SOTO – ‘Inside the Veritgo’ (2015) – Album Review (The Jeff Scott Soto Series)

Jeff Scott Soto has been around for over 30 years now and he started out singing for some heavy bands like Yngwie Malmsteen and Axel Rudi Pell. Then he was more melodic with bands like Talisman, Eyes and W.E.T. and he evened funked things up with his solo albums on occasion, but he has always liked the heavy stuff. For his next project, it wasn’t another solo album, but instead it was a new metal band called SOTO. Hmmm…where did he come up with that name? Jeff has said this is a working band and not a side project and will be around for a long while and there is definitely a band. In SOTO are of course, Jeff, but you also get Jorge Salan on guitars, BJ on guitars and keys, David Z (Of ZO2) on bass and Edu Cominato on drums.

However, there are so many guests and extra musicians on this album, that I’m not sure you can really count this as a band album as the “band” isn’t on every song. Now, that doesn’t take away from anything on the album, I’m just saying I don’t really see this particular SOTO album as a band more of as a project. The album came out on January 30, 2015, but I don’t see a physical release of the album in the States so they only had digital. My copy of the album is actually from Mexico and is a digipack. No bonus or nothing extra, but I will take what I can get. Let’s jump right and get in to the meat of it all as the music is why we are here.

The first track is “Final Say” and it is written by Jeff Scott Soto and Adrenaline Mob member Mike Orlando who does all the instruments on this song (see, no band members but JSS). And like I said above, that doesn’t take away from the music as this song kicks some major ass. The guitars are heavy, the drums are thunderous and Soto is aggressive and lethal with the vocals. An explosive opening that tells you right away this is a heavier, darker JSS and I’m all for it.

Next up is “The Fall” and again no band members. The song was co-written with Tony Dickinson (from TSO) and he does all instruments but the lead which was handled by Chris Feener. “The Fall” is a killer groove and some nasty playing. The song isn’t as heavy and the chorus is a little more catchy even with a little edge to it.

“Wrath” sees another collaboration and this one with the great Gus G (guitar and bass). And finally we have a band member in Edu playing the drums. This one is a little more restrained for like a second than Gus G lays a tasty solo at the beginning and mouthwatering one at the end. The song is doom and gloom, but the chorus is a little brighter and more melodic giving us a nice dichotomy of styles.

One of the grand achievements of the album is “Break”, co-written by Soto and Connor Engstrom (TSO Touring band) who handles guitar duties & Keys while Casey Grillo is on drums and Tony Dickinson on bass. Another heavy track which sees Jeff vocals soaring and musically the sound has more than a hint of Disturbed in its darkened notes.

“Narcissitically Yours” is co-written between Jeff, Edu and Leo Mancini who handles the guitars. Henrique Baboom handles the bass and Edu on drums. And the songs don’t slow down yes as it is one pummeling after another. I think the word placing of narcissitically is smart so they didn’t have to try and rhyme that one. Outside of that, I’m a little bored with this one as it doesn’t have the great guitar work, the solo doesn’t fit the song for me and overall is a little been there/done that for me.

Next up is “End of Days” which is another collab with Connor Engstrom. Also with Tony Dickinson and Casey Grillo back for more along with a bunch of kids handling some eerie background vocals as things slow down with this one. It has almost a Pink Floyd vibe to those kids. Jeff delivers a powerful performance and is as emotive as he can be. The guitars sweep in and float giving you just the right amount of atmosphere. The ending sees a rip-roaring solo that takes the song to a whole new level and gives it just the right amount of punch. The song gets an urgency to it. It is an epic track that feels like a movie and for me, the most interesting song on the album.

The title track, “Inside the Vertigo”, see Jeff collaborate with his long time friend Gary Schutt who we’ve discussed a bunch during this series. Gary handles guitars and bass on this one as I think every co-writer must play guitar on their song. Edu joins in on the drums. The opening bass on here is totally killer as it gives us a cool vibe to the song we haven’t seen yet so far. Jeff’s vocals build and then reach new heights with each verse. The riffs on here are heavy and so familiar sounding as it feels like a lot of the modern music today. Another beast that can’t be tamed with this one.

“When I’m Older” sees Jeff write with Elena Soto (Jeff’s wife) and drummer Edu Cominato. On instruments is the great Al Pitrelli on lead guitar, Diego Armelin on rhythm guitar, Henrique on bass and Edu on drums and keys along with Connor helping with Keys as well. The song isn’t as heavy as the rest, it is more melodic and what we are used to getting from Jeff. Good song, but doesn’t quite fit in my opinion with the rest of the bunch.

Then we get “Trance” which is with JSS, Edu and Hugo Mariutti with Hugo playing rhythm guitar, and finally Jorge Salan on lead guitar, bass is Henrique and Edu on drums. The song brings back the heavy, but the song isn’t as interesting as a lot of the others. Jeff feels like he is going through the motions as I don’t know if he finds it interesting either. There is a great solo, but the song still lacks overall for as I feel like they’ve done this one already.

