SOiL - Scars review
|Release date:||September 2001|
01. Breaking Me Down
03. Need To Feel
04. Wide Open
05. Understanding Me
06. My Own
09. Two Skins
10. The One
11. New Faith
13. Black 7
Based out of Chicago, IL, Soil's style has always had a catchy, infectious radio feel to it, despite their relative lack of radio play. With steady rhythms you can bob your head to, lyrics that are a bit ambiguous without being bizarre, and guitar that sticks in your head, they sound like a band that you'd expect to hear pretty constant singles from. The one thing they lack is that little bit extra. Though a solid band, there is nothing spectacular or even above average about them, which is sad considering the talent that is apparent in some of their songs.
With a post-grunge, nu metal feel to it, Scars serves to prove that fact. Though their sophomore effort, it's their first album through a major record label. The song structure only differs slightly on most songs, steady guitar intro, heavier guitar line, verse, chorus, verse, chorus, until the end riff. Almost every song on the album has the vocals start within the first fifteen to twenty seconds. The opening track, "Breaking Me Down," rolls in steady with a straight forward riff that you could definitely jump around at a concert to, even throw down in a few pits, and is in my opinion the best song on the album. From there, track progression is steady, nothing standing out to much until track six (My Own) which is mostly noticeable for the almost Middle Eastern feel they gave the opening and bridge guitar line. "Unreal," the eighth track, almost sounds like a Staind song. The final song, "Black 7," has a dark, moody feel to it and makes for a decent closer.
Musically, Soil has always had talent. The vocalist, Ryan McCombs, sounds like an angry and heavy version of Scott Stapp (Creed). He has excellent power to his voice and combined with the guitar, the albums have a lot of energy. The drums make great background, and are expertly implemented for effect. The only problem is the album reeks of being par. Never going into experimentation or pushing their talents, the band seems to maintain an almost "if it ain't broke, don't fix it" mentality. In the end, they sound like a watered down, though well put together, hybrid of Staind and Drowning Pool (their Sinner album, mind you).
This album will always hold a place for me, as the song Halo was the first pit I got into. Though not a bad band, I really couldn't recommend the record to anyone who listened to metal that wasn't played on the radio. Great for a casual listen, and decent background noise if you're working on something, but in the end the only thing exceptional about the album is the sound quality.
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