ELLEFSON-SOTO – Vacation In The Underworld

ELLEFSON-SOTO - Vacation In The Underworld
  • 7.9/10
    ELLEFSON-SOTO - Vacation In The Underworld - 7.9/10


Label: Rat Pak Records
Release date: October 7, 2022

User Review
0/10 (0 votes)

Rock and Metal Forces Combine

Grammy award-winning Metal bassist David Ellefson and Hard Rock vocalist Jeff Scott Soto join forces for their debut album, Vacation In The Underworld on Rat Pak Records.

Band Bio

David Ellefson is no stranger to the Heavy Metal community having played most of his time with Megadeth. David also played in other Heavy Metal bands F5, Killing Machine, and Metal Allegiance. Vocalist Jeff Scott Soto has had a long singing career since the early 1980s. Soto has sung in bands such as Trans-Siberian Orchestra, Sons of Apolo, Journey, Yngwie Malmsteen’s Rising Force, and his own solo career. Guitarist Andy Martongelli started with the Heavy Metal band Arthemis. Andy also has a long career as a solo musician, producer, and songwriter in Hard Rock and Heavy Metal. Drummer Paulo Caridi has played in Hollow Haze, The Bad Guy Experiment, and Cosmic Dead Ringers.

Vacation in the Underworld

When you mix Thrash Metal with Hard Rock, you get 14 songs with a wide range of subgenres mixed together on Vacation in the Underworld. The album starts off with the title track, “Vacation in the Underworld” with a dark opening guitar solo leading up to a heavy groove mixing elements of Power Metal and Heavy Metal. The next song, “Like a Bullet” is an up-tempo song with a powerful groove and anthemic hooks. According to Jeff, “We wanted to write an anthem. It’s time to plant our flag. It’s time to show the world who we are, what we did, and where we’re going next.” Jade Etro from Italian Power Metal band Frozen Crown lends her vocals on “The Day Before Tomorrow,” which also introduces a violin solo adding different textures to the sound of this album. “Rise to Win” is a Prog Metal infused song mixing horns and strings during the solo.

Lyrically, Vacation in the Underworld is a diverse album with empowering and anthemic messages in the songs “Rise to Win” & “Like A Bullet”, a love song with “Out of the Blue”, and social media elites living in a delusional world in “Celebrity Trash.”

The Good

Standout tracks on this album are “Vacation in the Underworld”, “Like a Bullet”, and “The Day Before Tomorrow.” The band sounds tight and on point on throughout the album. Ellefson really displays his chops at the beginning of “Rise to Win.” Andy Martongelli delivers a very strong performance on this album that is well-balanced with the other musicians. Jeff Scott Soto delivers a very strong performance on this album. Paulo’s drumming combined with Ellefson’s bass delivers a solid foundation for each song on this album.

The Not So Good

The Production on Vacation in the Underworld is good with the exception of the title track, the guitars in the chorus at times overpower Soto’s vocals. If there was a song that does not fit an album, it would be the cheesy ballad “Out of the Blue.” This song is a bonus track but should have been left off the album.

Final Thoughts

None of the songs feel too long or get drawn out (the longest song on this album is 4:38). Vacation in the Underworld is a well-versed album mixing over 40 years of influence between Ellefson and Soto as this is an album that will find you discovering new elements the more it is played. This album also has enough catchy hooks that had this reviewer singing a song in his head moments after listening to the album a few times.


  1. Vacation In The Underworld
  2. Like A Bullet
  3. Sharpen The Sword
  4. The Reason
  5. S.T.N.
  6. The Revolution
  7. Celebrity Trash
  8. Live To Die Another Day
  9. The Day Before Tomorrow
  10. Hercules
  11. Rise To Win
  12. Out Of The Blue (bonus track)
  13. Lone Star (bonus track)
  14. Writing On The Wall (bonus track)

Album lineup

Jeff Scott Soto – Vocals
David Ellefson – Bass
Paulo Caridi – Drums
Andy Martongelli – Guitars / Keys


  • Mark Zagotti

    Mark is a reviewer for Metal Express Radio since 2022. He first discovered the power of Hard Rock in 1985 as a teen when he first listened to Twisted Sister's cassette Stay Hungry. In his teen years, Mark was introduced to bands such as Kiss, Metallica, and enjoying the time that Rock and Metal ruled MTV. His first Heavy Metal concert was Clash of the Titans in 1991, where he experienced the site of a SLAYER mosh pit for the first time. Ever since that moment he has been a METAL HEAD for life. Mark's musical tastes have expanded over the years enjoying music from bands ranging from Ghost, Amorphis, Paradise Lost, the Big 4, Behemoth, and just about everything in between.    

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  1. Hey Mark,
    Great review of this release .
    I have this on my ” check out” list and your review helped bump them closer to the top of that list.

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