Tuesday, January 13, 2015
DEVIL'S TRAIN: "II"
Label: earMusic 2015
Review by: Urban "Wally" Wallstrom
The Devil's Train, steaming down the rail of bluesy eighties hard rock and look no further than opening number "Down On You" for some biker rock. Blimey. Why do they ALWAYS sing the word 'Down' three times? Yes. Yours truly has been complaining about this (several times) in the past. It's never two, four, or any other number for that matter. What's so great about three anyway? I could give you countless examples of the Down x3 formula. Anyhow... let's move on shall we?
The smashing title of "II" or if you prefer "2" should imply it's the follow-up to their 2012 debut. Indeed. The band, singer R.D. Liapakis (Mystic Prophecy, Valley’s Eve), Drummer Jörg Michael (Running Wild, Saxon, Stratovarius). Bassist Jari Kainulainen (Masterplan, Stratovarius, Evergrey) and guitarist Lakis Ragazas (Mystic Prophecy) are combining the flashy sound of the 80s with the classic hard rock attitude of the 70s.
It's got that bluesy rock feel of Badlands, Tangier, Tattoo Rodeo, Talisman, and the hint of Shark Island (their most groovy, bluesy stuff). However, don't go thinking it's all smooth, since they add a healthy dose of the gritty guitar work of Black Label Society. Let's just say that six-string bender Ragazas (Mystic Prophecy) - working darn hard to be Jake E Lee and Zakk Wylde at the same time.
I do enjoy it a lot though. The melodies are old school and melodic and the album could just as easily have been released in the eighties. They actually beat fellow label mate SOTO aka JSS (see review elsewhere) at his own game with tracks such as "Let's Shake It", "Girl Like You", and "You And Me". The covers of Steppenwolfs 'Born To Be Wild' and Led Zep's 'Immigrant Song' are actually the two songs that I skip on this 13-track CD. The add absolutely nothing to the overall picture and the originals are untouchable. Final verdict: Badlands meets Talisman? Sounds good to me. Crank it up!