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Experimental/Post Metal • Multi-National

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Soen biography
Founded in Stockholm, Sweden in 2004 - Active since 2010

SOEN are a multi-national group, formed initially by Martin LOPEZ (drums, ex-OPETH, AMON AMARTH) and Kim PLATBARZDIS (guitars) in 2004 but did not see the light of day until 2010 when Joel EKELÖF (vocals, ex-WILLOWTREE) and Steve DIGIORGIO (SADUS, TESTAMENT, ex-DEATH, ICED EARTH) joined. The debut album ''Cognitive'' was released via Spinefarm records in February 2012, mixed by David Bottrill (TOOL, COHEED AND CAMBRIA, MUSE etc.) and mastered by João Carvalho, showing distinct similarities to TOOL. The sophomore album ''Tellurian'' came in November 2014 again via Spinefarm Records, while Stefan EFENBERG has taken the bassist position. ''Tellurian'' shows a wider range of influences, experimentation and develops significantly on the alternative rock/metal style of the debut with notable influences from OPETH. The band embark on a European tour in 2015.

In February 2017, SOEN release their third album, ''Lykaia'' which sees the band returning to a more alternative metal vibe and somewhat mixing the sound of the two first releases. A European tour is planned for March and April 2017.

Biography by aapatsos

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Lykaia RevisitedLykaia Revisited
Silver Lining Music 2018
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Silver Lining Music 2019
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Spinefarm 2014
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Silver Lining Music 2017
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Spinefarm 2012
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Cognitive By Soen (2012-02-13)Cognitive By Soen (2012-02-13)
Spinefarm Records
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SOEN discography

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

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

3.88 | 72 ratings
3.69 | 70 ratings
3.71 | 131 ratings
3.83 | 114 ratings

SOEN Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

SOEN Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

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SOEN Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

SOEN Reviews

Showing last 10 reviews only
 Lotus by SOEN album cover Studio Album, 2019
3.83 | 114 ratings

Soen Experimental/Post Metal

Review by Namya

5 stars I had listened to Soen long ago, and I, sadly, thought it was too much of a Tool copy to be interesting to me. I love Tool, but one band doing that is enough for me. I read somewhere that Martin Lopez was tired and angry of the comparison and of the fact that people didn't listen to the music by itself. I am totally guilty of this, but I am also always looking for original stuff, be it in terms of sound, composition, mixing of styles, etc. I am a tireless devourer of surprises.

But I have another side. Sometimes you find a record that although not profoundly innovative, is so good and well done that it turns to be the pinnacle of a certain style. For me, this is one of those. And what a record! (I must say that strictly speaking, a record that belongs in this category is always innovative, it just isn't in an avant-garde way)

I came by Lotus as a Spotify personalized recommendation and gave it a spin. You never know: some of my recent favorite records have been discovered this way.

I. Was. Floored.

As I said before, this is not anything new in terms of any of the categories I mentioned before. But it is so well made it just gets immediately to the top of my records encyclopedia. So much so, that even though I read prog archives reviews fairly regularly in search for new records, I had never written a prog archives review before - but given the divided ones I've seen so far about Lotus, I felt I had to contribute more light to this quiet masterpiece. It's the kind of record that can get by you without you knowing about it and that would be a pity.

I'd describe Lotus as the best mix of grunge, classic keyboards, pop and metal I've ever heard. It is all perfectly synthesized together. The production is dark but clear - a difficult image to illustrate. It is really well done and mixed, it all seems one chunk but with great clarity. Like a painting by Rothko, where although every color is similar, they are all distinct from each other and with so many great textures!

Onto the different elements:

The thing that most hooked me at first was the killer vocal melodies. This is one of my weak spots: it must be my picky nature, but I find great vocalists who sing memorable melodies are far and apart. If I ever stumble upon one, pfff, it's like hitting a direct pocket of pure pleasure. And I love my melodies emotional and catchy. In this sense I get a similar feeling, for example, to when I first heard Anathema's Untouchable Part 1 and 2. The music is different, darker, but the vocal melodies are as emotional and soaring. It is proper Pop-Metal, a precious thing indeed for us lovers of both styles.

As an apart: the only other recent example of a voice that has recently moved me (and, mind you, it is a very different style) is Spencer Sotelo's vocals in Reptile off of Periphery's "Hail Stan". I used to dislike Periphery for Sotelo, but now I am a convert. That record is FAF!

Back to Lotus:

The drumming is awesome too: tasteful but creative. This is my favourite kind of drumming, restrained and swingy. You can see it is his personal project. The Danny Carey influences are there, but mostly he does a minimalistic approach that contributes as well as Ringo Starr did to The Beatles.

