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| 6 August 2019 | Reply

Label: InsideOut Music

Release Date: May 24, 2019

Rating: 100%

Reviewed by: Todd “Toddstar” Jolicoeur

Jeff Scott Soto is one of my favorite singers and always seems to release material that hits the proverbial bulls-eye in my opinion.  The same can be said for his latest from the band that bears his last name.  Disc opener “HyperMania” is a killer track that drew me in from first listen and is as exciting and fresh today as the first time I heard it months ago.  The lyrics are great and the vocals are some of the best on the disc.  The band is tight and come together to form the perfect base for the track and set the bar for the rest of the disc.  “Origami” keeps the momentum and energy from the previous track flowing and give the disc a great one-two punch with awesome vocals, thunderous drumming, cool riffs and licks, as well as some amazing bottom end from the bass.  “World Gone Colder” rips open with pounding drums and some killer riffs that build into the verse, which Jeff dominates.  The vibe of this track blends the melodic nature of JSS’ writing and vocals with the heavy ended musical accompaniment this unit has been perfecting since their first release.  “Torn” is a beautiful track that benefits from Jeff’s lush vocal and perfect delivery of the emotionally charged lyric.  This track could have been ripped from any one of his solo releases, new or old.  The musical accompaniment is precise and sounds laser-focused in order to keep the attention on the vocals.  “AfterGlow” has a slightly different vibe and feel as the songs kicks off, but soon the song morphs into a cool rocker that grabs your attention.  The slight hesitations and pauses in the vocals are fun and give this song depth.  This track would be a perfect addition to a SOTO live show.  “Vanity Lane” has the heavy bottom end intact that supports the vocals and guitars.  The drumming is on point and the bass work is the perfect counterpart anchoring the track.  The energy of this track grows from verse to chorus and back again.

“BeLie” is a cool track that leans more towards JSS’ solo material while swirling in the heavier groove and vibe of the other discs in the SOTO discography.  The slightly slower tempo gives this song punch and the contagious chorus adds depth to the song and disc.  The layered vocals are fun and help lead to an interesting bridge that is unlike any other on the disc.  “Detonate” fits within the spectrum of songs on the disc, with slightly different sounds woven into it.  This song use the vocals and rhythm section as a great anchor for some of the best guitar parts on the collection.  The solo in the bridge is not to be missed.  “Dance With The Devil” is another favorite that brings the energy and vibe of the opening tracks and helps tie the entire disc together.  The chorus is catchy and invites you to sing along as the song winds from the first note to the last.  The tempo is great and gets the foot tapping while you try to control the headbanging.  Disc closer (unless you grabbed a copy with the bonus track) “Give In To Me” is another beautiful and touching piece that shows the bands softer side and the vocals that have allowed Jeff to cover melodic rock, ballads, rock classics, and more.  Once the chorus kicks in we are treated to the musical part of SOTO that we have come to know and love, with guitars that flow without overpowering, and a rhythm section that is the perfect musical foundation for the track.  Bonus track “KMAG” is a cool rocker that has great guitar work alongside the bass and drum sound that has permeated the disc song after song.  The vocals are the star on this track and they highlight the tongue in cheek lyrics.  This disc is the perfect blend of JSS’ solo softer and melodic side and the first two releases from the band.  I really hope I get the opportunity to hear some of this material live, as this was built for the stage.

Tracklisting: HyperMania – Origami – BeLie – World Gone Colder – Detonate – Torn – Dance With The Devil – AfterGlow – Vanity Lane – Give In To Me – KMAG (Bonus Track)

SOTO – Line-Up: Jeff Scott Soto (Vocals) – Jorge Salan (Guitar) – Tony Dickinson (Bass) – BJ (Keys/Guitar) – Edu Cominato (Drums)






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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