Soen
Lotus


4.0
excellent

Review

by Dewinged CONTRIBUTOR (49 Reviews)
February 19th, 2019 | 72 replies


Release Date: 2019 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Nothing to add, nothing to rest. This is Soen at its finest.

Soen is a band that have been operating under the stigma of their palpable influences for a good while now. Opeth, Tool and Katatonia are three names that have lured over the band's legacy for a total of three releases since the project took form for the first time with an album called Cognition. Both this debut and its follow-up, Tellurian, were produced by David Bottrill, also known as the man behind the controls for bands like Tool or Fair to Midland, which clearly stated what kind of sound the band was aiming for since the very beginning.

On Lotus, their fourth and latest release, the band from Stockholm shows no intentions of straying away from this path. Bringing Katatonia's The Great Cold Distance's producer, David Castillo, to the mixing board is a strong statement, a decision that proves that instead of trying to shake off those influences they are willing to embrace them and make the most out of them.

Soen's musicianship is unquestionable, as they demonstrate a few minutes into Lotus. Every instrument sounds in place, and songs like "Opponent", "Martyrs" or "Covenant" illustrate how Soen is committed to their formula. Martin Lopez works his drum-kit with the same dexterity than in his days in Opeth, while Stefan Stenberg's bass links every beat with the outstanding guitar work of new axe-man Cody Ford, who replaced Marcus Jidell last year, few months after the release of the highly acclaimed Lykaia.

The addition of Lars Åhlund on keyboards in that same album instead of a second guitarist also helped to broaden Soen's sound back in 2017, and it's a vein that has been explored further in Lotus, with an emphasis on keypads filling up the background and a considerable increase of quiet parts where the piano serves as the sole company for Joel Ekelöf's vocals. And talking about Ekelöf, he might be the best example of how the band has evolved throughout the years. Comparisons with certain wine-maker from SoCal are not valid anymore in Soen's latest release. The singer has expanded his arsenal considerably, with some impressive moments in the final section of "Martyrs" or in the chorus of "Covenant", as well as crafting memorable vocal melodies for songs of a more laid-back nature like "River" or "Lotus", where he becomes the focal point.

Soen's fourth full-length almost hit the hour mark as per usual. Opening with "Opponent", the Swedes quickly discharge the riff material that they are well known for, following with "Lascivious", one of the highlights of the album along with "Martyrs". The balance between calm and tempestuous passages is rarely disturbed, except for a second half where a song like "River" brings down the pace, pulling the reins before unleashing the final surge with a strong track like "Rival" and the longest cut of the album, a foreclosing elegy titled "Lunacy".

In conclusion, with Lotus, Soen delivers a solid follow-up to 2017's Lykaia, reaffirming their sound and ensuring that their fan base gets exactly what is expected of them: a carefully polished slab of progressive rock and metal that wears their influences high and proud instead of rejecting them to become something they are not. Those that have walked side by side with the band through the years will do good in joining them on this new episode and those that have not, well, it’s never too late.



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Comments:Add a Comment 
Dewinged
Contributing Reviewer
February 19th 2019


14973 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Shitty review but 100+ ratings and no write-up was embarrassing. Honestly this was a 3.5 before starting to write and as I wrote and jammed turned to a 4. I did what i could Sput.



See the band turn to ladies in "Martyrs" official video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sh92nGMaEVg



And YouTube will show you the rest.

Digging: Elizabeth Colour Wheel - Nocebo

Hawks
February 19th 2019


68301 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

Pos. Band rulez. m/

Digging: Popiol - Zabobony

Dewinged
Contributing Reviewer
February 19th 2019


14973 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Well that was a deep critique, thanks Hawks m/

Hawks
February 19th 2019


68301 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

Hey no problem buddy. m/

Morpha
February 19th 2019


30 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5

Boring opeth tribute band

Hawks
February 19th 2019


68301 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

Ur a moron.

Dewinged
Contributing Reviewer
February 19th 2019


14973 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Of all the 100 people rating this 3.5+ and I get the 1.5 Opeth copycat argument..



smh

Hawks
February 19th 2019


68301 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

Big monster tard that guy is yeah.

Dewinged
Contributing Reviewer
February 19th 2019


14973 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

"Can't say I ain't Opeth"

TheNotrap
February 19th 2019


9828 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

Nice and accurate review.



I totally agree with your thoughts about the singer, excellent performance.

Digging: Venom Prison - Samsara

MarsKid
Contributing Reviewer
February 19th 2019


8849 Comments


Not too bad of a review my man. Gives a pretty good overview of what exactly this holds. Don't think I've given these guys much of a glance since their debut, dunno if I'd be sold on this.

Digging: Ni - Pantophobie

SitarHero
Contributing Reviewer
February 19th 2019


8160 Comments


Oh shit! Martin Lopez is in this band! Gonna check. Sweet review as always dude!

Morpha
February 19th 2019


30 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5

Oh I'm sorry I should praise a band that's making the same crap opeth/katatonia made 25 years ago you even mention them in your review as if this is somehow at all different when its not

Dewinged
Contributing Reviewer
February 19th 2019


14973 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I do mention their influences, which they have admitted in several interviews ad nauseatum, and I also mentioned how they are aware and proud of them. Not only they are amazing musicians, they have also evolved their sound and worked their ass for it. Saying they are an Opeth tribute band is just shallow as fuck man.

AmbushReality
February 19th 2019


55 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I actually hadn't heard of this band until this was on the trending albums list last week, but I'm enjoying the record. Good review too.

Dewinged
Contributing Reviewer
February 19th 2019


14973 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Thanks man, check their previous two albums at least if u feel like it, they are pretty close to this.

Papa Universe
February 19th 2019


20033 Comments


soen - loPOS

that attached single was okay, like if Ghost went even more pop, might give this a shot.

Digging: Pedigree - New Freak

bloc
February 19th 2019


54682 Comments


Thought this was super solid

Digging: Way Out West - Intensify

snakesc
February 19th 2019


3 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Penance is a highlight

Source
February 19th 2019


9261 Comments


"Comparisons with certain wine-maker from SoCal are not valid anymore in Soen's latest release."


hahaha speaking in code are we



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