There are some 'side projects' that turn into full-fledged efforts. SOiL was one of them. Formed in '97 by members of the Death Metal bands Oppressor (guitarist Adam Zadel, bassist Tim King and drummer Tom Schofield) and Broken Hope (guitarist Shaun Glass), plus vocalist Ryan McCombs, the group's first two EPs ("Soil" and "El Chupacabra") and their full-length debut ("Throttle Junkies") failed to attract much attention.
That changed with the song "Halo." The track, which would later become the centerpiece of the group's major label debut, sparked a bidding war. The winner was J Records, run by music industry legend Clive Davis, who once headed the Columbia and Arista imprints and built his reputation signing Pink Floyd and Bruce Springsteen. On top of that, SOiL was the only Rock act on the label and would be given full attention.
"Scars" dropped in '01. The videos for "Halo" and "Unreal" garnered MTV play and Metal Edge magazine presented SOiL with their 2001 Readers' Choice Award for "Next Big Thing."
Following '04's "re.de.fine," the group's sophomore set for J Records, and extensive touring, McCombs left to "spend more time with his family. His replacement was A. J. Cavalier. Interestingly, McCombs became the frontman for Drowning Pool and recorded two studio albums and a live set with them.
Whether it was due to McCombs departure or other factors, SOiL experienced a steep decline. Though '06 album, "True Self," released on the indie label DRT, peaked at #21 on the U.S. Indie Chart, it failed to get traction elsewhere. Shortly after a two month worldwide tour to promote the album, Glass left over "musical differences" and to focus on his own band Dirge Within.
"Picture Perfect," on yet another indie imprint, Bieler Bros. Records, ginned up little interest. To top it off, Cavalier and Schofield announced their departure from the band with vocalist Jordan Lee and drummer Mike Tignino being added for already scheduled live performances.
With the 10th anniversary of "Scars" looming, McCombs ditched Drowning Pool to return as SOiL's frontman for an '11 U.K. tour built around the album. Former Staind drummer Jon Wysocki was also onboard. SOiL then toured the U.S.
SOiL's first DVD entitled "Re-LIVE-ing The Scars" was released in '12. The DVD/CD was recorded in London, during the sold out UK tour.
"Whole," with the singles "Shine On" and "The Hate Song," was the group's sixth album and their first with McCombs since '04.
A little over a year later though, McCombs was hospitalized after suffering a stroke. He only went to the hospital after his girlfriend insisted.
1999 Throttle Junkies
2006 True Self
2009 Picture Perfect
1998 El Chupacabra!
2003 Pride EP