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Seventrain
Seventrain
March 2014
Released: 2014, SoCal Records
Rating: 3.5/5
Reviewer: JP

This is one of the more interesting musical conglomerations I’ve come across in a long time. Based in California, Seventrain is comprised of some Veteran Hard Rock Heavy Metal musicians. That is nothing new but the catch is they are doing something very different than their previous recording acts. On one hand I want to detail who is in the band to help promote them but on the other, Seventrain is a strong enough act to stand on their own merit and not just be a band that gets attention just because it features ex-members of band X or Band Y. However, to be detailed I will mention the line-up. Seventrain has Eric Horton (ex-Cage) and Joel Maitoza (ex- 24-7 Spyz) on percussion and the remaining guys are longtime vets of the local music scene.



Musically speaking the band presents a style that is not as popular these days except for perhaps in middle-America where this authentic blues-laden Hard Rock still holds sway and packs in the crowds at state fairs in Buffalo Chips, Iowa. Frankly I love it. I miss bands like Tangiers, Southgang, Tora Tora and Seventrain are a modern twist on that sound. Good clear vocals by Jon Campos have good grit and passion and he is backed up with some decent gang vocals at times. Seventrain swing and groove and display enough chops to keep it all interesting. There is some nice acoustic/electric interplay and excellent soloing especially on the end of the cut 'Broken' and there are any number of highlights like that spread across the 11-song collection.



I'm not thrilled with the presentation. In this incredibly competitive market it is critical to stand out and to have a simple slipcase, no booklet, no photos, no lyrics, and an uninspired cover are not a wise move for a new band. The only real downfall of the self-titled debut is that at times it veers too close to grunge territory occupied by Alice In Chains, Pearl Jam and other just truly horrible bands of that era. I'm also not thrilled with the generic one-word song titles like, 'Change', 'Broken', 'Pain', 'Trouble', 'Bleeding' and 'Never', again all dangerously reminiscent of the whiny, depressing lyrics of grunge bands. Fortunately there is enough true Rock fire and individual talent to avoid the trap of being labelled, 'Grunge' which on our Metal site is the kiss of death.



Aside from those very minor complaints the CD is a winner reminding me of heavier, later era Tesla, Mr. Big and Badlands. Shinning underneath is the heart of pure southern-tinged, blues-based, Hard Rock which is a refreshing change and welcome addition to my collection. I hope next album they crank up the speed and intensity. Seventrain is a nice change of pace from the usual, onslaught of pure blazing Metal that infests my daily listening.
Track Listing

1. bleeding
2. Rays Of The sun
3. Change
4. Broken
5. Pain
6. Trouble
7. Never
8. Bittersweet Seduction
9. How Does It Feel
10. Carry The Cross
11. Let It Out

Lineup

Jon Campos-Vocals, Acoustic Guitar
Eric Horton-Guitar
Jef Poremba-Guitar
Greg Rupp-Bass
Joel Maitoza-Drums

Other reviews

» Seventrain
by JP

» Seventrain
by Waspman


Next review: » Seventrain - Seventrain
Previous review: » Seventh Wonder - The Great Escape

Seventrain
Seventrain
March 2014
Released: 2014, Independent
Rating: 3.0/5
Reviewer: Waspman

It’s interesting how some bands come together. Often times its friends getting together, other times it’s a group of well-known musicians playing together for fun (i.e. a super group). California’s Seventrain formed for the first time as a cobbled together lineup to play a memorial show for a fellow musician. Led by guitarist Eric Horton, who some metalheads may remember as the guitarist on the first two Cage albums (UNVEILED and ASTROLOGY), Seventrain features in its ranks a eclectic group of musicians from bands as varied as 24-7 SPYZ, Tourniquet, and lesser knowns like 6ONE9 and Dive Bomber.



With a guy like Horton at the helm, you’d be excused for thinking that Seventrain would be plying their trade in U.S. power metal, but this is not the case. The band cites Badlands as an influence, and Jake E. Lee’s former band is a much closer comparative for Seventrain’s sound but with a modern production twist. The sound of the album is definitely within the realm of blues-based hard rock, led by Horton and Jef Poremba’s guitars and topped with Jon Campos’ smokey vocals. The since-departed Greg Rupp contributes some standout bass lines in tandem with rock-solid drummer Joel Maitoza, forming the impressive band’s sound.



As to the songs, much of the album is slow to mid-paced, lacking in the one or two up-tempo rockers that would really have taken the album over the top. That said, the songs here are all top-flight and obviously played by professionals. Favorites would include the impassioned “Never” with its harmonized chorus vocals, the heartfelt ballad “Broken”, and heaviest cut, “Bleeding”.



For a band that’s only been around for a couple of years, SEVENTRAIN is impressive work, but I suppose you would expect nothing less from a group of such seasoned players. Regardless, if you’re at all into blues-based hard rock, Seventrain is definitely worth checking out.
Track Listing

1. Bleeding
2. Rays of the Sun
3. Change
4. Broken
5. Pain
6. Trouble
7. Never
8. Bittersweet Seduction
9. How Does It Feel
10. Carry the Cross
11. Let It Out

Lineup

Jon Campos: Vocals
Eric Horton: Guitar
Jef Poremba: Guitar
Steve “Dino” Andino: Bass
Joel Maitoza: Drums

Contact

N/A

Other reviews

» Seventrain
by JP

» Seventrain
by Waspman


Next review: » Severance - The Truth in Question
Previous review: » Seventh Wonder - The Great Escape





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