Human Zoo
Eyes of the Stranger

1. Amy & Allison´s Memories
2. The Answer
3. Gimme Your Time
4. To the Top
5. Everything Changes
6. Eyes Of the Stranger
7. Fall In Love
8. World Behind You
9. Hold & Care
10. Want It - Love It - Like It
11. Welcome to Paradise
12. 10.000 Years Ago

Thomas Seeburger : Vocals
Ingolf Engler : Guitar
Boris Matakovic : Saxophone
Markus Ratheiser : Bass
Kevin klimesch : Drums
Zarko Mestrovic : Keyboard

Precious Time (2006)
Over the Horizon (2007)



Released 8/7-2011
Reviewed 4/7-2011


"Mom, mom! There's a man at the door! When I asked him what he wanted, I was looking in the eyes of the stranger..."

That's how this album starts, spoken by a small boy or girl during ten seconds. Ten seconds that wrecks the entire album. How could anyone react positive to that? Well, I definitely don't and I really can't see any point with having it there at all. I understand why they have it there, but I don't see the point with it.

The first real song, The Answer, isn't giving any answers either and as we go further in to the album we're introduced to a kind of heavy metal with a big dose of AOR and as one of pretty few bands in the metal/hard rock genre that use a saxophone in their music, Human Zoo gives you 12 songs and about 53 minutes of music that I have a pretty hard time to feel anything for. And for once, it's not because they lack attitude and a sound of their own - it's simply because I don't dislike it, I just don't like it. Actually I think Human Zoo do have attitude and quite a special sound. Not unique, but pretty unusual and easy to relate to them particularly. The first three "real" songs are between four and a half and five minutes and standardise Humans Zoo's sound - a quite powerful heavy metal with AOR influences and a vocalist with a voice that's as rock 'n' roll as the old marble game played only with stone marbles.

The songs on this album doesn't interest me at all. I don't find the music fascinating at all and the vocalist makes me feel mostly annoyed and irritated. His voice reminds me quite a lot of David Coverdale or that dead guy in Gotthard (Steve Lee), but without the character and quality. However, it's not all bad with his voice. He do show some qualities when he goes down to the lower register and don't crack around like a squeaking door. What I don't like about him is that he has no clean register at all. His voice is only that rusty and rough sand paper thing that sounds as dry as the Atacama desert in South America.

Instrumentally I find this album way more interesting than the vocals, yet still quite dull. The saxophone, for example, which usually makes music sound as a cheesy porno film is carefully used on this album to work like an extra ingredient instead of something they put any- and everywhere and ruin the feeling with the album. Keyboards and piano makes the same kind of appearances, often used shortly in places that seems to be carefully considered. And because of how the instruments seems to work quite well and be somewhat well considered I'm a bit surprised that Human Zoo only have the voice of Thomas Seeburger. Now, I'm not saying they should kick him from the band, but if it were up to me, I would carefully considered another voice to complete the register Thomas can't reach. Like a female vocalist that can duet with Mr Seeburger and mix solo performances with. It might be the solution for Thomas Seeburgers' range shortages.

All in all, 'Eyes of the Stranger' is a decent album. I can't say I'm intrigued and inspired by them, or even impressed, but I can't say I think they make anything really wrong either. It's just a kind of music I can't connect with. Not positive and not negative. It's there, it's okay and it's not like everything else. But it's not a band that will break through world wide and become a new Hanoi Rocks or something like that with this album either. Decent but not world changing is my verdict.


Label: Fastball/BOB-Media/Connecting Music
Three similar bands: Gotthard/Myland/Hanoi Rocks
Reviewer: Caj Källmalm
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