So Tim King and Adam Zade are at it again and this time they have brought along the big vocal guns in the form of original SOiL vocalist Ryan McCombs. Despite having no permanent drummer this trio have brought back original SOiL members for their newest release, “Whole”. Having seen A.J. and Jordan carry the weight for a few years I can say it is a pleasure to hear Ryan back behind the mic. Ryan always adds a vocal flair to the sound that no one else has been able to capture.
The name is an interesting one and it’s almost the obvious choice as they are whole as a band again. This may seem heavy handed and over the top to some but I point to energy in release opener, ‘Loaded Gun’ and the deeper cut ‘Psychopath’. Tim and Adam seem to have found a new level of flair and emotion in their music. The guitar work of Adam in ‘Psychopath’ was face melting and shear joy to listen to.
The last show I saw them play I walked out of that show thinking “I just saw a band I love implode on stage” and was left with a certain feeling of doom for the future of the band. Then I started hearing rumours that Ryan was going to tour with the band in England for an anniversary show for “Scars” and then those reports solidified into Ryan was back with the band. Ever the doubting soul I patiently waited as the kickstarter project was announced for a record and that goals were achieved and a record was coming. Then the stream for preview came out and it took me a few weeks to bring it up for a listen due to starting a new job. As I move into the fourth spin of “Whole” I am left with a feeling of excitement. SOiL is back and they haven’t missed a beat.
This is not only a release for the fans but for the metal community. It is a straightforward heavy metal album, with high production value and a good mix for the listener. We are treated to a SOiL part two if you will and if their live shows follow the emotion of this release, I can only quote Samuel L. Jackson from Jurassic Park “Hold onto your butts”.
“Whole” is packed with 11 stunning tracks. I have heard this called “Scars II” by many but lets not dwell there because “Whole” is more than just a continuation and rehash of “Scars”. The writing and playing shows a maturity not present in early work. This shows in composition and delivery in titles such as ‘Amalgamation’, ‘My Time’, and ‘Ugly’. This is a must listen release for any fan of in your face heavy metal. It is but a sampling of what Chicago metal has to offer and is a living testament to the music heritage of that city. If you have never heard of SOiL give this one a listen, if you are a fan this is a true return to form that we have come to hope and expect from them. Given the last few years of history of this band I for one am thrilled with the level of quality from “Whole”