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S.O.T.O: Origami

With 2016’s Divak album S.O.T.O, the band who take their name from lead singer Jeff Scott Soto, made a clear statement of intent. A frontman more often known for releasing music in a Melodic Rock vein under his own name and that of Talisman, throwing off those shackles and heading in a more bullish direction. The AOR crowd were aghast and yet anyone who actually took the time to listen to that outburst from JSS and his band would have understood that this was clearly the same man writing the songs, it was just that he was beefing them up… considerably!

Tragedy struck the band a year later when on tour with Adrenaline Mob, bassist David Z was killed in a road accident, with S.O.T.O going on to release a single in tribute to their fallen and much missed bandmate, called “Detonate”. Moving on can’t have been easy, especially with JSS having been affected by a number of loses of those close to him in recent years, but thankfully he and S.O.T.O now return with album number three, Origami. The unenviable task of taking up the bass position in the band being handled quite magnificently by Tony Dickinson, with his introduction being the only alteration in line-up since Divak, with he and Soto joined by guitarists Jorge Salan and BJ, as well as drummer Edo Cominato. With this true band ethos a real factor in the huge success that this third helping of S.O.T.O undoubtedly is.

“Detonate” takes pride of place on this ten track monster of an album, its surging riff and fittingly pulsating bass line backed by the towering vocals from Soto himself, as he delivers the sort of performance that really should drop jaws but that, considering his amazing consistency, we all now take as a matter of course from the man. That doesn’t stop it from being a mighty weapon of course and on the explosive “HyperMania” the massive guitars match him every step of the way. It’s a stunning, heavy, uncompromising smash of rock that’s still hugely melodic, if just a little more aggressive than the JSS of old. This for me is already the perfect set opener for the band’s upcoming shows, even if rhyming Insania and NoBrainia with HyperMania is admittedly a little cheesy. The title cut then ups the guitar ante even further, staccato riffs that are as sharp as a razor slicing through all in their way. In fact it’s hard to find fault, “BeLie” a mid-paced grind of discontent, “Dance With The Devil” a swirling tumble of fret flurries and thundering drums, while “Vanity Lane” slows things down without relenting on the full force approach this album absolutely thrives on.

Jeff Scott Soto’s career and back catalogue really is quite incredible, but, and I know his more melodic rock supporters will more than likely be up in arms at this comment, with S.O.T.O, he may finally have found the perfect vehicle to fully display his skills.

Track Listing
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
11. KMAG

Added: July 14th 2019
Reviewer: Steven Reid
Related Link: S.O.T.O online
Hits: 1366
Language: english

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