New out is the second album from European hard rock band, Devil’s Train – the appropriately titled “II” – which follows 2012’s self titled debut.
With a line up consisting of vocalist R.D. Liapakis, guitarist Lakis Ragazas (both from German power metal band Mystic Prophecy), bassist Jari Kainulainen (of German power metal band Masterplan) and drummer Jörg Michael (formerly in Finnish power metal band Stratovarius) you would be forgiven for expecting Devil’s Train to be somewhere in or around the power metal camp.
But this is a band with a clear love of the hair metal of the late 80s and early 90s – think Badlands, Cinderella, Van Halen – whilst also occupying similar sonic territory to the likes of Slash, Black Label Society and Alter Bridge.
The songs, such as “Hollywood Girl”, “Let’s Shake It” and “Girl Like You” are riff-heavy but melodic and catchy. Unlike many of the bands of the hair metal era, however, there are no ballads present on this album. Sure, there’s a cool heavy blues vibe on the likes of “Gimme Love” and “Mr. Jones”, but for the most part this is foot-stomping hard rock with plenty of energy.
If there is one, then the low point of this album is the presence of two cover versions – updates of Steppenwolf’s seminal “Born To Be Wild” and the mighty Led Zeppelin’s “Immigrant Song”. Both are actually very good versions, but given that both songs have been covered numerous times over the years then perhaps a couple more original compositions, or even some more unusual cover choices would have been welcome.
Nonetheless, this is a really impressive, good-time hard rock album. In fact, listening to this record, you can picture it blasting out in a room full of tattooed long hair rockers and hair metal-era rock chicks!
“Devil’s Train II” tracklist:
1. Down On You / 2. Hollywood Girl / 3. Gimme Love / 4. Mr. Jones / 5. Can You Feel / 6. Rock Forever / 7. Let’s Shake It / 8. Girl Like You / 9. Born To Be Wild / 10. You And Me / 11. Thunderstorm / 12. Suffocated / 13. Immigrant Song