(8/10) Jeff Scott Soto is one of the best hardrock and metal singer. No doubt. The guy from New York can look back on great cooperations he did with guitar wizards such as Yngwie Malmsteen, Axel Rudi Pell and Brian May. But also his contribution to the Trans-Siberian Orchestra was a real highlight and stays unforgotten.
It was in 2015 when the singer with the awesome voice started something new under the banner of Soto. "Insight the Vertigo" was the first album and I was surprised about the heaviness of this release.
One year later the iconic singer publishs his second longplayer that continues the heavy trip, that was kicked off by "Insight the Vertigo". "Divak" is the name giver for this album and it's also the first song on this record. But instead of being a 'real' number it's a bombastic intro, followed by "Weight of the World". Listening to this song clearly states, that this disc isn't containing softened hardrock. "Divak" is heavy and powerful with the opener acting as a first statement.
"Freak Show" comes next, a track that was chosen to be the first single release for the new longplayer. The song has a really good chorus, but comes also with a certain complexity. It took me a few rounds to discover the full joy of the "Freak Show".
In case you want it a bit slower and more soulful you should check out "In My Darkest Hour". This powerful half ballad is a highlight on "Divak". After such a laid-back moment it's time for some more rock. "Suckerpunch" has an alternative rock/metal expression before the mighty "Time" takes over. Even though the chorus is again quite catchy the song comes with a gloomy vibe and slowly rolls over you. I would say that Southern metal meets hardrock.
The album has with "Cyper Masquerade" and "Unblame" also two tunes that can't live up to the high level of the rest of "Divak". However, all the other tracks can easily compensate for this and in the end Soto releases a melodic metal album that, already based on his voice, can easily compete with other releases in this genre.
But one question remains: Who or what is 'Divak'?
- Weight of the World
- Freak Show
- Cyber Masquerade
- In My Darkest Hour
- Fall from Grace
Genre: Alternative Metal
Release Date EU: April 1st, 2016