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Promo Image

Label: earMUSIC

Release Date: April 1, 2016

Rating: 10/10

Reviewed by: Todd “Toddstar” Jolicoeur

Once again I am presented with new material from Jeff Scott Soto and his new band, Soto.  From the opening notes of the instrumental title track “DIVAK” I am taken to my happy place.  The symphonic sound blended with a cool heavier vibe sets the pace for the disc.  “Weight Of The World” kicks in and the droning bottom end during the intro draws you in and soon the guitars and THE voice join the fray.  JSS sounds as strong as ever and the band behind him add depth to the song, especially at the bridge.  “Paranoia” brings a killer tempo to the disc that sets the song apart from others heard so far on the disc.  The guitar work from Jorge Salan on this song packs a punch and gives us a different look and listen to the musicians in the band.  The chorus is catchy and should come across well live.  “Cyber Masquerade” is a heavier track that features a great bass line from David Z that carries throughout the track, with a solo at the bridge.  Cominato’s drums are full and charging, while the guitars are melodic and pair up well with the vocals.  “Forgotten” opens with a heavy bottom end swirled with guitar riffs that add a fun rock sound to the disc.  This song has a heavy modern sound, but brings a cool rock groove from the late 80’s to the mix.  The vocals are smoky and dark, but well suited against the musical accompaniment.  “Time” is a different that has a heavy classic groove in the beginning and builds slowly.  The chorus is catchy without becoming light and deviating from the path cut by the musical component of the track.  “Awakened” closes the disc with a big sound, a killer groove, and a tempo that prompts your head to bang.  Bringing a chugging riff together with thumping bass lines and heavy handed drums, this track adds some cool time changes that create a different feel than some of the other tracks on the disc.

“FreakShow” starts off with a heavy tribal rhythm that morphs into a catchy groove that gets the foot and head moving.  The guitars chug through the verse and add punch to the track.  Soto’s vocals are some of the best on the disc, especially on the chorus, which grabs you and doesn’t let go.  “Unblame” has a different feel to it from the start.  The mellow vibe at the intro and through the first verse gives you a false sense of the power beneath the track.  Once the second verse and chorus drop in, you are treated to a killer vocal from Soto that drives home the emotionally charged lyrics.  “In My Darkest Hour” is a beautiful track that showcases the softer side of JSS’ vocals and delivery.  The blend of keyboards from BJ and the acoustic guitars weave a great backdrop for the lyrics, even when the energy is dialed up a bit at the bridge, where a cool guitar solo appears.  “SuckerPunch” unfolds slow and mild for the first few seconds, but soon we are treated to a guitar sound full of pings, squeals, and killer riffs that bring together the different sounds on the track.  The vocals connect the moment Soto launches his first syllable, creating a cool sound and track.  “Misfired” brings a different rhythm and cadence to the disc, but it fits within the parameter of the other songs.  The vocals are something that could be placed on any of JSS’ earlier efforts, but the music is heavy and all Soto, especially the bass lines and pounding drums.  “Fall From Grace” marries a solid rhythm section with chugging guitars and a cool keyboard sound that adds a layered effect to the tracks sound.  The vocals build a wall of sound, even on the verse.  The tracks tempo gets the foot tapping and begs to be a part of someone’s exercise playlist.  Jeff demonstrates his ability to merge different musical sounds and textures on this disc and build on what he started with the first SOTO disc.

​​Tracklisting: DIVAK – Weight Of The World – FreakShow – Paranoia – Unblame – Cyber Masquerade – In My Darkest Hour – Forgotten – SuckerPunch – Time – Misfired – Fall From Grace – Awakened






Category: CD Reviews

About the Author ()

ToddStar - that's me... just a rocking accountant who had dreams of being a rock star. I get to do the next best thing to rocking the globe - I get to take pictures of the lucky ones that do. I love to shoot all genres of music and different types of performers. If it is related to music, I love to photograph it. I get to shoot and hang with not only some of my friends and idols, but some of the coolest people around today.

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