SOEN – Lykaia (UDR Music)

Genre – Progressive metal

Sweden’s Progressive metal super group SOEN are now three albums in, and their experimental style sees them continue to explore more sounds in their latest release.

Upon the release, drummer Martin Lopez said: ‘This has never been about genres, it’s always been about the journey we need to take both musically and personally. What we’re working on now is another adventure, another journey that in some ways is quite different again, but also builds upon the experiences we’ve had over the last few years.’

Lopez has got as close to summing up Lykaia as anyone. As you’d expect from a SOEN album, it’s highly intricate and it’s the nuances that make thejr sound so unique.

Starting with the heavy, traditional metal Sectarian, SOEN lure you in with Marcus Judell’s heavy riffs and Joel Ekelof’s raspy, contagious vocals.

The heavy sound is short lived, as the progressive melodic side of the three piece kicks in in Lucidity. With soft electric sounds harmonised by Ekelof’s vocals, this track has a strangely relaxing vibe that stems from the cohesion of the band unit.

Jinn on the other hand is your archetypal dark, moody prog number that sees Jidell’s guitar playing fuse exquisitely with the bass of Stefan Stenburg, to create a warm wall of noise that will truly engulf you.

Too often prog albums go for a blanket approach, with each song almost fading into the next, as musicians show of their craftsmanship. SOEN are a step above this.

Tracks like Sinister and Orison have thunderous metal openings before easing their way into Progressive metal, while Opal sees jolted skull piercing, metal riffs that will make you sit up and take notice.

Lykaia is another step in the right direction for SOEN as they continue to push progressive metal forward, and fans of the genre can not afford to miss it.

RUSHONROCK RATED – 8/10 Progressive metal progressed