Recently we’ve seen the talented Jeff Scott Soto handling vocals in the stellar supergroup Sons Of Apollo, alongside Mike Portnoy, Derek Sherinian, Billy Sheehan and Bumblefoot and now he’s back with the band SOTO to deliver the third studio effort “Origami”.
The album begins with the positive energy of “HyperMania” which combines catchy guitar driven grooves and 80’s influenced keyboards leading to a widely accessible melodic ensemble with electro beats and subtle heavier rhythmic segments obviously embellished by Jeff’s powerful vocals.
On the title track the mood and the vocal harmonies get a bit somber so the classic heavy metal approach is still palpable but the modern prog elements become increasingly prominent leading to extra sharp guitar riffs and an absolutely stunning guitar solo featuring smooth shredding and intriguing technical accents.
The rhythm slows down on “BeLie” to emphasize the luminous melodic guitar phrases and the intense vocal delivery in the midst of understated atmospheric waves while the rhythmic section channels thrilling prog dynamics.
“Torn” is all about melancholy as Jeff’s sorrowful vocals are able to evoke an emotional tumult flowing through delicate atmospheric layers and graceful guitar melodies further enhanced by the stylish energetic soloing.
“Dance With The Devil” focuses on heavier chunky guitar riffs and an increasing raw energy to build cohesive grooves amplified by Jeff’s charismatic rocker vocal style while the lead guitars engage the listeners with flamboyant prog oriented solos.
“Afterglow” has an uplifting melodic rock approach with loads of smooth keyboards arrangements and bouncy guitar riffs while the brass section adds playful funky rhythmic variations.
As expected all the songs on “Origami” are written around Jeff’s remarkable vocal abilities and consequently his charming voice is destined to steal the spotlight yet it must be noted that he is accompanied by excellent musicians and together they are able to create an entertaining sonic experience.