Silver Lining Music [Release date 01.02.19]
Swedish based progressive metal band Soen were formed in the mid 00′s, and are an extreme metal supergroup of sorts, with their founder members having a collective CV of Opeth, Testament, Death, Willowtree and Sadus. Their 2012 debut, on Spinefarm, received much acclaim, and February 2019 sees their fourth album. And what a lovely (and heavy) slab of metal it is.
Opener ‘Opponent’ is a polished blast with rhythmic staccato and intricate fills, some nice layering that at times lets the keyboards through, pace changes, and a break for a light twiddle. We’re almost into Math Metal territory here. Lascivious has a similar feel, with a much longer pace change segment in the middle, this time more piano led. The guitars and bass are often crunchy, and the drums get a roll or fill in at every opportunity. The latter part of the song soars a little, giving a more epic feel.
Bar the 8 minute closer, most of the tracks are in the 5-6 minute region and there is at times a King Crimson feel. There’s also a large Tool influence. The album is a metallic skin shedding soul searching journey.
That final track is more exploration than journey, from rushing to drifting and back.
Soen are really in a category of their own, juxtaposing darkness and escape in each almighty breath. My only criticism of this marvellous new album is that some of the tracks aren’t unique enough, but it’s an album you’ll enjoy beginning to end. ****
Review by Joe Geesin
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