SOiL – “Whole” (CD Review)

SOiL – “Whole” (CD Review)
August 5, 2013 | By More

SOiL “Whole” Album Review

By Robert Porter

Fans of Soil have waited a long time for their new record “Whole.” This is the first new studio album back for the original vocalist Ryan McCombs. McCombs left Soil back in November of 2004 to join the successful hard rock band Drowning Pool. After having some successful years with Drowning Pool, McCombs made the decision along with his fellow bandmates that it was time to reunite. This was great news to longtime fans of the group. Many of the biggest fans of Soil enjoyed the work of AJ Cavalier, but there is something about McCombs vocals that really sets off Soil’s sound.


Move forward in time to August of 2013 and Soil is ready to drop their newest effort “Whole” (via AFM/Pavement Records) onto the market. In many ways, this album is a throwback to the days of the “Scars” album. Most anyone who has become attached to the band will view this as excellent news. When “Scars” was released back in 2001 it really sounded like a special album. With tons of standout tracks and a really big sound, it brought Soil a level of critical and commercial success that is admirable.

When the band got together with producer Ulrich Wild, I’m really wondering whether or not they set out to do an album that sounds like a follow-up to “Scars.” After listening through the first few tracks of the album I definitely got that old school Soil vibe. It feels like a return to what made the band so fun back in the early 2000’s. From the opening track of “Whole,” “Loaded Gun,” you know you’re in for a kickass rock album. There are plenty of headbanging tracks for fans to sink their teeth into. “Psychopath,” and “Wake Up” will definitely see plenty of rotation in my car while driving. Blaring rock music loud and proud while driving down the expressway seem to go hand in hand in my experience, and these tracks will be welcome editions.

The album sounds great. You can tell that a lot of love went into producing this album. All of the instruments are well represented. Ryan’s vocals are on point for the duration of the experience. He showcases a good mix of melody with his own fun brand of aggression. The lyrical content ranges from fun and tongue-in-cheek to emotionally-charged. One song on the album may create some mixed emotions with Soil fans. On the track “Amalgamation,” McCombs delivers verses that are all inspired by song titles or verses from other songs that he has written. This even includes titles of songs he wrote while with Drowning Pool. I find it to be a clever, fun song. As an example of how McCombs weaves the lyrical content into this song: “With broken wings I am still my own/It’s more than just myself that feels like I do…like I do.”

Adam Zadel has some impressive guitar work on tracks such as “Little Liar” and “One Love.” There are moments in those songs where fans won’t be able to resist rocking out. I’m personally anxious to hear some of these tracks live, because they really do have a lot of energy.

When it comes to judging a rock album, I usually ask myself whether or not I wanted to skip any tracks while listening to it. With Soil’s new album “Whole,” I didn’t get that urge. It is a solid album from top to bottom. The lead-in single, “Shine On,” while not being a standout track in my opinion, is pretty fun.

If you’re going into this album as a fan of Soil’s first few albums, then you will be very happy with what you’re getting. If you have yet to get into Soil as a hard rock act, then you’ll be pleasantly surprised to find a fun rock album that you just might become attached to. I recommend picking up the album if you’re a fan of this brand of rock. “Whole” will be in stores on August 20th, 2013. You can preorder the album from iTunes right now.

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