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Articles Home » 2011 Articles » Human Zoo - 2011 Eyes Of The Stranger
Human Zoo - 2011 Eyes Of The Stranger

ARTIST: Human Zoo
ALBUM: Eyes Of The Stranger
LABEL: Fastball
YEAR: 2011


LINEUP: Thomas Seeburger - vocals * Ingolf Engler - guitars * Zarko Mestrovic - keyboards * Markus Ratheiser - bass * Kevin Klimesch - drums * Boris Matakovic - saxophone

TRACK LISTING: 01 Amy & Allison's Memories * 02 The Answer * 03 Gimme Your Time * 04 To The Top * 05 Everything Changes * 06 Eyes Of The Stranger * 07 Fall In Love * 08 World Behind You * 09 Hold & Care * 10 Want It, Love It, Like It * 11 Welcome To Paradise * 12 10000 Years Ago



Human Zoo are a German outfit that have been in existence since 2004, their debut album 'Precious Time' released two years later. Formed by personnel whose membership came from fellow German bands Glenmore and Subway, Human Zoo are unusual in the fact that they include among their fulltime ranks a saxophone player! It's a first for me, hearing a saxophone soloing out alongside an electric guitar, but there you go. Next thing you know, we'll be seeing harp and sitar players in the HM ranks. Wonders will never cease. Since their debut, Human Zoo have released 2007's 'Over The Horizon' (which features a really cool album cover), plus their latest 2011 release 'Eyes Of The Stranger'. Mostly it touches the sound that many Scandi melodic rock bands achieve, with nice tinkly keyboards and aggressive guitar work. If it's German sounding bands that you'd like to compare with, then possibly Fair Warning and 2009 surprise packet Nine-T-Nine would be the closest without being doppelgangers.

The Songs
Skipping the 15 second intro track, HZ power into it with 'The Answer', a solid offering all round though the lead guitar and saxophone duelling with each other is a tad unusual for me. I guess if I'd heard their earlier material, then it wouldn't be so much of a surprise. Zarko Mestrovic's keyboards lend some colour on 'Gimme Your Time', again a powerful effort with some crushing guitar lines. 'Everything Changes' is a mid-paced effort that seemed to get caught up in a musical churn. Much better is the title track 'Eyes Of The Stranger' which reminded me a bit of Bad Habit's 'Fantasy' from earlier in the year. 'Fall In Love' is a perfect demonstration of a hard rock band performing a power ballad the correct way. There have been a few good examples in 2011 (Bad Habit and The Magnificent spring to mind), this is yet another one. 'Hold & Care' returns Human Zoo to ballad territory, it's a likeable enough track without setting the world on fire. The saxophone gives it a tender edge. The interestingly titled 'Want It, Love It, Like It' is a razor-sharp rocker though melody is still top of the agenda. Human Zoo do have the ability to take it up a notch, as evidenced by 'Welcome To Paradise', which is metal like blitzkreig in the vein of Victory, while AORsters will enjoy the closer '10,000 Years Ago', a galloping track with tight guitar/keyboard integration.

In Summary
There are a bunch of good songs onboard that are well worth investigating. Admittedly it won't set your house on fire and there are enough references to tell that these guys are very centered among the hard rock genre outfits featured elsewhere on GD. I think I might be interested enough to check out their two previous offerings. Now I know the saxophone is a feature of the band, I won't be so surprised next time.

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