All Souls – All Souls

When the word came out last year that Tony Aguilar and Meg Castellanos were finally releasing their début album with their side project, fans rejoiced. The former Totimoshi members haven’t released anything together since 2011’s Avenger. In 2015, they came together with guitarist Erik Trammel of Black Elk and Fatso Jetson’s Tony Tornay on drums to form the heavy All Souls.

The self-titled début begins with ‘Party Night.’ The hook boats a quick tempo that dashes through and immediately engages the listener to want to hear more. ‘Never Know’ pivots a very rhythmical groove that will have listeners playing it on repeat because the catchy melody is something you can’t ignore. Aguilar’s vocals are different but as they’re backed by vocals from Castellanos and Trammell, it colors the album with a symphonic hue that fits the album so well.

‘Money Man’ takes you in this melodic escapade as ‘Silence’ entangles you into this journey with similar melodic riffs and memorable lyrics. The riffs between Aguilar and Trammel are complimentary throughout the album that they intertwine effortlessly.

‘Rename the Room’ has the emotion that balances the album out. There’s a grunge foundation that builds this melodic tranquility to it. Listeners are in for a treat on ‘Sadist/Servant’ which features Tool’s Danny Carey on drums. It starts quietly but builds into this stoner rock that features acoustics with the bawling vocals.

Closer, ‘Time Bomb’ starts off with a syncopated riff that shifts to a danceable melody that is carried from beginning to end. As Aguilar sings “I’m so high off of you,” one can’t help becoming one with the songs. The bridge slows then comes back to deliver a feel-good ending.

All Souls’ delivery is intact and their début is a journey we all need to be on. The daring nine-track album is a heavy rock hypnotic that varies in tempo from track to track but it’s simply a brilliant, pretty damn good record.

8.5/10

CYNTHIA JO