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Freight Train - I

Freight Train
I
by Lior "Steinmetal" Stein at 19 October 2017, 9:51 PM

No matter how hard you try, nostalgia will always come back to haunt. As part of the tradition of Rock music, one of its lungs, AOR, has been one of its main breath of fresh air, a pipeline to rely on to spread the word to more than just people with good musical taste, but for others that find Rock intimidating, should I say offensive? Anyway, unlike the heavy flow of bands of the kind in the 80s, in the last two decades, there have been a few potentials, but like I said, a few. On the other hand, I may have found a future prospect that given the chance will be one of the doves to retain the subgenre’s golden age. The newcomer FREIGHT TRAIN aren’t American in origin, unlike the majority of the relics. As a matter of fact, they are Italians and probably big fans of the nostalgic gods that reigned decades ago. Recently they debuted with “I”, via their local Rockshots Records. AOR’s future may be secured as long as these guys are one of the bands trying to reinstate it.

“I”’s case is one of those if there are no news, it is good news. I know that I said it once, but it just fit so well I’d tell you. I like the sound of the album, pretty much reprising the 80s mixing approach, where you can actually listen to the vocalist on the front, though without the booming snare pounding. In general, the sound is updated, ascertaining its relevance to the period and in a good quality. Songwriting wise, it is the same thing altogether, marketable and catchy, with a few bits and extras of the contemporary directions, but not overwhelming the band’s classic sense and certainly with a less amount of cheesiness. It is evident that their place of worship lies in the past. Therefore, their written songs are accordingly, simply, yet craftily, made, harmonic, in particularly the mixture of vocals and keyboards, and softly embracing anyone who listens. Here and there is mini-guitar flair soloing that is both emotive and ear piercing. If I had to choose what made “I” such an interesting piece, other than a selection of the tunes, is the vocal line, Ivan Mantovani is the defender of the crown of AOR, he definitely proved himself to be one of the most inspiring vocalist of the subgenre. Literally, he could have aced his way to any Heavy or Power Metal band if he wanted to.

And down to the playground. “You Won't Fall”, following an enchanting intro, is a masterful opener, laying a soft touch of Pop music divulged by a modernized AOR Rock vibe. The vocal execution is tremendous, loved it from the get go. “Into The Fire” is a sudden return back to the golden age of AOR, attributing hooking riffs, passionate soloing and of course the unforgettable blending of tuneful keyboards and the immense vocal line. JOURNEY should feel proud of what I just listen to on the cover of “Any Way You Want It”, FREIGHT TRAIN had their eight ball in the hole with this perfect selection and needless to say, their stellar performance. “Reach For The Stars” is probably the album’s melodic tune, highly atmospheric, nearly everywhere it treads is delicate, the keyboards slowly taking command of the tune with a measure of intensity. “Somewhere, Someday” is a lovely ballad, sounds quite deep, you just have to love the ambience in the song.

Randomly picking this album was a good choice after all, I was glad to let these guys slide their music through my ears. As an 80s fan it was easy for me to accept them, yet AOR done today certainly lost the magic it once had. In FREIGHT TRAIN’s case, I beg to differ my own claim.

 
Purchase Link: Rockshots Records

4 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. The Beginning
2. You Won't Fall
3. Into The Fire
4. Another Chance
5. Here I Am
6. Somewhere, Someday
7. The Prelude
8. Reach For The Stars
9. Any Way You Want It (Journey cover)
10. Into The Fire (acoustic version)
Lineup:
Ivan Mantovani - Vocals
Andrea Cappelletti - Guitars
Enrico Testi - Guitars / Backing Vocals
Anton Bagdatyev - Keyboards / Backing Vocals
Lorenzo Pucci - Bass / Backing Vocals
Mattia Simoncini - Drums
Record Label: Rockshots Records
     


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