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Soto: Inside The Vertigo

It's often forgotten by the melodic rock masses that Jeff Scott Soto first came to true prominence fronting albums by the likes of Yngwie J Malmsteen and Axel Rudi Pell; providing a voice for a far heavier style than his Talisman, W.E.T., or indeed solo work which followed. Hence in a way Inside The Vertigo shouldn't be the shock that for some it will undoubtedly be.

Soto however isn't another solo outing, it's a band and one JSS insists will be around for some time to come. Is that reason for celebration? Well on the strength of Inside The Vertigo: hell yeah! However contrary to first impressions, Jeff's melodic rock following doesn't need to head for the hills, for underneath a host of towering riffs and gritty guitars, Jeff's song writing ability and style is still to be found, as is much in the way of the melody his fans crave.

However from the off it's clear that the likes of "Final Say" or "The Fall" find an artist keen to impart his anger on a whole host of topics, those emotions shared both lyrically and through the hard hitting musical attack. Jorge Salan and BJ share guitar duties and mighty the pair are, a wall of sound rushing forth as "Final Say" opens the album in style; JSS using his instantly recognisable voice in not so obvious ways. We're not talking gutturals here, but things are harsh and verging on growls, although ultimately when you have a singer of this ability, it is always going to be his rich clear tones and utterly believable delivery which win through every time. "Wrath" brings things into more expected territory, a mid tempo piece providing one of the more restrained offerings, before "Break" - the album's crowning glory utilises an almost Five Finger Death Punch meets Disturbed vibe to smash all in its path. From there "Narcissistically Yours" rolls by on a punch of guitars and keys; Soto sounding like a severely beefed up Bob Catley (Magnum), while "Jealousy" simply hits like a punchier version of the MHR that Jeff Scott Soto is renowned for. Add in the atmospheric sweep of "Karma's Kiss", where everything from Pink Floyd to Kip Winger are evoked and the almost Black Album Metallica meets Pantera terrorizing of "Fall To Pieces" and Soto have it all especially when the rhythm section of David Z (bass) and Edu Cominato (drums) provide a gargantuanly solid base from which the other three musicians simply thrive on working.

For some Jeff Scott Soto should be boxed up and labelled "open only for melodic rock purposes". However, much as his hugely underrated pop/funk/rock crossover album Beautiful Mess did in a different way, what Inside The Vertigo proves, is that pigeon holing this singer merely serves to deny what a huge talent he truly is. Hopefully Inside The Vertigo will find Soto the band and the man reaching new heights.

Track Listing
1. Final Say
2. The Fall
3. Wrath
4. Break
5. Narcissistically Yours
6. End of Days
7. Inside The Vertigo
8. When I'm Older
9. Trance
10. Jealousy
11. Karma's Kiss
12. Fall To Pieces

Added: August 4th 2015
Reviewer: Steven Reid
Related Link: Soto online
Hits: 884
Language: english

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