Soil, Panic Cell - A Night of Rocking Metal
A few years ago I saw Soil opening Rock am Ring in Germany and was pleasantly surprised by their fine and effective mix of rock and metal, at the time fronted by Ryan McCombs, now in Drowning Pool. I wondered how his replacement, AJ Calvier, would handle the burden to equalise or supersede his performance, so at 28th of January I went to Tivoli in Utrecht to check it out.
First up was Lennon but I missed her performance so the first band that I saw was Panic Cell and I really wondered why they supported Soil for an entire tour. They did put up a decent show, but it was like I was watching a Soil rip-off. Kerry King once said that he is a total fan of Demiricous, but he would never let those guys play as an opening act because it would be like seeing two Slayers at one night. I had exactly this feeling when I was watching Panic Cell; their rocking metal was very much in the vein of Soil with a frontman having a good voice which was somewhere between clean singing and screaming: the raw approach. Although the band comes from England the music had undoubtedly a southern sound and feel, referring to Pantera. We saw a few nice solos but it always staid far from spectacular, especially when you expect that in an hour you would see Soil do this trick a million times better.
And a million times better Soil was! From the first moment all my worries about the new singer were taken away. After a short Metallica intro, Soil burst loose with ‘Breaking Me Down’ with a fantastic sound and power which deserved a big applause. And a big applause and active participation was what they got from the enthusiastic, mainly young audience. Some melodic vocal melodies from especially the older material were sung by guitar player Adam Zadel, the combination of his vocals with those of Calvier sounded really awesome and natural. Don’t think that Zadel participated in the singing because Calvier couldn’t handle some vocals, cause man this guy can sing! He also worked the crowd very well, with funny things like letting a young girl trying to grunt. Point of critique could be that there’s little progression in Soil’s material, so that for people who weren’t familiar with their records the songs started to sound the same. But what the hell, they gave a brilliant, convincing show and I bet everyone had a real good time seeing these guys rocking their socks off.