SMOKING SNAKES Album Review: “Danger Zone”

“Danger Zone”
Album Review by Iron Mathew


Smoking Snakes are a heavy metal band based in Sweden formed in 2022, releasing their debut E.P. ‘Restless And Wild’ in 2023, and debut full length album ‘Danger Zone’ in 2024.

Featuring eleven songs that encapsulate the golden era of sleaze metal when bands such as Ratt, Dokken, Motley Crue, and (early) WASP ruled the roost, Smoking Snakes serve up a high octane, energy driven thirty eight minute treat – the bands debut album a relentless march of hard rocking heavy metal! Every song on offer is less than four minutes in length, yet the impact of each one is phenomenal, knocking listeners, fans and followers into next fucking week…and beyond! Opening with ‘Angels Calling’, the band are quickly into their stride, thundering forth with all the gusto of traditional “foot on the monitor” heavy metal. And the rough, gruff vocals are a perfect match to ‘Angels Calling’s raucous yet incredibly infectious nature. And bringing a much more melodic metal feel to the fore, ‘Sole Survivors’ strides on with elegance and pomp, featuring the most sing a long-able chorus break you could ever wish for – each and every listener singing along at the tops of their voices! And should Smoking Snakes play this one live, fuck me that’s gonna be an atmosphere and a half – come on everyone, “always living always living, no fear at all no fear at all, always living always living now, we are the sole survivors”. Simply sensational!

A red hot opening double becomes a red hot opening triple with the up tempo and insanely energetic ‘Run For Your Life’, the band delivering a high energy gallop of head bang-able heavy metal to please old and new fans alike – and when I say “old”, I mean in terms of both age and how long someone has been a fan of the band. And to be honest, what’s not to like about the band (that’s a rhetorical question by the way), the sizzling sass pouring outta the Gothenburg four-piece is fucking phenomenal! The foot is very much rooted to the monitor here, the band storming on with another melodic metal monster, ‘Lady Luck’ striding on tall and very proud, Smoking Snakes holding their heads aloft and inviting every listener to raise clenched fists high in the air! No need to worry Brett Martin (vocals, guitars), Leo Razor (guitars), Andy Delarge (bass) and Stan Ricci (drums), mine are already up! The level of excitement generated by the band is electric, ‘Danger Zone’ powering on with the glorious ‘Excited’ – every song heard so far has been glorious, it’s just that ‘Excited’ has that little bit extra! A little bit extra that hits the sweet spot very hard, wet patches appearing everywhere as every listener, fan and follower starts to drool and dribble profusely!

And still keeping the pedal firmly pressed to the metal, Smoking Snakes roar on with the raucously up tempo ‘Restless And Wild’, the amount of fun the band must have had while recording the album transferring to everyone everywhere! The sing a long ability of ‘Restless And Wild’ is off the fucking charts! In fact, the sing a long ability of the entire album up to this point has been off the charts, ‘Danger Zone’ creating an Album Of The Year aura that could well see the Swedish metallers top the polls come the end of the year. I know it’s still early with regards to handing out end of year awards, but I for one wouldn’t bet against Smoking Snakes scooping quite a few accolades this year – ‘Sorrow, Death And Pain’ maintaining the albums relentless momentum! Momentum which is just getting stronger song by song, ‘Danger Zone’ attracting listeners like a giant magnet attracts metal! The oomph of ‘Sorrow, Death And Pain’ is irresistible, the band too – jaws dropping to the floor with a mighty thud as every listener remains transfixed by the stunning array of heavy metal on offer! Heavy metal that’s far from over – there’s still four songs to go! The first of which ‘There Is No Tomorrow’, crashing in with the most NWOBHM sounding guitar tone ever – well, maybe not ever but certainly damn close! Smoking Snakes may be over forty years and six hundred and fifty miles away from the birth of heavy metal and the legendary NWOBHM evolution, but boy do they perfectly echo the essence of an iconic time!

The impetus of the album is unstoppable, the band an unforgiving heavy metal machine with boundless energy and drive – can you just imagine what the four piece outfit are like live? Breath taking I’d imagine, ‘Who Am I’ marching on with a power driven Judas Priest style of metal – the engine Smoking Snakes have purring inside, tuned up to the fucking max! The intensity of ‘Danger Zone’ since it began has been relentless, every listener, fan and follower not allowed just the shortest of a break to take a breather, the band pushing everyone’s endurance levels to the edge…and over! ‘We Are Alive’ features the hard hitting, galloping nature of old school traditional heavy metal, Smoking Snakes emanating an huge eighties feel, all the while keeping their feet firmly planted on the monitor! Not to mention a head banging level that’s so fucking high it’s entering outer space! Back in 1980, legendary British metallers Judas Priest had us all “rocking to the dawn” (with ‘Living After Midnight’ from the bands seminal ‘British Steel’ album), and now forty four years later, Smoking Snakes have us “rocking to the morning light” with the hugely euphoric party anthem ‘Rocking To The Morning Light’. The atmosphere the band create here is barnstorming, ending ‘Danger Zone’ on the highest fucking high you can imagine!

Overall, a superb album of highly head bang-able and immensely infectious heavy metal, ‘Danger Zone’ is a breath taking debut.


Angels Calling
Sole Survivors
Run For Your Life
Lady Lucky
Restless And Wild
Sorrow, Death And Pain
There Is No Tomorrow
Who Am I
We Are Alive
Rocking To The Morning Light

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