“Jealousy” is written by Jeff and Luiz Paulo de Almeida Jr. You do finally get BJ on the guitars and drum is Edu, but lead is by Leo Mancini. The song has a nice groove to it and a nice chorus, but again it feels tired and a repeat of some of the earlier tracks. There is not enough variety here to keep me fully invested.

Then we get to pals together again with Soto and Jason Bieler on “Karma’s Kiss” and thankfully, Jason plays guitar on this one too. Chris McLernon on bass and Edu on drums. There is weird guitar opening (not sure if Bond or what but had that vibe). Jason isn’t boring and likes to really try new things and he is as adventurous as ever. The song doesn’t feel like the others and although I would say that isn’t a bad thing as I want variety, but the song is a little different sounding then the rest. But if you like Bieler’s style and Jeff’s vocals, it is still a good enough track.

The final track is “Fall to Pieces” written by Jeff and band guitarist, Jorge Salan. It is a fist in the air, heart pounding beast that is ready to attack all that come near. You have Juan Carlos Gibaja on bass and Edu Brenes on drums. The album goes out like it started, hard and heavy, brutal drums and ripping guitars.

Track Listing:

  1. Final Say – Keeper
  2. The Fall – Keeper
  3. Wrath – Keeper (1/2 Point)
  4. Break – Keeper
  5. Narcissistcally Yours – Delete
  6. End of Days – Keeper
  7. Inside the Vertigo – Keeper
  8. When I’m Older – Keeper (1/2 Point)
  9. Trance – Delete
  10. Jealousy – Delete
  11. Karma’s Kiss – Keeper (1/2 Point)
  12. Fall to Pieces – Keeper

The Track Score is 7.5 Tracks out of 12 Tracks or 63%.  My biggest problem with this album is the fact it is inconsistent. It is not a band at all so calling SOTO doesn’t work for me. The band is never on all the songs and in fact, David Z doesn’t even play on it, though he did tour for them.  The band is really the touring band.  The songs don’t all fit together and the sound isn’t the same throughout with all the different players and that is big miss.  But, there are a lot of great songs and seeing Soto go heavy and get a little more aggressive with his vocals is never a bad thing. In fact, it is welcomed.  For all of these reasons, My Overall Score is a 3.0 out of 5.0 Stars as it is still a good release, just not one of his best efforts.



