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ToJa

City Offenbach
Country Germany

“Train Of Life” is the third album by German Heavy Rockers ToJa and their most ambitious one to date. The band has created ten songs with an impressive musical range, pushing back the common genre boundaries. The powerful tracks will appeal as well to fans of Gotthard and Zeno, Kamelot and Masterplan, as to followers of classic stuff by the likes of Judas Priest, Savatage and Accept.
ToJa admirably manages to create a Rock solid musical unit of hymn-like Melodic Rock songs, fast paced Heavy Rockers, acoustic ballads and sophisticated epics with pompous orchestral parts.

The beginnings of ToJa go back more than ten years to the last millenium, by the time Thomas “Tommy” Rinn and Jan “JJ” Thielking decided to leave the band “Syder” and to say goodbye to playing live shows.
After the exit of Tommy and JJ in 1996, Syder recorded “Maynight”, an album crediting the two as co-writers on  two songs and reaching cult status among insiders in the years to come. The first two ToJa albums “First Step”(1999) and “The Spirit Of...” (2006) , were recorded as a trio, with keyboard player Andy Ecker as the third guy in the fold. Both records were released to national and international critical acclaim.
When Andy left ToJa in 2006 Tommy und JJ already started with the recordings for a follow-up album, laying down the tracks for all the instruments by themselves. Over the course of time they decided to hire Tim Dierks as a drummer to replace the programmed drums of the first two releases by solid workmanlike power. Since the spring of 2009 Oliver “Ole” Dietz, a former Syder member as well, completes the official line-up as the bass player.
Just like on the predecessors the finishing touches for the production in the studio were again handled by Marc Bugnard, who was the guitar player of German Melodic Rockers Roko on their first three albums in the early 90s, when they were an internationally successful band.

On their third studio record “Train Of Life” ToJa take us on a journey to different stages in the cycle of human life. During the intro of the riff heavy title track “Train Of Life” you can hear the the train rolling into the railway station to pick us up for the ride and station master Tommy welcomes us in good old Rob Halford-manner.
You will hear more heavy guitar riffs, underlayed with decent keyboard sounds on the following “No Cross”.
Subsequently the first ballad is the aptly titled “Just A Love-Song” corresponding to the heavy opening tracks with a string arrangement and acoustic guitars.
“First Love” has a slight progressive touch and again offers a lot of guitar work and elaborate background vocals.
The atmospheric six-minute Rock hymn “End Of A Nation“, lyrically dealing with the fate of the Native Americans, is a high light of the album. An awesome melody, an effectively used piano, highly melodic guitar solos and a marvelous vocal performance allow only the best possible rating here.
The pace slows down again with “All Of My Life”, a track in the best power ballad tradition of Gotthard and a clear winner in the guitar and vocal department. “Slave To The Machine” one of the heaviest songs on the album showcases an anthemic shout chorus and hard-edged guitar sounds, reminding of “Metal Heart”-era Accept.
A novelty in the history of ToJa is the duet “Hold My Hand”, a ballad sung by Tommy and his daughter Melanie.
“Night To Remember” rocks along in midtempo towards the final monumental highlight of our train ride. During its playing time of almost ten minutes “Circle of Lies” develops from an orchestral piece with an epic arrangement built on strings, choral singing and filigree acoustic guitars to a melodic and grooving Rock song. There is no better way to round out an ambitious and classy album like “Train Of Life”.

 

 

Albums (1)
Songs (10)
# SONG Album
1 Train Of Life Train Of Life
2 No Cross Train Of Life
3 Just A Love-Song Train Of Life
4 First Love Train Of Life
5 End Of A Nation Train Of Life
6 All Of My Life Train Of Life
7 Slave To The Machine Train Of Life
8 Hold My Hand Train Of Life
9 Night To Remember Train Of Life
10 Circle Of Lies Train Of Life

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