blood and Ronnie Romero, I am expecting great things from Gaona and he is another with a touch of Ronnie James Dio about him.
The roots of the band go back to 2005 with them coming together through a joint love of bands like Scorpions, Journey, Europe Yngwie Malmsteen and Alcatrazz but it was 2015 before the guys seriously started work on what was to become Dangerous Project. All have interesting back stories and as seems to be the case with many rock singers Jose Gaona came second on The Voice Peru which means that the winner must have been a truly amazing singer to be better than him! However, it was when they all came together that the magic began and they have produced quite probably the best debut album I have ever heard and it is one that will win awards around the world. Germany and Scandinavia are going to go crazy for this band and I would suggest that if you are going to buy only one metal album this year then make it this one as this is simply out of this world. The songs are epic and the very epitome of heavy metal, the vocalist outstanding, the guitarist unbelievable, the keyboard player is what Tony Carey was to Rainbow Rising and the rhythm pairing are immense. I know the praise is a little over the top and so is the music but, oh boy, just wait until you hear the guitar, it’s going to blow your mind.
The album closes with two Peruvian bonus tracks which Gaona sings in his native tongue and these are both delicious metal workouts especially with El Fuego En Mi Corazón beginning as something of an acoustic flamenco number before bursting into life with a huge guitar break and equally powerful chorus before slipping back into sedate acoustic mode, simply masterful. Listen, buy, savour.
Cosmic Vision track list
- Evil Strike (0:56)
- Hide In The Shadows (4:26)
- Burning Angel (4:36)
- Cosmic Vision (4:03)
- Keeper Of The Sun (4:08)
- The Fire In My Heart (4:31)
- She Doesn’t Believe In Love (5:00)
- Never Surrender (5:10)
- Into The Eternity (4:29)
- Point Of No Return (0:57)
- Guardian Del Sol (Bonus Track) (4:07)
- El Fuego En Mi Corazón (Bonus Track) (4:33)