  1. Panther – ‘Panther’ (1986) – recorded in 1984
  2. Yngwie Malmsteen’s Rising Force – ‘Rising Force’ (1984)
  3. Yngwie Malmsteen’s Rising Force – ‘Marching Out’ (1985)
  4. Kuni – ‘Lookin’ For Action’ (1988)
  5. Kryst the Conqueror – ‘Deliver Us From Evil’ (1989) / ‘Soldiers of Light: The Complete Recordings (2019)
  6. Eyes – ‘Eyes’ (1990)
  7. Eyes – “Nobody Said It Was Easy” (1990) – 7″ Single – Bonus Edition
  8. Talisman – ‘Talisman’ (1990)
  9. Talisman – “I’ll Be Waiting” (1990) – 7″ Single – Bonus Edition
  10. Skrapp Mettle – ‘Sensitive’ (1991)
  11. Axel Rudi Pell – ‘Eternal Prisoner’ (1992)
  12. Bakteria – ‘Deficate! Suffocate! Mutilate! Masturbate!’ (1992 / 2009)
  13. Eyes – ‘Windows of the Soul’ (1993)
  14. Talisman – ‘Genesis’ (1993)
  15. Axel Rudi Pell – ‘The Ballads’ (1993)
  16. Biker Mice From Mars – ‘Biker Mice From Mars (Soundtrack)’ (1993)
  17. Takara – ‘Eternal Faith’ (1993)
  18. Talisman – ‘5 Out Of 5 (Live in Japan)’ (1994)
  19. Talisman – ‘Humanimal’ (1994)
  20. Axel Rudi Pell – ‘Between the Walls’ (1994)
  21. Gary Schutt – ‘Sentimetal’ (1994)
  22. Jeff Scott Soto – ‘Love Parade’ (1994)
  23. Axel Rudi Pell – ‘Made in Germany (Live)’ (1995)
  24. Takara – ‘Taste of Heaven’ (1995)
  25. Talisman – ‘Life’ (1995)
  26. Axel Rudi Pell – ‘Black Moon Pyramid’ (1996)
  27. Human Clay – ‘Human Clay’ (1996)
  28. Talisman – ‘Best of’ (1996)
  29. Axel Rudi Pell – ‘Magic’ (1997)
  30. Human Clay – ‘U4IA’ (1997)
  31. Boogie Knights – ‘Welcome to the Jungle Boogie’ (1997)
  32. Takara – ‘Blind in Paradise’ (1998)
  33. Talisman – ‘Truth’ (1998)
  34. ‘Rock Star: Music from the Motion Picture (Soundtrack)’ – Various Artists (2001)
  35. Humanimal – ‘Humanimal’ (2002)
  36. Humanimal – Find My Way Home: Limited Edition E.P. (2002)
  37. Jeff Scott Soto – ‘Holding On E.P.’ (2002)
  38. Jeff Scott Soto – ‘Prism’ (2002)
  39. Talisman – ‘Live at Sweden Rock Festival’ (2002)
  40. Jeff Scott Soto – ‘JSS Live at the Gods 2002’ (2003)
  41. Talisman – ‘Cats & Dogs’ (2003)
  42. Jeff Scott Soto – ‘Believe in Me E.P.’ (2004
  43. Jeff Scott Soto – ‘Lost in the Translation’ (2004)
  44. Jeff Scott Soto – ‘Live at the Queen Convention 2003’ (2004)
  45. Soul SirkUS – ‘World Play’ (2004/2005)
  46. Talisman – ‘Five Men Live’ (2005)
  47. Talisman – ‘World’s Best Kept Secret DVD (2005)
  48. Jeff Scott Soto – ‘Essential Ballads’ (2006)
  49. Journey – ‘Live from Atlanta (Bootleg)’ (2006)
  50. Talisman – ‘7’ (2006)
  51. Talisman – The Albums Ranked Worst to First
  52. Jeff Scott Soto – ‘B-Sides’ (2006)
  53. Redlist – ‘Ignorance’ (2007)
  54. Jeff Scott Soto – LA Rocks Demo / Vinnie Vincent Demo 1988 (2008)
  55. Jeff Scott Soto – ‘Beautiful Mess’ (2009)
  56. Jeff Scott Soto – “21st Century” / “Gin & Tonic Sky” CD Single (2009) – Bonus Edition
  57. Jeff Scott Soto – ‘One Night in Madrid’ (2009)
  58. Trans-Siberian Orchestra – ‘Night Castle’ (2009)
  59. W.E.T. – ‘W.E.T.’ (2009)
  60. Jeff Scott Soto – ‘Live at Firefest 2008’ (2010)
  61. Jeff Scott Soto – ‘Damage Control’ (2012)
  62. W.E.T. – ‘Rise Up’ (2013)
  63. W.E.T. – ‘One Live in Stockholm’ (2014)
  64. Jeff Scott Soto – The Authorized Biography (2014)
  65. SOTO – ‘Inside the Vertigo’ (2015)
  66. Joel Hoekstra’s 13 – Dying to Live (2015)
  67. SOTO – ‘Divak’ (2016)
  68. Sons of Apollo – ‘Psychotic Symphony’ (2017)
  69. Jeff Scott Soto – ‘Retribution’ (2017)
  70. W.E.T. – ‘Earthrage’ (2018)
  71. SOTO – ‘Origami’ (2019)
  72. Sons of Apollo – ‘Live With the Plovdiv Psychotic Symphony’ (2019)
  73. Jeff Scott Soto – ‘Wide Awake (In My Dreamland)’ (2020)
  74. Jeff Scott Soto – ‘Live and Loud in Milan 2019’ (2020)
  75. Sons of Apollo – ‘MMXX’ (2020)
  76. SOTO – ‘Revision’ (2020)
  77. Talisman – “Never Say Die (A Song For Marcel)” – 7″ Single (2020)
  78. W.E.T. – ‘Retransmission’ (2021)
  79. Jeff Scott Soto – ‘The Duets Collection, Vol. 1’ (2021)
  80. Jeff Scott Soto – ‘Complicated’ (2022)
  81. Ellefson/Soto – ‘Vacation in the Underground’ (2022)
  82. Jeff Scott Soto / Jason Bieler – Live In Concert (2022) – Bonus Edition

18 thoughts on “SOTO – ‘Inside the Veritgo’ (2015) – Album Review (The Jeff Scott Soto Series)

  1. Well with Soto cranking out album after album I guess some inconsistencies will creep up. Know I read thats he’s doing a side hustle with Micheal Anthony. More Soto albums to come dude lol…this will never end for u

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think that is the problem we are running in to now. Writing lyrics for so many songs, not all are going to be good. And yes, this series will never properly end although the original end is in site unless another comes out in the next 3 months.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Hey Rn’R people…In case anyone’s interested, back at it today, doing radio show from here in NY.   Bubba Guitar will be “Spanning Time” again on MakerParkRadio.NYC from 12 ’til at least 4:00. A nice Monday Rn’R afternoon to help start your week off right. Feel free to say hello in the website chat room, msg a request, whatever your heart desires. Take care, see ya soon…

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I’ll have to give this one a spin. It does seem odd that they’d be so inconsistent, but on the other hand it’s nice to hear him do something heavier, and heavy in a way that suits his style.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Don’t have this one. I only have Divak.

    Got Retribution and Wide Awake in my Dreamland today since they were on sale. Your campaign is working!

    Liked by 1 person

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