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CD REVIEW: SOTO – Inside The Vertigo

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Label: earMUSIC

Release Date: May 12, 2015

Rating: 10/10

Reviewed by: Todd “Toddstar” Jolicoeur

What happens when one of your favorite vocalists releases a project with only his last name on it?  You listen to it and soak it all in.  Opening track “Final Say,” which features Adrenaline Mob’s Mike Orlando, kicks off with a heavier guitar sound and a killer bottom end that reflects the heavier tone and direction Jeff Scott Soto has taken on lately.  The vocals match the intensity of the music without getting too heavy.  The first single from the disc, “The Fall” takes a slightly lighter path, but not much.  The anthemic chorus on this track is as close to Soto’s prior projects as you will find for the most part on this disc.  The lead guitar, courtesy of Chris Feener, is more into driving and chugging than they are in soaring and becoming melodic.  “Break” features a couple musicians from Soto’s other band, TSO.  The groove of the track is strong and steady, thanks to drums from Kamelot’s Casey Grillo.  The vocals are all Soto, but also carry a darker feel to them, due to the lyrics.  “End Of Days” is an opus that clocks in at just under 9:00, but what a killer track.  In an interview with us earlier this week, Soto stated this may be his “Bohemian Rhapsody.”  Grillo again lends his drumming talents to the track, but the tempo shifts and the lyrics are the real stars here.  This song shifts through different styles and moods as the lyrics and emotional vocals steer us through a tale of the world as it stands and where it is headed.  “When I’m Older” is the closest thing this disc has to a classic Soto ballad.  The guitars and keyboards work together to set the mood for the lyrics, co-penned by Mr. and Mrs. Soto.  This is a cool ballad in that is isn’t all syrup and cheese – there is muscle to the music and guts behind the vocals and lyrics.  “Jealousy” brings Soto keyboard/rhythm guitarist BJ into the fold with him performing all bass and guitars as well as co-writing the track.  The vocals are an edgier Soto, but the melodic undertones are still very present at the chorus and bridge.

“Wrath” is a really heavy track that gets dirty and rough with big bass lines and guitars from Gus G and powerful drums from Soto band member Edu Cominato.  The lyrics reflect a darker more vengeful Soto.  “Narcissistically Yours” is a new direction for Soto lyrically, in that this isn’t love and fluff, but rather the darker side of love and how lies and deception kill love.  Cominato again supplies the drums that drive the track.  “Inside The Vertigo” brings an old Soto friend back into the fold with killer guitars from Gary Schutt.  The opening bass line and vocals reflect a heavier feel and give the song and disc depth, as it has a different vibe than some of the other songs.  “Trance” is a cool rocker that leans into a classic 70’s metal vibe with earthy tones and a heavy rhythm section.  Guitarist Hugo Mariutti from Angra holds down the steady guitars and power riffs while Soto band member Jorge Salan handles the killer lead.  The vocals are a bit heavier than typical Soto fare, but it matches the musical direction of the track.  Adding to the darker and heavier vibe of the disc, “Karma’s Kiss” delivers a killer riff that steers the vocals.  Saigon Kick members Jason Bieler (guitars) and Chris McLernon (bass) help deliver the moody track, while Soto drummer Edu anchors the timing of the song.  The lyrics, while positive and less angry than others on the collection, give way to a dark mood.  Disc closer “Fall To Pieces” was co-written with Soto guitarist Jorge Salan.  The tempo of the track is less heavy than others, without turning into rock and roll fluff.  This has vintage Soto qualities, while staying with a heavier modern feel, thanks to the heavier rhythm section.  The guitar work on this track stands out and demonstrates why Salan is the bands lead guitarist of record.

Tracklist: Final Say – The Fall – Wrath – Break – Narcissistically Yours – End Of Days –  Inside The Vertigo – When I’m Older – Trance – Jealousy – Karma’s Kiss – Fall To Pieces

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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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