Band – Soen

Album – Lotus

Country of Origin – Sweden

Genre – Progressive Metal

Release Date – 1 February 2019

Label – Silver Lining Music

Author – Mannerheim

First comes the head bobbing. Then the aggression. Followed by falling in love with it. Soen brings forth their fourth release filling the cosmos with riff heavy melodies of perfection. A lot of bands from the heavier genres eventually try to achieve a high level of sophistication, but very few are successful. On this point it seems that for Soen, it comes as easy as an afterthought.

Often times potential listeners are turned off to an album as soon as they hear the dreaded phrase PROGRESSIVE METAL. Images of 20 minute epics and 8 part concepts come to mind, all of which has been done so many times that it has become formulaic with few stand outs available.  Soen shatters the mold by embracing the less is more mentality. Don’t get me wrong, time signature changes, soaring solos, and emotional “movements” intertwine their way through the songs, all staples of prog metal. However, subtlety is the tool used best on this release. Every nut and bolt is just to serve the song, not the musicians ego or to fill a genre criteria. The standout is drummer Martin Lopez. His tracks are a textbook example of “sometimes simple is more”, and when that emotional ride is over, he slams it into another gear that quickly reminds you that his talent is on the same scale as a Portnoy.  “Simple is more” is a concept that most prog musicians are afraid of, and yet Soen proves that it can be done, it can be sophisticated and tasteful, and it can totally kick ass.

Recommendation – If you are looking for heavy music with a little more grown up sound, with all the aggression and heaviness that you love, then buy this album. If that is not what you are looking for, buy it anyways as you will fall in love.

Rating – 5/5