Published By: Thrash Hits – September 17th 2009
When SOiL burst onto the world metal scene in 2001, their huge single ‘Halo’ become something of an anthem that pretty much every metal head on the planet knows word for word. Since then, things have become pretty stagnant for the Illinois four-piece, with albums flopping, vocalist Ryan McCombs leaving to join Drowning Pool, and the recruitment of his replacement, AJ Cavalier.
Is Picture Perfect the album that will pick SOiL’s pace up again? Opening track ‘Tear’ grinds with intense guitars from the word go, with the grit and growl of Cavalier’s voice suits the gruff lyrics perfectly. ‘Lesser Man’ is an obvious choice for this album’s heavy hitter, its a catchy chorus and strong lyrics sure to earn it plenty of airtime. Despite this, the album’s first single, ‘Like It Is’ is yet another stonking song with a runaway guitar solo and plenty of “motherfucker”s from Cavalier.
Unfortunately the second half of the album lacks the determination that the first dishes out by the truckload. ‘Picture Perfect’ and ‘Surrounded’ are about as soppy as SOiL can realistically get away with, while the biggest disappointment on this album is ‘Anymore’. Just a bit too soft and sweet for SOiL, it lacks any and all intensity.
The band pull it back to end strong though – the devilish sound of ‘Temptation’ fits perfectly with the lyrics, with Tom Schofield’s drums nailing the mood of this song about temptation and signing away your soul to the devil. Closing track, ‘Last Wish’, at first seems unusual choice for closing the album but the final guitar solo ends the album on a high note.
Picture Perfect is definitely stronger for the first half of the album, but lacks some of the rawer aspects that separate SOiL from many of their peers. If you’ve been waiting for something more than mediocre from SOiL after so many disappointments, then Picture Perfect will satisfy you for now.