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Hailing from Chicago, Il Soil burst onto the scene in 1998 with the indie release El Chupacabra. They followed it up with 1999's Throttle Junkies; but it wasn't until the 2001 release of Scars, which included the anthemic hit 'Halo' that the band truly was able to spread it's wings creatively and fly into the upper echelons of the hard rock pantheon. 2004's re.de.fine saw the band build even further on their blues-based rock-solid foundation. With over 350,000 copies of Scars and re.de.fine sold and two Top 15 sings at the Active Rock and Metal Radio formats, SOIL return with True Self, an album that is both the logical progressions to their past successes and a bold new musical statement. With new lead vocalist RJ Cavalier in the fold, True Self is a masterful solo of down n' dirty, melodic hard rock - as enticing to fans of Velvet Revolver as it is to fans of Linkin Park.
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What a strange circle: Dave Williams of Drowning Pool tragically passes, and Jason Jones joins Drowning Pool with a new sound...growling, unlistenable vocals; Ryan McCombs leaves Soil for "family reasons", and AJ Cavalier joins Soil with a new sound...growling, unlistenable vocals; Jason Jones leaves Drowning Pool, and Ryan McCombs joins Drowning Pool. Dave Williams, unfortunately, will not be back to join Soil after AJ leaves to complete the circle.
And, hey, AJ may never leave which will likely suit fans that enjoy bands that angrily shout all the lyrics through their songs. But if you loved Soil's Redefined you might not even like True Self.
The problem with True Self is it's not really Soil. I simply do not get why bands that have a major change in their line-up keep the same band name. Of course it works sometimes (Iron Maiden, AC/DC), but it mostly fails.
AJ at times actually does sound like early Ryan on the early Soil disks. And AJ does have a good voice when he "sings" instead of growls...but he predominantly growls. And there's a market for that growling vocal style. I am not in that market. AJ's growling on True Self is a far cry from Ryan's clearly sung anthem rockers on Soil's 5 star Redefined release.
If you're looking for the Soil that you knew that belted out songs with anthem choruses like "Redefined", "Cross My Heart", "Pride" & "Suffering", you might need to look to Drowning Pool's upcoming release with Ryan...because they are not here with AJ.
I hate to bash the new guy, but the frontman makes the band. If this is Soil's True Self, I'd say that they need to Redefine.
A 'dispute' with former vocalist Ryan McCombs left SOiL with no singer and following, no record label. In an all out perseverance to continue SOiL, Tim, Shaun,Tom and Adam were joined by AJ Cavalier and began work on 'True Self'.
True Self hits hard, from the beginning, 'Fight For Life' breathes a new sound, with more emphasis on the instruments compared with the previous albums. We get a very similar 'halo' style drum beat in a few of the songs on the album, but more double bass and menacing guitar solo's.
Cavalier's vocals have certain simlilarities to McCombs, perhaps more fierce and we hear in the lyrics subtle negative links to the former singer in 'Forever Dead', the heaviest song on the album.
True Self is definately worth a listen, its different to the old soil, it has a metal edge that is more loosely defined by the scene that created the band. Cavalier adds a quality to the band that McCombs couldn't, with recent efforts, True Self is their best album, but we should expect more from the Quintet from Chicago, they are still alive and still metal.