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Soil - Whole

by Bex "Hardcore" Tasker at 12 August 2013, 1:07 PM

This might sound strange, but this album is great background music. Although “Whole” by
Metal veterans SOIL is heavy, it’s also constructed in such a way that it’s soothing to the ears. The guitars, bass, drums and vocals are such a smooth stream of music, they mold together so well that you almost feel like you aren’t listening to anything. That’s not to say the tracks aren’t catchy, though, they certainly are. The American three-piece formed in Chicago in 1997, and are a Hard Rock / Metal blend. Although the band flaunt long hair and intimidating what-you-looking-at-punk beards, their music is very pleasant.

The album fires a “Loaded Gun” with their opening track, straight away getting the listener hooked to the catchy guitar riffs and expressive vocals. The second track only worsens your addiction, with “The Hate Song” that you can’t help but love. The lyrics sound a tad sarcastic and suggest a failed romance, but you can still tap your feet blissfully to the rhythm of the music and pretend love is forever. “Ugly”, although negative in terms of subject matter, is very positive as far as breakdowns are concerned. Ryan McCombs suavely invites you into “Way Gone”, crooning “Oh yea” repeatedly in the intro and pre-choruses. If it’s possible to blend Frank Sinatra and Metal, this is it. The opening riff of “Psychopath” reminded me somewhat of the beginning of “The Comedown” by BRING ME THE HORIZON, which might be a nice little FYI for any fans out there. This track is one of the heavier ones, contrasting greatly with the one that follows. “Shine On” starts off mellow, but has an eruption of heavy when the chorus approaches. If you were lulled to sleep by the serenity of the album, “Wake Up” might, well, wake you up. The guitar is fast and the vocals might just be aggressive enough to do nicely as a morning alarm. The militaryesque drums at the beginning of “Amalgamation” get you fired up and ready for battle. Not sure what we’re fighting against, but let’s go. The subsequent track follows suit, with energetic guitars and drums in perfect and funky unison, urging the listener to get up and go, because it’s “My Time”, and “nobody’s best is better than mine”. “Little Liar” is as disgruntled and condescending as the name suggests, and if that’s not enough to get the message across the recurring “Fuck you”s should be sufficient. Finally, the album concludes with the brooding “One Love”, another tale of woe and heartache. Quite pleasant woe and heartache, as far as the music is concerned, though.

Heavy yet soothing. That’s how I’d describe the latest release by SOIL. Would highly recommend it in any situation from putting you to sleep on a long flight to getting you pumped up for a gig. A highly versatile and likeable release, well done, bearded fellows.

4 Star Rating

1. Loaded Gun
2. The Hate Song
3. Ugly
4. Way Gone
5. Psychopath
6. Shine On
7. Wake Up
8. Amalgamation
9. My Time
10. Little Liar
11. One Love
Ryan McCombs – Vocals
Adam Zadel – Guitar
Tim King – Bass
Record Label: AFM Records


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