Label: Silver Lining Music
Genre: Progressive Metal
Release Date EU: September 1st, 2023
Joel Ekelöf – Vocals
Martin Lopez – Drums
Lars Enok Åhlund – Keyboards and Guitar
Cody Ford – Lead Guitar
Oleksii “Zlatoyar” Kobel – Bass
Hollowed (feat. Elisa)
Two years after having launched the successful ‘Imperial’ album, Swedish metal outfit Soen has their new album, ‘Memorial’, ready for shipping. The fact that the band belongs to the productive groups is shown by the fact that it is their sixth studio recording in ten years, not to forget the additional live recording called ‘Atlantis’, which saw the light of day in 2022.
But it is not only the quantity that makes Soen a very much respected band. The quality factors into the picture, and the five-piece band also delivers in this aspect. Rewarded by chart entries, the band got an extra push from founding members Joel Ekelöf and Martin López, being the main characters of a band that works tight and focused. ‘Memorial’ reflects this in good fashion and is the most mature album by the band to date.
‘Sincere’ is the first chapter of the album, and it comes with a rock-solid drive. Sounding modern, the track catches listeners’ attention right away. At the same time, that tune has enough in the toolkit to provide a long-time listening experience, also due to the touching middle section and the well-crafted melody. ‘Unbreakable’ starts with a heavy riff and refers to the willpower one needs to be unbreakable. ‘Violence’ is more of an anthemic song with a strong emotional expression, followed by the roaring ‘Fortress’.
It took a while to explore the beauty of the title track as it isn’t the catchiest one on the album. The progressive focus comes to shine here, and after having listened to the track a few times, it grows. ‘Tragedian’ is a calm and emotional journey with a melancholic vibe. The song is undoubtedly a highlight of the album, especially since it has a moment of reflection and depth. Together with a beautiful melody, ‘Tragedian’ is a great tune that stays in one’s mind for a while.
The closer ‘Vitals’ takes a similar road in the sense of soulful intensity. Not the hard guitars are in focus. It’s more the well-crafted soundscapes that captivate listeners and draw them into the world of Soen’s sound. Equipped with references to Pink Floyd, the song is a well-chosen closer to an album that features a lot of musical savvy and dedication.
Soen added ‘Memorial’ a great album to their discography; a record that will live up to the expectations of fans and might bring the band some new fans too.
First published on Markus Heavy Music Blog
Written by: Markus Wiedenmann
Check out Interview with Joel and Martin here.