Locomotive Breath was formed back in 1995 by two former Overdrive guitarists (Janne Stark and Kjell Jacobsson). Unfortunately for the band, their label went under shortly after their 1997 release, Train of New Events. So now, Rivel Records is helping to re-release the album with five bonus tracks. Three of the bonus tracks are from a pre-production demo for their second album Heavy Machinery. They've also included the Japanese bonus track "Captured" and a cover of Europe's song "Scream of Anger".
Basically, this album is full of very well-played Swedish hard rock. There are guest appearances by Carl Johan Grimmark of Narnia, Tommy Denander of Radioactive, and Mattias Eklundh of Freak Kitchen. Musically, the band is tight and has a pretty heavy sound. They display an occasional nice crunch and have plenty of good guitar solos. The bad part is that the guitar solos sometimes are a little crazy, while the song itself might be more laid back. Doesn't really fit every time.
The vocals are mainly of the "nice guy" type. Not a ton of "attitude" to speak of. When the attitude shows though, it sounds pretty good, but obviously this is not the band's main direction with this style. On the song "Frozen Soul" some of the vocals sound really similar to Antithesis' clean vocals. Probably my favorite song here would be the Europe cover, which they did a good job with. It's actually the heaviest song here. They also do a cool ballad called "Fight With Love". The acoustic guitars on this tune are very nicely done with a very beautiful solo mid-song.
Lyrically, the band mostly goes after everyday life topics. Some are well written, and some border on "what were they thinking?" Nothing all that super creative though.
Production and packaging are well done. Although, I gotta comment on the band's name. It was named after a Jethro Tull song, but I seriously do not understand why you would name your band Locomotive Breath. It literally took me 4 or 5 listens before I could start to take this band seriously. Once I got past the name, I was able to enjoy this more. While nothing flashy by any means, this is a pretty decent album that should appeal to all you hard rockers out there. If your an extreme metalhead though, this may be too easy going for your taste despite the good musicianship. (Review by Matt)