Album Preview: Soen – Lotus

Soen-Lotus-web

From an early review of Soen’s forthcoming Lotus:

When I say that Soen is pushing progressive metal forward, what I mean is that they take divergent strains and piece them together in a way no one else is capable of. They have the dynamics and chord choices of classic Opeth, and they marry with that the rhythmic bent of djent. But unlike the latter, where everything becomes muted by the chugging technique, Soen’s focus on open notes and chords slips melody into the rhythm, which is such a simple yet devastating trick I’m amazed I can’t recall anyone else who has mastered the art. Soen really is a synthesis.

“Lotus” is a work that stands entirely on its own, but it also works as a companion piece to “Lykaia”. They are cut from the same cloth, but are shaded differently by the spotlight. “Lykaia” is the darker, slightly heavier record, while “Lotus” is the more richly melodic affair. If such a word can be applied to Soen’s sound, this is their ‘optimistic’ record. Though still dark, there is an uplifting spirit to the melodies, which is a balance that only enhances the effect.

“Lotus” is an album even more after my heart. Soen have taken what they have always excelled at, and added in even stronger melody. They took the formula from what I consider one of the best metal albums of the last five to ten years, and made it even better. Fortunately, I have had the time to live with this record long enough to feel it settle within me, so I don’t have to predict how the record will age. As I listened again and again, “Lotus” continued to peel back new petals, revealing the sweet nectar waiting in the center. As good as “Lykaia” is, and as much as I love that record, “Lotus” makes an impact capable of digging deeper into our emotions.

Thoughts?

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