[METAL] On its self-titled debut album in 2006, local hard-rock band Danava established itself as a formidable power trio with a healthy laser-gloss of analog synth to push its sound into outer space. Second album UnonoU, released in 2008, was an even more epic affair, with sidelong progressive tunes. On its third outing, Hemisphere of Shadows, the band has managed to add an extra guitar player while simultaneously becoming leaner and meaner. 

"Focus" is the keyword here, as the tunes have become short, barn-burning scorchers full of unison and tongue-twisting melodic runs. And just when it seems the band has abandoned its more expansive leanings, the last 90 seconds of a song like "The Last Goodbye" transmogrifies into an epic organ jam that melts the listener's brain. 

Singer/guitarist/songwriter Greg Meleney has studied his mid-'70s Sabbath, Blue Öyster Cult, Thin Lizzy and a host of other lesser-knowns. With that knowledge, some truly soulful guitar playing and a vocal croon that stands alongside Ozzy Osbourne and Geddy Lee, Meleney leads his group into charted territory with finesse and passion. The band is a well-oiled machine, and in the most poised and functional phase of its career. Local fan boys and pretty ladies galore pack Danava's local gigs, but most of these casual rockers have yet to put their money where their mouth is and actually buy this album. They should.

SEE IT: Danava plays Plan B on Friday, Dec. 9, with Rabbits, Lesbian and Diesto. 8 pm. $8. 21+.