DEVIL’S TRAIN – Devil’s Train (2012)


A new Hard Rock unit is hitting the scene this month, DEVIL’S TRAIN, presenting their self-titled debut.
This is a new project including well known names as Mystic Prophecy’s singer Robert D. Liapakis, together with one of the most required German drummers; Jörg Michael from Stratovarius, and Finnish bass player Jari Kailunainen (also Stratovarius and ex- Evergrey). The relatively unknown Greek guitarist Laki Ragazas (Oliver Weers band) completes the international group.

At first glance, when I read the sheet with the musicians involved, thought about a metal band.
Well, not at all. Devil’s Train plays traditional Hard Rock with an updated sound, with a style placed at the high end scale of the genre.
The first thing that surprised me was the tight sound and the stupendous production. Roberto Liapakis’ vocalization is truly great here, delivering a varied and modulated performance, with a puissant melodious approach.
In fact, although the music is pretty heavy in places (specially the rhythm guitars), the prime direction of this band is the traditional, bluesy Hard Rock, with strong melodies and fine choruses.
The rhythm section is terrific, with Jörg Michael hitting loads of drums and Jari Kailunainen filling every hole with his fat bass playing. But the real surprise is lead six-string hero Ragazas. His razor licks dominates the recording, offering tasty fast solos and a monumental rack/amp setup sound.

They start the CD with a bang; “Fire And Water”, a powerful track with little Southern influnces, but as heard on the rest of the album, Devil’s Train is pure bluesy Hard Rock with an edge.
Think Whitesnake on steroids. And they write songs with a quality that easily match the white serpent’s last albums.
Although most of the disc is uptempo and euphoric, you never get tired thanks to the good arrangements and solid instrumentation. They add a couple semi-slow tunes for good measure (“Forever” and “The Answers”) balancing the disc.
An incendiary cover of The Guess Who’s classic “American Woman” ends the album in great form, full of guitar layers including a melting wah-wah solo.

Devil’s Train has recorded an extremely professional Hard Rock album, rooted in the classic style but with a hot modern sound & style.
Over the mammoth rhythm section and the wall of flavorful guitars, Liapakis adds to many songs ‘that’ characteristic Coverdale breath, reminding you Jorn as well.
Much of the success of this CD resides on the band’s ability to write solid songs that rarely exceeds the 3:30 minute mark. And the very good production / mix, of course.
Devil’s Train impacts at first listen, and the good thing is that you want back for more.

01 – Fire and Water
02 – Devil’s Train
03 – Roll the Dice
04 – To the Ground
05 – Forever
06 – Sweet Devil’s Kiss
07 – Find New Love
08 – Room 66/64
09 – Coming Home
10 – Yellow Blaze
11 – The Answers
12 – American Woman

R.D. Liapakis – Vocals
Laki Ragazas – Guitars
Jari Kainulainen – Bass
Jörg Michael – Drums


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