The bass is foundational in every song and it really sounds great, coming from tool but different. I LOVE the sound! Can I have more please? And the low frequencies in general are just boomingly good. Very good presence of the bass. (Although it must be said that in lesser sound systems it does sound too boomy).

The guitars manage to be more textural than flashy which is such a difficult thing in metal. I guess the temptation is always to try and be the centerpiece. But in general, this tires me. In this case it is a complement to the whole, with great felt solos to boot. Another record I love a lot and has these kind of mix for guitars is Emarosa by Emarosa. And it's a great reference if you want to check that out too.

Last but not least there is the keyboards, which really seem to make the best bed on which the rest of the instruments rest. The atmosphere's are incredible and subtle. Really, I cannot give it higher praise than it reminding me of Pink Floyd. It's like what Opeth does in the later records, only, for me, in a better musical context (Up until now I haven't been able to love Opeth. Until now at least). They keys really feel complimentary in a retro prog kind of way.

In terms of the lyrics, I find them good inspirational and heartfelt. As everything else in the record: rock-solid and actually quite trascendental.

So, if you can't tell by all of the above I find the record superlative: It's a home-run!

Listen to it on good speakers at high volume. You deserve it!

Always a pleasure to find records like this, proper pieces of art and not scattered songs that can't make a whole. The experience is total and totally recommendable. If you like Riverside (Eye of the Soundscape has a different sound, but the same kind of classic song really well constructed), Pink Floyd, Anathema, grunge and even maybe Tool you have to give it a try. But really, Soen has become a thing of it's own. I guess they do deserve to be called innovative.

Song to sample the album: Covenant.

 Lotus by SOEN album cover Studio Album, 2019
3.83 | 114 ratings

Soen Experimental/Post Metal

Review by The Jester

4 stars Review # 106

After the release of the very good Lykaia (2017), SOEN returned with an even better album. I added the album in my collection almost a month ago and I keep listening to it on a rather often basis. Yes, I will agree with all those who are stating that SOEN sound like a mix of Tool and Riverside on many occasions, but that's not the case. Every band in our days is influenced by other bands, and that is something not very easy to hide.

The feeling I get when I listen to Lotus is that this time SOEN tried to move away from their usual Tool-like sound, and create something new and more personal. Have they succeeded? Well, not exactly. Still, their influences are present and obvious, but the band seems to be heading into a new musical direction. And that is something good in my opinion.

The album includes lots of powerful moments, and a few melodic ones, like for example the wonderful title song. Every fan of this style of music will definitely find some songs to like in Lotus, but speaking for myself, the songs I like the most so far are: Lunacy, Covenant, Martyrs and of course Lotus.

I am not going to get into details for each song separately, because my opinion doesn't really matter, since each person has its own point of view. But I strongly recommend to listen to this album, but not only once. Give it some time and be sure that it will grow on you. For me, Lotus is one of the best releases of 2019 so far. Totally recommended! My Rating: 4.0 Stars

 Cognitive by SOEN album cover Studio Album, 2012
3.88 | 72 ratings

Soen Experimental/Post Metal

Review by sgtpepper

3 stars Soen is built up by experience and mature musicians with a plethora of influences ranging from Opeth, Tool, Death to Willowtree. Throughout their Soen career, they mellowed down, cut down on ambitions and became more melodic - way to gain more commercial success.

This first album captures Soen at their most ambitious but also less original stage - as Tool clones. Almost all instruments and vocal imitate Tool - to a high degree. Anyways, there is good musicianship behind the tracks, nice ideas, high quality instrumentation and enough dynamism to keep it going - unlike Soen's later efforts. On the other hand, you can hear subtle Opeth influence that will grow more significant on other releases - the music is not dark and does not bear so many contrasts as Opeth's music.

This is an interesting debut album and could be seen as some kind of hommage to Tool but the lads manage to come up with their own ideas albeit rooted in Tool's sound. Not a major album of the year, but still pretty good. 3,5 stars

 Lotus by SOEN album cover Studio Album, 2019
3.83 | 114 ratings

Soen Experimental/Post Metal

Review by TCat
Collaborator Eclectic Team

3 stars Soen is a Experimental/Post Metal band from Stockholm, Sweden that was formed in 2004 by Martin Lopez (Opeth) on drums and Kim Plazbarzdis on guitars. It wasn't until 2010 before the band was completely formed with Joel Ekolof on vocals and Steve DiGiorgio (Testament, Iced Earth). In 2012, they released their first album.

"Lotus" is the band's 4th album released in February of 2019. Their current line-up still consists of founder Martin Lopez and vocalist Joel Ekolof, but now also has Stefan Stenberg on bass, Lars Ahland on keyboards and Cody Ford on guitars.

