Soen – Lotus
The progressive Swedish rockers Soen’s new album is the first with their Canadian born guitarist Cody Ford. But without taking any glory from either him, Joel Ekelöf, Lars Åhlund, Stefan Stenberg or Martin Lopez I reckon that the producer David Castillo is very responsible for the outcome of “Lotus”. The parallells with some of Katatonia’s more legendary albums (“The Great Cold Distance”, “Night Is The New Day”, “Dead End Kings”) that were made under captain Castillo’s command, are obvious. And that is not a bad thing.
Personally I am not a fan of progressive metal since it too often focuses on the technique and quite seldom on the song and emotions. David Castillo has the ability to bring out just that out of the brilliant musicians in Soen. Just when I get tired of a riff, a rytm or a harmony…it changes. And it changes again. Advanced arrangements to carry out rather basic (but not bad) melodies. So instead of becoming classic over-pretentious progressive metal, is turns out quite entertaining, with a couple of tracks that has that little extra. And one of them giving me the goose-bumps that comes more and more seldom – listen to “Martyrs” and wait for it. You know when you hear it.
However, Soen doesn’t grab me to the bone. They never get down to the real feelings, they reflects on them. That is a big difference to me. So where for example Katatonia’s “My Twin” almost got me suicidal and euphoric at the same time, goose-bumps are as long Soen are able to bring me. For better or for worse.
Label: Silver Lining Music
Release: 1 February 2019
No. of tracks: 9
Standout track: Martyrs