Inside Out [Release date 24.05.19]
Jeff Scott Soto is a busy man with his solo albums, Sons Of Apollo, Trans-Siberian Orchestra, W.E.T. and of course the band SOTO (I am thinking the use of capitals is to differentiate from the lower case Soto, a Latin funk band!), which although it bears his surname, it is a full on band effort. ‘Origami’ is the third SOTO album and the first for their new label, Inside Out, also home to Sons Of Apollo. Tony Dickinson joined the band last year to replace David Z who died in 2017.
I must admit the previous two SOTO albums didn’t overly appeal, however ‘Origami’ is a different matter entirely kicking off with modern beats on ‘HyperMania’. Shades of Shinedown and Imagine Dragons in the backing, with a suitably heavy guitar solo from Jorge Salan. He certainly earns his keep throughout the album, be it heavy riffs or in your face solos.
The title track is a glorious melodic metal beast, the aforementioned Dickinson and drummer Edu Cominato driving the rhythm along. ‘Dance With The Devil’ follows a similar musical path, plenty of riffage on display. At the other end of the scale ‘Torn’ taps into Jeff Scott Soto’s love of a bit of melodic rock, made for airplay and summer days. Then for something completely different how about some hot, funky horns? Yep they appear on ‘AfterGlow’, one of the album stand outs highlighting Jeff Scott Soto’s love of a bit of funky musical action.
The album closes with a cover of Michael Jackson’s ‘Give In To Me’, a definite Marmite cover and although I can’t stand Marmite I do like this version.
SOTO have an album and a half on their hands here, a real melodic metal treat and their best album to date. ****
Review by Jason Ritchie
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