Soen the heavy progressive rock group featuring world-renowned drummer Martin Lopez (formerly of Amon Amarth and Opeth) and the dynamic voice of Joel Ekelöf (Willowtree) – recently released their new full length album, Lykaia, via UDR Music. Lykaia is SOEN‘s most cohesive, powerful and congruent creative quest yet. It is one of my favorite albums of the year and could be in my top ten by the end of 2017.
For those who have followed SOEN‘s career thus far, the new album’s concepts of journey and exploration are not new. 2012’s Cognitive beat a firmly heavy, progressive metal path. 2014’s Tellurian – with its Pink Floyd explorative spirit and Opeth-like forceful power – saw SOEN start to stride freely into their own control and unique visions. Lykaia sees SOEN remain fascinated with the shadows and the darker edges of our world, with a particular focus on the various thoughts and concepts behind religion and ritualistic, belief-based behaviour in society.
If the first two albums were harder, more technical, angular and perhaps cerebral pieces which demanded sharp focus, Lykaia presents a warmer, rounder, flesh and blood on the bones approach that allows listeners a dual entry to the eight tracks presented. The journey is no less dynamic, continuing the underscore of complex melodies with crushing power and no fear of walking proudly into more ambient spaces to explore the temperature. With Lykaia, however, it is clear that SOEN have never felt more congruent or sure of themselves.
Lykaia is available to order now in three formats – digitally, audio CD in digisleeve, and gatefold vinyl.
Here is their new music video for riff-laden Prog Rock track “Opal”