Fireworks

Soto - 'Divak' http://www.rocktopia.co.uk/media/reviews/photos/thumbnail/200x200s/2d/a7/d9/Soto-Divak-51-1470858058.jpg Hot

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Essential for fans of Melodic Hard Rock and Jeff Scott Soto in particular.

Everything that can be said about Jeff Scott Soto has already been said... recurrently. However, one thing needs accentuating. Whether it be his early work with Yngwie Malmsteen, Talisman and Axel Rudi Pell, through to his latter-day performances with Journey, Soul Sirkus, Trans-Siberian Orchestra and W.E.T. (not forgetting his solo albums), there is absolutely no denying that this man epitomises the terms "consummate" and "longevity"; incessantly delivering vocal performances better than most of his peers could only dream of. An artiste of this calibre deserves more than just being a "voice-for-hire", therefore, nobody could deny him creating a band that is his and his alone.

'Divak' is the second Soto album, and one could say it's a natural progression from the heavier 'Inside The Vertigo' debut. That said, '...Vertigo' was deemed a little too heavy by some followers, and this appears to have been rectified somewhat within this record's thirteen track soundscape. Jorge Salan (guitar), David Z (bass), BJ (keys, guitar) and Edu Cominato (drums) all match Soto's vocal prowess with their exemplary musicianship throughout.

Fireworks - The Ultimate Magazine For Melodic Rock Music

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Commencing with the instrumental title track, it's abundantly transparent that this album doesn't intend to take prisoners; a short, intense, yet Symphonic overture that embodies all that is about to follow. My only grievance is that it's a stand-alone piece, and doesn't seamlessly segue into 'Weight Of The World', a barnstorming song with labyrinthine tempos and a rhythm section heavier than a crash of pregnant rhinos! If thunderous Rock isn't really your thing, fear not, as the melodies suitably compensate from start to finish. 'Freakshow' keeps the pedal to the metal with its tribal nuance, whilst 'Paranoia' and 'Unblame' maintain the power surge; 'Paranoia' in particular is a gem, and reminds me of early Pink Cream 69... on amphetamines!!

'Cyber Masquerade' is perhaps my personal fave; its riffing so reminiscent of Threshold at their best. By the time 'In My Darkest Hour' comes along you will be pleading for breath, and possibly an all-over body massage; it's an epic, melancholic ballad that Soto delivers as only he can. 'Forgotten' and 'Sucker Punch' are two more Threshold-esque songs that immediately return the tone back to hard and heavy. 'The Fall From Grace' and 'Awakened' both ensure an explosive finish.

'Divak' certainly isn't W.E.T. – it's a tinder box ready to self-combust! Essential for fans of Melodic Hard Rock and Jeff Scott Soto in particular.

Dave Crompton

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