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SOUP

Crossover Prog • Norway


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Soup biography
Norwegian band SOUP was formed as the creative vehicle of composer and keyboard player Erlend Viken in early 2005. Coinciding with him studies that took him to the western part of Norway his numerous song ideas, previously given an outlet in various band projects, now resulted in the creation of a CD. Come On Pioneers was the name, and it was self released in 2006. In 2008 Soup was picked up by indie label How Is Annie Records, who reissued this initial CD. The same label eagerly released the second production courtesy of Soup too, the double album Children of E.L.B. from 2010. Since then Soup has expanded to become a true to life band project, consisting of Erlend Viken (vocals, keyboards, samples), Sverre Leraand (drums), Rune Leraand (bass) and Orjan Lunde (guitars). Not long after they were signed to German label VierSieben Records, who reissued Children of E.L.B. in the summer of 2011.

The latest news from this Norwegian acts is that they are working on a new album, the third to be issued under the Soup moniker and their first as a bonafide band.

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SOUP discography


Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help Progarchives.com to complete the discography and add albums

SOUP top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.67 | 3 ratings
Come On Pioneers
2006
4.07 | 10 ratings
Children Of E.L.B.
2010
3.98 | 14 ratings
The Beauty Of Our Youth
2013

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SOUP Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 The Beauty Of Our Youth by SOUP album cover Studio Album, 2013
3.98 | 14 ratings

BUY
The Beauty Of Our Youth
Soup Crossover Prog

Review by tszirmay
Special Collaborator Crossover Team

4 stars Even though that Andalusian delicacy gazpacho is called a chilled soup, it does not mean that Norway can claim that prog bands Gazpacho and Soup both taste the same. This Soup is somewhat more ardent and fiery and is best served piping hot. The propensity for grandiose and sweeping melodies is such that I am reminded of more of recent Anathema, not the easiest task as lead lung Vince Cavanaugh can bellow and croon with the best of them. But Soup's vocalist Erlend Viken is awe inspiring, daring to enter fellow Norwegian Morten Harket territory (Yes, the Aha guy, but what a voice, phew! That proggy electropop sensation had their two first albums cause quite a sensation). This is my first foray into this mysterious band, a crew that just may elevate itself to the loftiest prog throne, its craft exquisitely honed and sculpted to perfection. The songs start out like a cold dewy morning, waiting for the sunlight to pierce through the clouds and explosively symphonise the arrangement with sweeping crescendos of sheer musical delight, giving the arrangements a nearly operatic sheen. As the title might lead you to believe this is all about nostalgia, of times gone by with shimmering memories left behind as comfortable reminders, certainly a notion I admire and deeply enjoy. Also very romantic music, indeed.

Comparisons to above mentioned Anathema, as well as Muse or even Coldplay are perhaps accurate but truth is that Soup forges its own style, a rare combination of accessible yet romantic, spirit-driven and intense stories. Vocalist Viken also provides massive amounts of piano (always a good sign), solid rhythm section that pulses when needed as both Jan Tore Megard and Thomas Nyborg seem totally inspired, while guitarist Orjan Langnes provides wall of sound textures that serve to heighten the pleasure. This becomes apparent on the enigmatic opener "The Spirit Lodge", an upward spiraling melody, a distinctive cello grooving along classically and providing the impetus for the celestial choir that highlights the song. The apotheosis is reached and then the afterglow kicks in, a very sexually intense demeanor that bodes well for the remaining tracks. "Our Common Ground" is more conventional from the get-go, certainly poppier in spirit, heavier in scope and denser in sound. Bassist Megard carves deep furrows on which massive strings engulf the arrangement, though through all this thunder, the voice travels between tender and explosive, even when the solemn piano sits in the spotlight alone to send this one into the night.

Piano is again the lead for the ballad "This Place is a Dream", strings heightening the vocal panorama, as another wall of sound crescendo comes shining through the clouds. The three-pronged melody is drenched in classicism with plenty of opaque choir work (both synthetic and organic), the glittering piano being the obvious shepherd into the segue piece "Transient Days", full of rumination and souvenir, of a time effectively gone by and relevant only to those who prefer to think and inquire about the future. Powerfully intransigent.

