Third offering for Swedish progressive metallers Soen sees maturity grow more with each release. Coming a long way since the debut, Cognitive (2012), forming their own sound steering clear of being tagged as another Tool clone. Sure there are similarities with both Tool and Opeth however, Soen has a lot of originality on display here and eight solid tracks to stand up to that statement.
From opening track Sectarian which comes at full force with the distinct drum stylings of Martin Lopez (Opeth, Amon Amarth) and the heavy hitting riffage of new guitarists Marcus Jidell (Avatarium) and Lars Åhlund, who also takes keyboard duties. Powerhouse vocals are present with the beautiful voice of Joel Ekelöf, and it soars from the get-go.
The bass playing of Stefan Stenberg is a standout throughout, particularly on Orison and the guitar solo is most welcome in all its tranquil glory. Lucidity shows Ekelöf‘s mesmerising vocals, bringing the likes of the late Jeff Buckley to mind at times on this track.
Opal takes things up a notch, and the catchy tune is a highlight, much unlike the Opal transport system. From a progressive jam to a laid back blues inspired jam Soen have it all covered.
Heavy hitter, Sister, comes with full force in the shape of a monstrous riff. Infectious riffs hail down like a barrage of bullets on next track Stray which leads up to album closer, Paragon. This fat bass-driven, slow burner releases a ringing guitar solo that could be heard from Stockholm.
Ending with a bang due to the intense drumming of Lopez one would be a fool not to hit repeat and listen to this record again in its entirety as it will grow on you like an unwanted conjoined twin. The only difference is you want this twin, as we all know it’s a keeper. Rock on Soen! \m/