The first track "Opponent" is a straightforward heavy metal rocker. Joel's vocals sound just like Mikael Akerfeldt from Opeth. The track is obviously there to attract the type of fan that likes their Progressive Metal more watered down. "Lacivious" is a bit more interesting with a slightly softer feel, and a touch more progressive, but still with a simpler-than-Opeth sound. That sound continues with "Martyrs", the music is good, but still has a more commercial edge to it than on previous albums. The lyrics and message of the song is great, but otherwise, it's a typical heavy ballad.

"Lotus" is reminiscent of Anathema or Riverside, but in a more commercial way. It's a nice melodic metal ballad, but nothing we haven't heard before. There is a beautiful guitar solo on the instrumental break. The rest of the album continues in this same vein, the band has left behind the post metal sound of before and is moved to sounding like another heavy band trying to sound more complex than they really are as they strive for a commercial sound.

The music is decent enough, with some nice guitar solos and a few ballads, but it has all been done before, so nothing really stands out here. They seem to be trying to find that middle ground between Opeth (the good side) and Nickleback (the bad side), so any comments regarding that they sound like Tool are moot now, and they seem to lean more towards the Nickleback sound than Opeth. Anyway, it's still worth 3 stars, but I feel like it wears out it's welcome much too quickly. Not much progressive here.

 Lotus by SOEN album cover Studio Album, 2019
3.83 | 114 ratings

Soen Experimental/Post Metal

Review by Mind_Drive

5 stars Soen just keeps delivering!!

On their fourth studio album the band continues with their signature sound and refining it, consolidating their unique "Soen-style" of songwriting and sound even more.

Before we begin, just let me address something right away:

Yes, their sound is still often compared to Tool or Opeth (and I won't argue with that). This is because they infact do incorporate certain (really cool) features, that those bands seemingly came up with. And I am glad they do! But it doesn't stop there, they take the best of those worlds and build upon it their own music.

It's not like how every second progmetal band literally sounds like Dream Theater. It's a more accessible and way more pleasant take (honestly, who listens to those Tool-songs that consist of mostly noise - besides maybe once on lsd in the hope to get enlightened?) on the post-metal genre with an overall very thoughtful but positive vibe while still being heavy enough to satisfy most metal-heads.

As in their former releases, the band acts as a perfect unity. No fancy soli to show off their skill, no overly complex part as if they somehow desperately needed to earn the label "prog". Simply very solid songwriting with plenty of awesome moments to relish.

The contrast between the hard riffs and the emotional vocals, the epic walls of sound, they are able to conjure, opposed by the mellow parts.. every second is just a pleasure to listen to and everything feels right. Granted, it might not satisfy those who listen with their intellect and want their music to resemble some kind of high degree in complexity-songwriting.

This music is for them feels!! And oh boy, does it feel amazing! When the brutally rolling guitar riffs, backed by the amazing drumming from Martin Lopez are finally joined by the melodic and warm voice of Joel Ekelöf, you feel like humanity is not lost after all and you can achieve literally anything you want! This music is empowering and reassuring - music I really can draw strength from.

Soen's music has evolved into a very unique and brutally pleasant sound which strikes the perfect balance between hard and soft, complex and catchy. The precision of the musicians and the production level of this album are outstanding as well and make this even more enjoyable in high definition with a good sound system. Also: there is not a single weak song on the album. In each you'll find something that makes you want to turn the volume even louder or come back to on a third, fourth and 100th listen!

Another great album by Soen, which deserves no less than 5 stars in my book for there are only very few bands that resonate on such a deep level with me <3

Thanks again Soen, see you in Munich!

 Lykaia by SOEN album cover Studio Album, 2017
3.71 | 131 ratings

Soen Experimental/Post Metal

Review by BrufordFreak
Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

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.

 Lykaia by SOEN album cover Studio Album, 2017
3.71 | 131 ratings

Soen Experimental/Post Metal

Review by Chalcobalt

3 stars This predominantly Swedish set of experienced musicians here deliver suggestive prog metal mainly oozing of Tool while including a sleeve of Opeth amongst the influences. The ingredients are a pounding bass and equally chugging guitars, setting up for a strong and powerful album. The three first songs are the most clearcut, with the memorable chorus of 'Secretarian' making it as close to a prog hit as it gets on this record. 'Orison' contains some immense riff sections, while the mellow and slow paced 'Lucidity' is actually a rather epic ballad with a gripping tone. The remaining songs are less interesting composition-wise but yet maintaining a consistent musical standard. The record sometimes moves towards the border to alternative rock, a direction which the heartfelt vocals contributes to set.
 Lykaia by SOEN album cover Studio Album, 2017
3.71 | 131 ratings

