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Soen - Lykaia CD (album) cover




Experimental/Post Metal

3.70 | 118 ratings

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3 stars A multi-national band based in Sweden, this is SOEN's third album of LEPROUS/KARNIVOOL/VOTUM-like progressive metal music. Excellent sound production makes this album a joy to listen to--as do the variations in styles, yet there is something missing to bring this up to a level with the aforementioned masters of atmospheric prog metal.

01. "Sectarian" (5:55) vocals and heavy metal music sound very much like countrymates LEPROUS. A little too straightforward and monotonous. (7.5/10)

02. "Orison" (7:07) the sound here is very much like TOOL and then KARNIVOOL with the chorus. Nice lead guitar work--both the djenty riffing and the delicate picking. (8.5/10)

03. "Lucidity" (6:36) a kind of PINK FLOYD/AUTUMN CHORUS spacey folk mix, this is definitely a highlight for me. (9/10)

04. "Opal" (6:46) opens JUST LIKE the first song! The little multi-guitar riffs beneath the singing are rather annoying. The music and musicianship in the chorus sections are so simple. Despite the interesting guitar soloing in the fifth minute and the CY CURNIN-like singing over empty space in the sixth, this is nothing to write home about. (7.5/10)

05. "Jinn" (5:41) a nice change in the mix with the delicate sung voice more forward from the start. The music builds beneath and that works well. Nice chorus section, too. Lots of nice, interesting changes over the course of this song, including a few Middle Eastern flavors. A top three song from me. (9/10)

06. "Sister" (5:30) interesting for the heavy guitar parts contrasted with the use of a breathy, delicate singing voice-- at least until the "Sister" choruses. It works. (8.5/10)

07. "Stray" (5:38) nice sounds, structures, speed, excellent guitar work and great vocal. i love the delicate interlude in the second half of the fourth minute. Another top three for me. (9/10)

08. "Paragon" (6:25) slow, spacious, yet heavy, almost bluesy, with a soft, delicate voice used again for delivery of the lyrics. Organ solo before distorted guitar chords usher in the chorus and screaming GILMOUR-esque lead guitar solo. Perhaps a little too Floydian (until the end). (8/10)

09. "Gods Acre" (8:10) another slower paced, more spacious song that sounds very much like Australia's top notch TOOL-inspired band, KARNIVOOL, only not as nuanced or sophisticated. The song plays out more like a very straightforward, four-chord stoner-rock song. Their usual break-down, soft section at the two-thirds mark is getting a little too predictable and, thus, old. (8.5/10)

Though singer Joel Ekel'f has a top notch voice--with excellent clarity, diversity, and control--his deliveries of the lyrics are a little too straightforward. I'd like to see more quirks and ticks to help me take notice, otherwise he's just a white bread version of Ian Kenny or Einar Solberg. As a matter of fact, it feels as if all of these fine musicians are playing it a little too conservatively most of the time. I hope that in the future they will break out and add some fire and idiosyncracy to their recorded songs.

Three stars; a solid if straightforward collection of atmospheric metal.

BrufordFreak | 3/5 |


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