It was back in the summer of 1983 when I first discovered hard rock and heavy metal. In a lot of ways Jeff Scott Soto was one of the first singers that I had heard and quickly became one of my favorites. Problem was that in 1983 it was very hard to keep up with your favorite bands. There were only the magazines at the bookstore or supermarket. Fast forward to 2016 and what do I have the pleasure of reviewing but Jeff Scott Soto’s brand new album. From the first note of the opening track, I was instantly transported back to the summer of 1983.
The album opens with the instrumental track “Divak”. Not really sure the correct way to pronounce the title. What I can say is wow. The song starts off slow but really reminds me of something that brings two worlds together. Great keyboards with a chanting in the background. It builds up for what goes into the next song. “Weight of the World” reminds me of what I have been missing over that time I have lost touch with so long ago. The song is a great cross between the past and present. I really enjoy the band that Jeff has backing him.
“Freakshow” starts off with a great chugging riff that sounds very modern. The lyrics and chorus I found sticking in my head. The guitar solo is just wicked. One of my favorites easily. “Paranoia” again has a nice opening. Four tracks in and not disappointed yet. This song is very catchy. The song moves along at a steady pace with some nice guitar work. The next song “Unblame” slows it down a little. The effects in the background sound very cool. While the singing is a bit slower, the song does not disappoint. It brings the listener in close and holds on tight. Take a look at the official video below.
“Cyber Masquerade” is the sixth song . The lyrics take on the social media scene. There is a great bass solo that breaks the song up. Again another song that rocks. The seventh song “In My Darkest Hour” is the first ballad on the album. Lyrically the song deals with the loss of someone special. I’m not really a ballad type, but the music inside this song gets me. “Forgotten” starts with a haunting drum and guitar riff. The song then kicks into gear.
I know it sounds as though I am repeating myself, but I really like all these songs. I feel like I found a long lost friend. Song nine “Sucker Punch” starts a bit slower with the lyrics. The lyrics and solo hit home. Another great song that was sticking in my head. “Time” a great rocker that I can see being played live with people going crazy and singing along. “Misfired” brings a slower tempo to start. Then kicks into gear. The bass during the song a really is awesome. More of the same great singing paired with outstanding musicianship. “Fall from Grace” Has a nice opening. The chorus of the song I believe anyone can relate to in life. It is so nice to have songs with solo’s that feel like they belong in the song, not forced. “Awakened” is another great example of a song that just sticks with you.
The deluxe version of the album includes five live tracks that really showcase how tight this band is together. The songs show how great that the band is at working the crowd. They show some of the material that I have missed since I lost touch with Jeff Scott Soto. “Cracking The Stone“ and “My Life” round out this album with two wickedly addicting songs.
What can I say? For me, this is an album that I feel like has been missing from my library. I had forgotten how much I enjoyed listening to Jeff Scott Soto sing. I have a lot of albums to go back and discover, now. If you are a fan great hard rock, go get this album. You won’t be disappointed.