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Soen w/ Oceans of Slumber - Gramercy Theatre

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    Posted: December 01 2022 at 02:31
Last evening I partook of a special treat - or rather treats - at Midtown's intimate Gramercy Theatre. The formidable prog metal supergroup Soen was finally returning to American shores, joined by a stripped down version of the chronically underrated Oceans of Slumber as opener. OoS appeared as but a trio - Ronnie Allen singing, Keegan Kelly on bass, and otherwise drummer Dobber Beverly switching to keys. The result was a dramatic and brilliant reformatting of their set to a quiet, beautiful performance that underlined Allen's soulful vocal power. Their set ended with a powerful cover of Bjork's classic "All Is Full of Love".

Soen came out to earth-shattering applause and almost immediately tore into an energetic set that heightened their already formidable power, energy, and artistry to manic, olympian heights. Early in the set singer Joel Ekelof exhorted to us in the audience: "We play progressive metal, we play music for the mind... but that doesn't mean we can't jump! Jump with us!" and that quote defines Soen's performance, a band ever in tune with the crowd. The band showed remarkable technicality and force as they meticulously worked through both their heavy and tender sides. These tendencies were only heightened as they moved into their last half-dozen cuts, with my favorite of the night being their rendition of "Antagonist", with us in the pit fired up with Ekelof's cries of "Fire up your guns!".
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