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SOTO - Origami

by Dave "That Metal Guy" Campbell at 29 May 2019, 2:58 AM

SOTO is the culmination of one of today’s premier heavy metal front men and vocalists, Jeff Scott Soto, cast with a union of talented young musicians to bring listeners a slamming blend of melody, and muscle. Joining Jeff in SOTO are members of his most recent solo band, who he insisted on having along in this new music venture. Jorge Salan (Lead Guitarist), BJ (keys, guitars), Edu Cominato (Drums), and Tony Dickinson (Bass) complete this fantastic line-up. Soto adds, “These guys come from different parts of the world, and bring their own influence to make this one of the best new metal bands on the scene. From the US to Europe to South America, we have an eclectic, international mix of style and prestige that keeps us all on our toes.” His latest venture, “Origami,” contains ten tracks.

“HyperMania” leads off the album with a down and dirty riff and Jeff’s lovely vocals. They don’t use the keys much here and that could really thicken up the sound, though the guitar solo is on point. The chorus also fails to make a real impact. The title track opens with a heavy sound and keys that sound like a spaceship is lifting off. It walks that line between Hard Rock and Heavy Metal, but if you just factor the guitars into the equation, it’s Metal. It also has an Eastern feeling to it, probably related to the title, but fails to excite. “BeLie” is a slower number with an opening riff that seems a bit sad. Jeff slows down in the register also, but there is a bit of a disconnect with the vocals and the instruments in the verses.

“World Gone Colder” opens with a riff that moves and an infectious energy. This is what I am talking about. It’s a bit of a wild ride as the riff keeps shifting along the way. “Detonate” is a mid-tempo rocker with plenty of balls, and this time there is a good connection in the vocals and the instruments, along with a strong chorus, and a smoking guitar solo. “Torn” is a “power-ballad” of sorts, with a melancholy sound and emotionally poignant lyrics. I like the darker sound here…and they put more of themselves into it. “Dance with the Devil” has a heavy and powerful riff with a faster moving sound, reminding me of DIO. Jeff stretches out a bit here vocally, offering more of his versatility. The guitar solo is some fretwork wizardry for sure. “AfterGlow” has a sexy swing to it, with Jeff’s impassioned vocals. It even has some simulated “big band” element to it with some brass instruments.

“Vanity Lane” is a darker song, with opening heavy thudding accents from guitar and bass. The melody is there but it is more subtle in its approach. So far, the album really hasn’t done much to impress me, save for a song or two. “Give in to Me” closes the album. It moves slowly and cautiously at first, with Jeff singing in a very low voice. But the main riff hits and it hits hard. Overall, it’s clear that Jeff still has a lot to offer the Metal community with his voice, but not with the songwriting. The only constant good throughout the album was the lead guitar playing of Jorge Salan. That, and an excellent production job by InsideOut Music. Jorge is really an excellent axeman who has full command of the instrument. Look, with as much experience as Soto has and being a living legend of a front man, he has nothing left to prove to the Metal community. He assembled a wonderful group of musicians but just didn’t bring anything new to the table. Most of the songs were just, well, mediocre.

Songwriting: 5
Originality: 4
Memorability: 4
Production: 9

2 Star Rating

1. HyperMania
2. Origami
3. BeLie
4. World Gone Colder
5. Detonate
6. Torn
7. Dance with the Devil
8. AfterGlow
9. Vanity Lane
10. Give in to Me
Jeff Scott Soto – Vocals
Jorge Salan – Lead Guitars
BJ – Keys
Edu Cominato – Drums
Tony Dickinson – Bass
Record Label: InsideOut Music


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Edited 22 November 2019

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