But the next four pieces should really provide the corner stones for this release, being firstly longer pieces (6:41 to 8:13) and thus with more oomph, lasting effect and omnipresence. It will turn out to be a mixed bag, though. First up is "Memoirs of an Imagination", Viken's expressive voice slowly exalting towards some distant star up there in the galactic sky. The Anathema-styled chord progression on the chorus is evident and convincing, while the piano work settles the dust only to elevate the melody once again. All of course bathing in the trembling guitar and keyboard symphonics.

But "Loralynn and the River Lady" has softer child-like tones, haunting and hushed voice adding tons of effect and hue. But halfway through, the piece suddenly plods rather loudly and fails to impress in the more explosive final moments. The explosion is muddy and disorderly, in-distinctive and thus unappealing. I even caught myself cringing slightly (something I only do when someone accidentally mentions my ex-wife) which is not a prog pleasure principle at all.

Thankfully "Clandestine Days" makes up for it in spades, being the most involved track here by far, deeply melancholic and emboldened by a refined melody, unassuming drums and a gloriously high- pitched vocal. This is Soup at its finest, clanging web-like guitar with a morose bass solo and uncomplicated drum escort. Definitely an Anathema feel, complete with the powerful chorus, as Viken howls like a delirious wolf glaring at the moon. This is utterly spectacular, no two ways about it!

The splendid finale "A Life Well Lived" immediately focuses on the profoundly nostalgic lyrics, just grand piano as a foil, and thankfully embedded with a lovely European styled melody. The build-up is deliberate but focused, attention to detail as well as emotional impact being the norm, serenely expanding in vivacity, until the chorus becomes almost unbearably celestial, guitar screaming through the pale. Another winner!

Fans of Anathema, Pineapple Thief and Gazpacho (to a certain extent only) will enjoy this recording.

4 teenage reminiscences

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 The Beauty Of Our Youth by SOUP album cover Studio Album, 2013
3.98 | 14 ratings

BUY
The Beauty Of Our Youth
Soup Crossover Prog

Review by Second Life Syndrome
Prog Reviewer

4 stars The strength of material released in 2013 is continuing to astound me. From established bands to artists that are suddenly coming out of the woodwork, this year will be remembered as an incredible year. Case in point: the new album from Norway's Soup. Attracted as I was to the cover art and general tone of the album, I was excited after I heard "The Beauty of our Youth".

Soup have a certain amount of familiarity about them, but they still have their own sound. They remind me of a mix between Anathema and The Pineapple Thief, but that doesn't quite cover it, either. They feature climactic melodic progression similar to Anathema, but also a grounded rustic quality like that of The Pineapple Thief. Add to that a bit of Muse, a slight indie influence, and a talented violinist, and you will start to get a picture of how this album sounds. Melodious, soaring, upbeat, orchestral, and magical at times, Soup's third album leaves quite an impression both musically and lyrically.

I was immediately taken with the nostalgic ambiance throughout "The Beauty of our Youth". If it weren't already apparent by the title, I think nostalgia was the very point of this work. Youth really is like a dream. I can remember the "good old days", and somehow I forget all the bad times. This album is a tribute to those memories.

Soup has quite a way of incorporating these glorious feelings into their music through ascending melodies and even group singing. This is especially apparent on "Transient Days". Other favorite tracks include "Our Common Ground" with its excellent violin lines, and the wistful "Memoirs of an Imaginary Friend". Every song, however, is strong and provokes emotion, at least for those of us that want to reach out and remember better days. I'm really thankful for this glorious new release from Soup, and I really wish them the best for future endeavors into progressive music.

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 Children Of E.L.B. by SOUP album cover Studio Album, 2010
4.07 | 10 ratings

BUY
Children Of E.L.B.
Soup Crossover Prog

Review by Chris S
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars My review disappeared into the ether on this album. Sadly I cannot fathom why it was there a few weeks back and has now vanished. It is an extraordinary piece of work. The tribute to Richard Wright is one of the highlights with bombastic instrumentals, Floydian vocals and dreamy harmonies. That is just a taste to Children of E.L.B. This Norwegian band is a class act and I would encourage as many people as possible to seek them out. This is a double album so you are guaranteed about 80 minutes of awesome music. A solid four stars and it makes finding their debut release all the more important.

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