One of the great aspects of my early to mid-20’s was spending many a night hitting up club shows for the latest hard rock act to roll through. Nonpoint, Drowning Pool, Cold, Sevendust, Static-X, Seether and then a constant bevy of second- and third-tier supporting acts. Rock band SOiL never really got the credit they deserved nor really took the bull by the horns when opportunity knocked. They’re one of those bands where, as a fan of that scene, you always thought ‘these guys should be bigger!’
Twelve years removed from their debut major label self-titled release, come’s their sixth album, Whole. In reality, it’s the band’s third album with all three founding members as frontman Ryan McCombs rejoins the line-up after spending six years with Drowning Pool.
From day one, SOiL has always been a meat-and-potatoes rock band. They don’t really write ballads and when they do the tunes sound like an ode to someone as twisted as the person writing them. In other words, a cat who spends life on the road in a hard rock band (‘Psychopath’) or weakly attempt to mask it by declaring it a ‘Hate Song.’ If you’re expecting the softer side of SOiL on this release, then you’re looking at the wrong band. McCombs and company hit hard from the open note of ‘Loaded Gun,’ and carry the hard rock torch through all eleven tracks on Whole.
The album’s best moments are on sure-fire radio-friendly tunes ‘Way Down,’ first single ‘Shine On,’ and ‘Amalgamation,’ and album closer ‘One Love.’ If you’ve got a yearning to dust off some ten-year-old aggression and reminisce with your hard rock listening days, then pick up this bad boy and, as necessary with an album of this nature, PLAY LOUD.