SOTO – ‘Origami’ (2019) – Album Review (The Jeff Scott Soto Series)

For those following along on the series, you know by now that SOTO is Jeff Scott Soto’s band that he uses to differentiate his solo stuff from his more heavier sounding metal songs. And this is heavy. This is the band’s third album now in the last 4/5 years and the only difference in the band is at bass. Sadly, bassist David Z (of Z02 & Adrenaline Mob) passed away in a tragic accident. In his stead is none other than Tony Dickinson and he also helped produce the album. We still have Jeff on vocals, obviously, along with BJ on keys and guitars, Edu Cominato on drums along with Jorge Salan on guitars.

The album was released on May 19, 2019 and it doesn’t stray far from the first two albums. It is a heavy rock album, a little at times and a modern, electronic sound also. But…I can’t say they’ve been my favorite projects from Jeff. Yes, I do like the heavier sound and Jeff does a fine job of singing, but the songs haven’t been as melodic as I like, the hooks aren’t as catchy and the choruses are a little lackluster at times. That doesn’t mean the first two albums were bad album, I just haven’t enjoyed them as much. And is this one any different? Well, it might be my favorite of the bunch, but is it a favorite of the Soto collection? We first need to dig deeper and explore these tracks to see how they stack up.

The album kicks off with “Hypermania” and a full on electronica bit before kicking in hard & heavy. Musically the song is really awesome, but I can’t get past the horrible lyrics in the chorus. The rhyming of hypermania with the words insania and no brainia. Totally childish and lame. Take out the lyrics and this is a killer modern metal track. For me, I just skip the whole thing and start the album with the title track.

The title track, “Origami”, explodes with some ear-splitting drum pounding, a vicious riff and then it turns in to a speed metal attack. Jeff’s vocals are aggressive and he attacks the song with a killer’s rage and it is awesome. One of the heaviest tracks on the album and it really grabs hold and slams it home. The guitars are freaking nasty, the solo is cool and Jeff even gives off a scream which he does so well. A real ballbuster of a track and should be the opening track!!

“Belie” is up next and it slows things down a little. No, not a ballad, just a slower tempo. There is a darkness tone to it, it is still heavy. The verses give off a sadness and don’t really connect with the music. The payoff comes with the chorus with layers of harmonies and Jeff does sound great. The cool thing about it is you get a bass break, a drum break and a guitar break in it which is nice to see all areas shine. And the guitar solo is a screamer. One of the best on the album.

More great guitar work opens “World Gone Colder” and the guitar never lets up. It is full of piss and vigor throughout the song. A roller coaster of riffs. The chorus is enjoyable and Jeff really goes all out, but you can’t say enough about the guitars on this one as they are the star. The solo will seal the deal for you.

“Detonate” is the only song to feature the late, great David Z on bass. For that, it is a little special. It starts with a slow build, a whispering Jeff Scott Soto on vocals and then the band comes roaring in and the song gets going. If you listen close, you can hear David just smacking the bass. The song is hard & heavy, and with a title like detonate, you’d expect this song to explode and it doesn’t quite get as explosive as I’d expect and starts to lose me by the end.

Things slow down with “Torn”, a quasi-power ballad. The foot comes off the gas with this one and Jeff gives a very pleasant vocal delivery. Musically, everything is toned down, softer yet full of emotion. The chorus is catchy and Jeff really takes it up a notch. The drum sound on this one is solid, the guitars give a melancholic tone and when Jeff screams “GO”, the guitars lay down a solo that fits perfectly with the song. The guys show they aren’t one-dimensional.

The heavy comes back with “Dance with the Devil” and if you are going to have devil in the title, it better kick ass. There is a whole Sons of Apollo vibe here with even hints of Dio. The riffs are speedy, gritty and brutal, the drum work is powerful and destructive especially the double kick drum whose speed is insane. A rocking track, but also a little forgettable when its over as it doesn’t stick with you.

“Afterglow” is up next and the sound is more like a Soto solo album as it is more melodic, a little funky at times and has a big band swing groove. The chorus is full on harmonies and the song is although has a serious tone, is a lot of fun for me as the groove is really cool. One of my favorite tracks on the album.

“Vanity Lane” takes it back to the heavy and it has a darker tone and more serious feel to it. The chorus is better than the verses and the guitar solo is great, however, I like the song well enough, but it doesn’t stick with you. Not memorable enough.

The final song on the album is a Michael Jackson cover of his song “Give In To Me” which is one of Michael’s more rocking songs and SOTO does it justice. It starts off slow and Jeff goes in to a deeper register and when the chorus explodes, he goes back to that Jeff sound he is so famous for. I love this song already, so I do enjoy it here as it is hard to screw up a Michael Jackson song.

But there is a bonus track so it ain’t over yet. “KMAG” closes things out and what is a KMAG? It is Kiss My Ass Goodbye! It is heavy as hell and the drums are earth shatteringly hard. I like this one a lot and the big payoff is that chorus as anytime you can scream out Kiss My Ass Goodbye it just feels great. A great way to go out on the album.

Track Listing:

  1. Hypermania – Delete
  2. Origami – Keeper
  3. Belie – Keeper
  4. World Gone Colder – Keeper
  5. Detonate – Delete
  6. Torn – Keeper
  7. Dance with the Devil – Keeper (1/2 Point)
  8. Afterglow – Keeper
  9. Vanity Lane – Delete
  10. Give In To Me – Keeper
  11. KMAG (Bonus Track) – Keeper

The Track Score is 7.5 out of 11 Tracks or 68%.  SOTO didn’t impress me much with the first two albums, and the third didn’t do much better.  The songwriting is still subpar as the lyrics at times are cringe worthy and the songs aren’t as memorable as most of Jeff’s work, however, this one held my interest a little more and had more songs that I liked.  If I had to pick a favorite of the three so far, this would be it, but not by much.  My Overall Score is a 3.5 out of 5.0 Stars which is the same as the 2nd album, but since I like this one a little more maybe it should be 3.6, who knows.  I’ll stick with Jeff’s other albums more than I will with SOTO…sorry Jeff.



  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

11 thoughts on “SOTO – ‘Origami’ (2019) – Album Review (The Jeff Scott Soto Series)

    1. I’m not apologizing for the score. More for the fact I tell Jeff I prefer his other work to his SOTO work. It’s not bad stuff, but I don’t think showcases the voice as much (at least for me).


  1. Cringe worthy lyrics lol..C’mon Soto this isn’t the 80’s were into 2019 now. But can Balme him as he has had so many solo/band albums that something has to give. 68% was where a lot of my high school marks were at lol

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s