CD review SOEN ‘Imperial’

Super group and super project are rather inflationary used adjectives for the collaboration of various well-known musicians. Such a cooperation started at the beginning of the new millennium and was officially launched under the name of Soen in 2010.

Former Opeth drummer Martin Lopez started Soen together with Steve Di Giorgio, Joel Ekelöf and Kim Platbarzdis. After a few line-up changes, only Lopez and Ekelöf are still on board from the original line-up, nowadays supported by Lars Åhlund, Cody Ford and Oleksii ‘Zlatoyar’ Kobel.

Soen presented their debut album ‘Cognitive’ in 2012 and almost 10 years later ‘Imperial’ is already their fifth longplayer hitting the record stores.

Like almost every band, Soen has and had to suffer from COVID. Canceled live shows were a frustrating experience but also created space for new music.
Instead of complaining about restrictions for a long time, the band started to write new music. Eight of these songs have now found a place on ‘Imperial’, Soen’s most mature album to date.

The band went to work with a lot of focus and the result is definitely something to be proud of. Imperial’ is when power meets poetry, which is perfectly reflected in songs like the vigorous ‘Dissident’. Strong parts are alternating with soulful moments, all with an emotional depth that makes the listener be amazed. With all the musical finesse, ‘Imperial’ also has a sense for good songs with superb melodic arches.

Besides ‘Dissident’ the longplayer contains seven more songs which all act on the same high level. There is the elegenate ‘Deceiver’ which gently flows like a river of melodies. Illusion’ shows the calmer side of Soen and is a song to dream along with. This is music at its best which also applies to the next song ‘Antagonist’. Much heavier than ‘Illusion’ the track blasts out of the speakers and develops its whole dynamic over a six minute playing time.

Soen have certainly used the concert-free time very well. The band managed to create with ‘ Imperial ‘ another highlight. If you like very well crafted music, a fine musical setting with emotions of frustration, reflection and hope, you are in good hands with Soen’s new longplayer. Highly recommended.

Rating: 9 out of 10.

Tracklist:

  1. Lumerian
  2. Deceiver
  3. Monarch 
  4. Illusion
  5. Antagonist
  6. Modesty
  7. Dissident
  8. Fortune

Label: Silver Lining Music

Genre: Prog Metal

Release Date EU: January 29th, 2021

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