W.E.T. – ‘Earthrage’ (2018) – Album Review (The Jeff Scott Soto Series)

Almost a decade earlier, Serafino Perugino of Frontiers Records, thought a supergroup with Jeff Scott Soto doing Journey type AOR music would be a smart idea. He is notorious for putting all these great musicians together for so-called supergroups and some would say he does it WAY TOO MUCH! And I would agree, except for W.E.T. W.E.T. is a culmination of some great artist including Robert Sall of the band Work of Art (The “W”); Erik Martensson of the band Eclipses (The “E”) and Jeff Scott Soto of the band Talisman (The “T”). All three bands are Swedish bands and all on Frontiers so it made it easy to bring these three guys together. Rounding out the band are Magnus Henriksson and Robban Back both from the band Eclipse as well. What most thought would be a one-off project has now turned in to 3 studio albums and one live album and we couldn’t be happier.

But, will the third time be the charm? Will this be as good or better than the first two or have they outlived their usefulness? The answer to those questions is that this band keeps getting better and better with age. They are like a fine wine and although there is a little cheese in this sound, the album gives us a group of songs that has so many hooks that the US Fish and Wildlife Service has issued a warning about that fact. So, sit back and get ready to get caught up in the music hook, line and sinker. And I am sure all that sounded as bad as it felt writing it. Since I’m only writing bad jokes at this point, lets get to the music.

The album opens with the stellar first single “Watch the Fire” and mine it is something to behold. It opens with an atmospheric keyboard sound, then the guitars and drums come roaring in and then we get Erik’s vocals to kick off the song and Jeff joins in as well. Another fantastic duet between the two and it is shame this is the only song they do it on, but what a song. The melodies, the harmonies, the hook-ridden chorus, the wicked guitar solo, it is melodic rock at its absolute best!! This is one of the best songs they have done on the three albums.

The fire keeps lit with the next track “Burn”. The chorus of keys, more heart pounding drumming and Soto on vocals keep the party moving. Another high energy rocker with another contagious chorus and all things are go. The drumming, so far, by Robban Back is freaking brutal. He is pounding away his anger on here and when the guitar solo kicks in, hold on to your hat as it is quick and lethal. Another stellar track.

If that wasn’t enough, then you get one of my favorite tracks with “Kings of Thunder Road”. It is more crazy harmonies, more destructive drums, more riffs and more Soto as his vocals are really killer here. This is the sweet spot. The chorus sucks you in and won’t let go and you will sing this one for days after as the hooks are immense and will set in and take hold.

Now, what would an AOR be without a ballad. Well, it wouldn’t be true AOR would it. “Elegantly Wasted” is the first ballad, but don’t expect INXS here. no sir. This is sees the keyboards give it a classic and gentle touch. This is a little more upbeat than most ballads, but it works so well. Love is hard and drinking is sometimes necessary to cope is what the song discusses and Jeff brings enough emotion to it to make it work. The song soars through the air as does Jeff’s vocals. Not the best ballad ever, but fits perfectly on the album.s.

Then it is back to the rock with “Urgent”, but this one ain’t Foreigner. This starts off a little darker and then one of the most killer riffs they have ever done. It is freaking fantastic and will grab hold of you with both hands around your throat. There is a guest guitarist with Thomas Larsson from the bands Baltimore and Glenn Hughes and his solo just takes this song to another level as it is mind-blowingly great. Jeff’s vocals seem so effortlessly done and you realize more what a powerhouse he is vocally. Another great track that is up there with their best.

And don’t sit down, as the rocking doesn’t stop with “Dangerous”. You get an 80’s rock sound that could’ve been done by Journey or Bon Jovi or any one of those bands from that era. It is a little cheesy, but grab some wine and enjoy. It has a catchy, hooky chorus and you will find yourself singing along right out of the gate.

“Calling Out Your Name” opens like it is going to be a ballad, but turns up the juices and is another energetic rocker. This one is a little darker as that opening is morose, but before you get too depressed it bangs out the drums and the riffs and Soto’s vocals smooth and soar as they normally do. Another big payoff on the chorus and the boys can do no wrong.

Now, this song does lead us into the next ballad with “Heart is on the Line”. The band brings out the keyboards and go a little acoustic on this one. Soft opening and some emotive vocals by Mr. Soto and when the chorus kicks in you are swept away and lost in his vocals. The band shows their softer side here and another fine performance is delivered. It might not be the strongest of their ballads, but still worth a bunch of listens.

“I Don’t Wanna Play That Game” is up next and I’m swept back to the 80’s again and I’m loving every second. It’s like I’m in my friend’s ’69 Firebird and we have the windows down and the stereo cranking driving down the main drag down in Panama City on Spring Break. It’s catchy chorus and harmonies just scream to be heard. A fun track that brings back the nostalgia.

Then we get “The Burning Pain of Love” and I hope it ain’t crabs…damn that would suck. Nope, It is a song that is little softer and darker in tone with more choruses to singalong with, but compared to the rest of the album it doesn’t hold up as well. It is a good listen, but not a standout track. Might be the only real misstep on the album for me.

The final track is “The Never-Ending Retraceable Dream” and another to wave that 80’s rock flag. More upbeat than the last track and the big payoff is that chorus as the band can right those hooks. Better than the last track, but still only an okay song as the back half fades a little over that bombastic start.

Track Listing:

  1. Watch the Fire – Keeper
  2. Burn – Keeper
  3. Kings of Thunder Road – Keeper
  4. Elegantly Wasted – Keeper
  5. Urgent – Keeper
  6. Dangerous – Keeper
  7. Calling Out Your Name – Keeper
  8. Heart is on the Line – Keeper (1/2 Point)
  9. I Don’t Wanna Play That Game – Keeper
  10. The Burning Pain of Love – Delete 
  11. The Never-Ending Retraceable Dream – Keeper (1/2 Point)

The Track is 9 out of 11 Tracks or 81%.  The album comes out of the gate swinging and might be the strongest opening of the three W.E.T. albums. They give us more of the best melodic rock out there and also transport us to an era of music we loved so much growing up in the 80’s. The back half fades a little, but that doesn’t take away from the overall beauty of this album.  Jeff Scott Soto’s vocals get better with age and they are on fire with this one. Some of his best work. Erik Martensson and Magnus Henriksson’s guitar playing are some of the best as well.  Robert Sal’s keyboards gave the songs the textures they needed, but the drumming by Robban Back were a highlight for me as he pounded away during the rockers and was gentle during the ballads.  All-in-all, this was almost as great as the debut and definitely better than the 2nd album.  My Overall Score is a 4.5 out of 5.0 Stars!  The W.E.T. project is one of my favorites that Jeff has ever done and one of the reasons I’m such a huge fan of his.  Keep these coming guys!!



  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

5 thoughts on “W.E.T. – ‘Earthrage’ (2018) – Album Review (The Jeff Scott Soto Series)

  1. Frontiers man….nothing to say about those guys. Here’s a new release Friday with 500 titles. Guess I did say something lol
    I have read about these guys and this band in Rock Candy. At least with this band they put out two other records to prove a bit of consistency if anything…


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