(So Cal Records)
Release Date: Out Now!
Gary 'Rockulus' Clarke
Life has an interesting agenda for each and every one of us doesn't it? Or do you prefer to avoid believing in Fate? Maybe coincidence and spontaneous decisions guide you through the complexities of the existence we have carved out for ourselves on the surface of this humble planet?
Whatever is your outlook on life, thanks to power Metal guitarist Eric Horton known for his work with Cage, we can now wrap our ears around the debut self-titled album by Seventrain.
The axe-wielding Horton brought together some local musicians to play a memorial gig for a local highly regarded sound technician and bassist, and during their performance in 2012, within the location of San Diego, they must have experienced a truly excited sensation.
They now reveal an album of eleven tracks which has a hint of the well-respected band Badlands about their sound. (They released two truly awesome albums before disintegrating. Check out their self-titled debut album from 1989 and their follow-up 'Voodoo Highway' which were both recently given a remastered and reissued treatment!)
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If you were fortunate enough to have stumbled across a versatile and excellent five track E.P. called 'This Is...24-7 Spyz!', then the drummer on that awesome audio ride is none other than Joel Maitoza. He is responsible for the drumming on this self-titled album and also handles production duties too. So far, things are sounding rather impressive are they not?
With these talents becoming apparent, naturally you hope for good results and when you set this CD to stun, it delivers thankfully.
It isn't strictly a direct copy of Badlands, but you can see why comparisons are made in places. The vocalist Jon Campos, holds his own although I couldn't help but notice that his voice is deep in the mix. At times with the instrumentation being so large and prominent, it felt like the vocals sounded overwhelmed and swamped. The sound of the guitar throughout is awesome and the drumming as you'd expect is top draw. Check out 'Never' for some cool riffs and the backing vocal outbursts.
Opening track 'Bleeding' resembles a live version of full-on Badlands style Blues Hard Rock and sets things up nicely. 'Rays Of The Sun' dabbles in some virtuosity during the short instrumental section which sounds very cool. 'Change' on the other hand opens up with a nod to Black Label Society before finding the groove that was evident with the preceding tracks.
The longest track on their self-titled debut is 'Broken' which showcases an acoustic display. Accompanied on the swaying chorus is an army of cymbals and some raw emotion captured within the atmosphere.
Album closer 'Let It Out' starts off with an acoustic presence before bringing out some chugging distortion. It isn't the strongest song of this set and to my ear lets their benchmark down a bit. 'How Does It Feel' in complete contrast does show the band in a good light, as it provides a break from the rockier material and flows with a loose groove.
In the aftermath of several spins of 'Seventrain', I can comfortably say that this release isn't bad. Most of the material from this album has danced inside my head and has provided a cohesive offering mixing subtle melody lines with some furious guitar. Flurries of change break up any monotony and keep the process interesting.
Perhaps 'Bittersweet Seduction' and 'Let It Out' let them down. With the questionable mix of vocals within the music that is on offer also distracting, giving the impression that it's a live affair as opposed to being recorded in a studio environment, I'm torn whether to say that these guys intended it to be like that?
This latter observation or gripe is only a minor one regardless of the bands intentions. Ultimately all you need to know is that 'Seventrain'has soul; Rocks hard at times and is an honest piece of work.
Rays Of The Sun
How Does It Feel
Carry The Cross
Let It Out