"Ashes & Bones" (Roar! Rock of Angels; 2022)

Reviewed by R. Scott Bolton

For the most part, Devil's Train's "Ashes & Bones" has the rough-edged guitar sound and bombastic atmosphere of Black Label Society but occasionally strays over into Whitesnake territory (as on "You Promised Me Love"). The guitars, both rhythmic and lead, crash and slash their way through your eardrums, and the bass and drums hammer away at you like a thunderstorm. Add to that mix the rough-hewn vocals of RD Liapakis and "Ashes & Bones" delivers an explosive, edgy listening experience.

The band has been called the European "the European answer to Black Label Society, The Dead Daisies and Black Stone Cherry" and, although you can hear those influences throughout the album, "Ashes & Bones" is the band's own music. It's got that Southern rock bend to it, but it's loud and often aggressive (as on "More" and "Smell Sex Tonight"). Even when things slow down a bit ("Rising on Fire") the power of the guitar sound doesn't diminish.

The album ends with a surprising cover of Cameo's "Word Up" that takes all the funk out and puts the rock in and, you know what? It works just fine.

Devil's Train: RD Liapakis - vocals; Jörg Michael - drums; Jens Becker - bass; Dan Baune - guitars.

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Rating Guide:

A classic. This record will kick your ass.

Killer. Not a classic but it will rock your world.

So-so. You've heard better.

Pretty bad. Might make a nice coaster.

Self explanatory. Just the sight of the cover makes you wanna hurl.


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