Pavement Records, 2013


REVIEW BY: Tom Haugen


Hard rockers Soil didn't waste any time making their mark on the scene in the early 2000s with a couple of radio hits that solidified their position as leaders of a refreshing breed of metal. After losing original vocalist Ryan McCombs to Drowning Pool in 2004, the band forged ahead with great results, but many fans were left holding out for a reconciliation. Fortunately for them, McCombs is back in the band, and not so surprisingly the sound of my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250 Whole isn't far off from their breakthrough 2001 album Scars.

Maybe the most noteworthy point here is the incredible guitar work throughout. Songs like the leadoff  “Loaded Gun” intertwine melodies you won't soon forget with a heavy, charged atmosphere. This feel is continued with the anthemic "The Hate Song" as well as the moody atmosphere that starts off in the vein of Deftones on "Ugly."

It's not all loud and visceral though; "Way Gone" has quieter moments, as does the opening to "Shine On," though it's safe to say these are merely transition points to the band's strength, i.e. full-throttle rock. Near the end, the riffs on “Amalgamation” are about as contagious as they come and the rhythmic "My Time" would strike a chord with post-hardcore fans.

The production here is first-rate and it's hard to not envision the band playing these songs 15 feet from you, as each instrument is highlighted well and the overall sound is extremely large. There's a reason these guys were leaders of the new generation of metal bands, and that presence is stronger than ever on this return to their roots. Longtime fans will hear their heavier influences (each of the band members was previously in death metal bands before Soil), and while the singing and wailing guitars are certainly on the harder side of the spectrum, there are still plenty of prettier moments along the way. As far a commercial success, it's hard to imagine this catching on in the same way their singles 13 years ago did. Then again, I highly doubt Soil care so long as their fans are appeased, which they should be with Whole.

Rating: B+

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