Adam Zadel of SOiL

The gloves are off, and Soil have come out swinging.

From the first shards of opening track "Fight For Life," to the firestorm that follows in lead single "Give It Up" and the bitter litany of "Threw It Away," one thing is perfectly clear about Soil's third full-length album, and first for DRT Entertainment: Mixing metallic slabs of blinding fury with melodic interludes of passive restraint, True Self is the coming-of-age of a band hell-bent on making hard rock and heavy metal take notice.

"The whole premise of this new record was to take the elements that our fans knew and loved about Soil and bring them to a new level," says bassist Tim King. "Musically, the same core that Soil has always had is still intact, but we've added a new dimension lyrically and have taken things further óBut instead of taking one step forward, we've taken five."

The "new level" King is referring to came in the form of frontman A.J. Cavalier, who played his first show with the band in Dec. '04. The impact of his vocal and lyrical range can be heard throughout True Self, which builds on the rock-solid foundation Soil have laid with previous releases Redefine and Scars, taking the band to heavier depths and more harmonious heights.

In the wake of "Let Go," possibly the most melodic song Soil have ever recorded, and "Forever Dead," which ranks amongst the band's most furious, "Last Chance" melds the extremes into a sonic flurry of thick grooves and racing guitars. But it's closing track "One Last Song" that best exemplifies Soil's songwriting progression and musical marriage, climbing epic heights as it showcases the breadth of their talent and depth of their roots. Cavalier's vocals run their spectrum atop music that is classically metal and unabashedly modern, and the results are spectacular.

Recommended by Static-X namesake Wayne Static and DamagePlan front man Pat Lachman, there was never a doubt that Cavalier was the missing piece Soil had been seeking. "It was like getting handed a diamond and going, 'Is this thing real?'" recalls King of their initial meeting with the singer. "Personally, musically, vocally, he was everything we could have ever wanted. It happened so fast, and was so perfect; it's as if it was meant to be. Sometimes fate just comes knocking at your door, though, and we just decided to go for it."

The decision proved a good one. The first song the band wrote was "Give It Up," which ultimately became the lead single from True Self. "The music for that song was written in the spur of the moment, and then we sent it to A.J.," recalls King. "It was the first song that A.J. wrote lyrics to as an audition for a band that he wanted to be in[ more ]

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