Soen Experimental/Post Metal

Review by The Jester

3 stars Review #47. For those who aren't familiar with the name of Soen, I should tell you that is a band with experienced and very gifted musicians, that all of them participated in other famous bands before gathering up and form Soen. So, here you can find ex-members from Opeth, Amon Amarth, Iced Earth, Testament etc. Their discography consists of 3 studio albums, with Lykaia, being their brand new one. Since I found out very recently about them, I am not familiar with their previous works, so I cannot get into any comparisons. When I listen to some "new" Prog Metal bands, every time I found myself thinking how big influence was the music and the style of Tool, and Soen is not an exception. Their style - to my ears at least - sounds like a mix of Tool with Riverside. The truth is that Lykaia is a good album, but it simply feels like a lot of their ideas are redundant. The guitar playing, for example, is top notch, but on the other hand, we have many Prog Metal bands that can play equally well. But there are some "magical" moments that the bands "shines" and there you realize how good musicians these guys are. The album is a very good one, with nice compositions, great guitar solos, powerful riffs, clean vocals, but no new ideas unfortunately. In many cases, I found myself wondering, "Where do I know this from"? The main problem that this band is facing is the bitter reality that great musicianship does not equal great songwriting, and although they might have some very solid ideas to develop, they don't really have the ability to capture the listener for an extended period. But despite all those things, Lykaia is a good album. The fans of Prog-Metal will definitely enjoy it, not to mention the fans of Progressive Rock and Heavy Metal. I think I will give 3.0 stars.
 Lykaia by SOEN album cover Studio Album, 2017
3.71 | 131 ratings

Soen Experimental/Post Metal

Review by Mind_Drive

5 stars Soen did it again! I couldn't have hoped for a more epic release. Since their second output "Tellurian" struck me (btw it still hasn't worn out!!), they have been one of my top 5 favourite bands. I revisited "Cognitive" and it was amazing, so I had high expectations for this one. Long story short: they managed to awe me again! I might even say that this is their best album until now, if only by a little.

It's hard to describe why, because Soen seems to me not the kind of band you name lots of outstanding tracks. It's more the big picture of the album as a whole plus the typical "Soen-feeling" you get when listening to them on every singe track! The wall of sound and the overall unique atmosphere they create is like a brutally honest but soothing ocean you wanna bathe in. It just feels like home to me. Yes it feels that magical. And yes I'm a total fanboy and not objectively at all here. But even when I let my feelings aside Lycaia is a solid 4 Stars for me in terms of musicianship, songwriting and production.

Considering how much joy this album has given me and surely will for a long time into the future, it's nothing less than a masterpiece in my ears (and heart <3 ). 5 stars!!

 Tellurian by SOEN album cover Studio Album, 2014
3.69 | 70 ratings

Soen Experimental/Post Metal

Review by Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer

3 stars I can't figure out why this album isn't resonating with me. Certainly bands like TOOL, OPETH, RIVERSIDE and KATATONIA come to mind when playing this album and they are all bands I enjoy but this just isn't clicking with me for some reason. SOEN is a Swedish band and this is their second studio album. They have a new bassist and drummer for this one and it is significant that ex-OPETH drummer Martin Lopez is the drummer this time around. The cover art is different and I can't say i'm a fan of it but with two vegetarians in the band it is kind of humerous with this rino sitting down to eat all these mini humans.

"Komenco" is a short intro to "Tabula Rasa" and we get this tribal drumming with guitar expressions to start before it all turns fuller as it blends into track two. I like when the vocals stop each time and I can focus on the instrumental work. A calm before 4 minutes which lasts to the end and it includes reserved vocals. "Kuraman" is fairly uptempo to start but it settles back when the vocals arrive well before a minute. It kicks back in and I really like the heaviness half-way through this song. I love the tone of the guitar to start the next track called "The Words". Laid back vocals join in and we get strings as well 2 1/2 minutes in and later after 5 1/2 minutes. Sad and beautiful sections.

"Pluton" opens reminding me of OPETH because of the drumming not so surprisingly. It does settle back though when the vocals arrive. The guitar grinds it out over top. A calm follows and themes are repeated in this one. "Koniskas" is my favourite. Relaxed vocals and guitar early on then the drums and chunky bass are added. I'm reminded of RIVERSIDE here. Love the instrumental section from 3 1/2 minutes to almost 4 minutes when the vocals return with some passion. Nice. "Ennui" has a great intro but it settles back quickly and vocals join in. Some emotion in those vocals after 4 minutes. Love the heavy ending as well. "Void" is another mid-paced tune with plenty of vocals. I really like the bass 4 1/2 minutes in and the mellow section after 6 minutes. "The Others Fall" is a pretty cool track especially the bass/ drum sections. Although check out the guitar/ drum passage 2 1/2 minutes in.

I wish there were some experimental sections and more heavier passages but also that the vocals were more adventerous and emotional like the way Maynard James Keenan sings.

Thanks to aapatsos for the artist addition. and to E&O Team for the last updates

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