Soen - Tellurian review



Reviewer:
9.0

254 users:
8.28
Band: Soen
Album: Tellurian
Release date: November 2014


01. Komenco
02. Tabula Rasa
03. Kuraman
04. The Words
05. Pluton
06. Koniskas
07. Ennui
08. Void
09. The Other's Fall


It's a shame what Tool have become; a band no longer able to fulfil a promise. Taking up the reigns are Soen, who are certain to fulfil their own promises when Cognitive comes to Tellurian.

The creative thought processes in mind for the debut have here been excelled and expounded upon, as the appliance of Tool is no longer a preoccupation but an inspirational predilection. The song writing has progressed from a tightly homogenous track-list in Cognitive with a structural basis determined by an overtly technical rhythm section, to a much more organic sound in Tellurian. The album title is perfectly suiting, as the adjective form of the word "tellurian" essentially means "of the earth," and thus "organic." Genius.

The songs are naturally given so much more room to breathe it no longer need concern the listener that the Tool influence could possibly continue to induce any claustrophobia, as the design of each and every track here exhibits an expansion and maturation of Soen's own style to the point of their own stylistic distinction. Intricately crafted, this album is a crowning achievement befitting the high status of the band members. Despite the departure of DiGiorgio, the new and able beast at the bass is Stefan Stenberg, who quite capably demonstrates throughout the record that he'd rather keep to wearing his own shoes than filling those of his predecessor. In fact, the bass performance is more in tow with Kim Platbarzdis at the guitars, and with the rhythm section at large, and not nearly as prominent as DiGiorgio's presence was on the début record, which allows for a more balanced band performance. This line-up change is certainly of no detriment.

If what Soen sold in Cognitive were so comparable to a plateful of tasty Toolisms, Tellurian is more of a delicatessen with plentiful variety in stock. The band's attention to track variation has received a new focus, and elaboration on progressive structure in tracks such as the gradual melodic development of "Pluton" results in a sound situated more comfortably in progressive metal, as opposed to the rather more succinct demonstration of an alternative metal found mix in the début. The two latter tracks of the album, "Void" and "The Other's Fall," represent the band's most ambitious and expansively progressive efforts to date, each clocking in at over eight minutes and taking Soen's song writing to new proportion. There is a tendency for these tracks to lose their hold on the listener, in comparison to those defined by their technical attentiveness, shorter duration and less repetition, yet it's safe to say that these more ambitiously lengthy songs, the softer segments of the seven-and-a-half minute "Pluton" included, are a welcome and broadening change to the band's song writing.

Technical aspects remain a defining characteristic of the Soen sound, with tracks such as "Koniskas" opening with as much delicacy and careful placement as the finest of porcelain, or the precisely crushing and indomitable core of "Kuraman." Instrumentally speaking, the drums, guitars and bass all participate their own aspects to this well represented flair for the precision of a rhythm section that is one of the most formidable in the progressive metal genre today. The level of contrast available is really what's most impressive here, ranging from the heavily technical locus and thorough melodic flurries of the frequently bass flicked "Ennui," to the emotive meaning clearly conveyed in "The Words," a remarkable vocal centrepiece. Such emotion is all presented album wide in the clean vocal arrangements of Joel Ekelöf, who's delivery here has evidently matured at the same pace as the band's music as a whole, with an evocative performance which brings fresh aspects to Soen's voice. Arguably as the band's heart and centre, it would be remiss to overlook what is yet again an inconceivable performance from ex-Opeth drummer Martin Lopez. Frankly, the back-end of the aforementioned "Koniskas" is nothing short of expert as he quite clearly struts his stuff in a deft kit led passage to the track's finale.

With an excellently refined sound and ample mixing and mastering to allow for the audible clarity of each instrument within a cohesive end product, the band's fresh ideas find suitable placement in an album that secures their status, a status now more of their own design.


Rating breakdown
Performance: 10
Songwriting: 9
Originality: 7
Production: 9


 



Written on 01.11.2014 by R'Vannith enjoys music, he's hoping you do too.


Comments

Comments: 17   Visited by: 493 users
01.11.2014 - 06:49
RaVeN
After a first listen, i'd say i like cognitive better than this one.. but maybe it'll grow on me eventually.
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01.11.2014 - 10:14
Candlemass
Defaeco
The vocals are killing it for me...I'll try and give it a few more spins
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01.11.2014 - 12:02
Sword_Chant
Lol at the album cover.
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01.11.2014 - 12:31
BloodTears
ANA-thema
Oh, yes. I think I'm gonna love this I'll probably listen to it very, very soon.
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Written by BloodTears on 19.08.2011 at 18:29

Like you could kiss my ass.


My Instagram
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01.11.2014 - 13:41
Diverge
Strong words. I'll have to give it a shot, because it sounds like they are addressing my primary criticisms of Cognitive.
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01.11.2014 - 14:09
JayMo4
I liked Cognitive, but of course it was a little too close to Tool for me to praise it too much. I'm pleased to hear they've branched out some on this one and found more of their own sound. I'll definitely be giving it a listen.
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01.11.2014 - 16:18
tea[m]ster
Au Pays Natal
Ewww a rare "9" R' ! I liked their debut. So I can't wait to listen to this. Btw, have you checked out that entire Eden Circus release? I really, really like it ; It's AOTY material - and it's in the same vein as this. I was wondering which one you thought was better. Thanks for the review.
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rekt
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01.11.2014 - 20:17
Apothecary
PsyCHEdelic
Is Steve DiGiorgio present here? I think I may be obligated to check this out on that basis alone
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"A little boy went out to play. When he opened his door, he saw the world. As he passed through the doorway, he caused a reflection. Evil was born. Evil was born and followed the boy."
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01.11.2014 - 20:47
Risto
Wandering Midget
Written by Apothecary on 01.11.2014 at 20:17

Is Steve DiGiorgio present here? I think I may be obligated to check this out on that basis alone

No, he is not. He was with them on the debut album though.
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01.11.2014 - 22:00
Apothecary
PsyCHEdelic
Written by Risto on 01.11.2014 at 20:47

No, he is not. He was with them on the debut album though.

Well still, I haven't even heard the debut, so I think I'll give that a peek and then decide from that if this one's worth a try
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"A little boy went out to play. When he opened his door, he saw the world. As he passed through the doorway, he caused a reflection. Evil was born. Evil was born and followed the boy."
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01.11.2014 - 22:20
Hallford9000
Also liked the debut, based on the review this deserves a try it seems. Besides, I read Myrthago Wood and came upon the word R'Vannith, where it is explained that it means "roman". Is that how you got your name?
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01.11.2014 - 22:26
.:Nataras:.
.:Saratan:.
Soen = Fake Tool, not more not less.
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.:Saratan:.
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02.11.2014 - 01:53
R'Vannith
ghedengi
Written by tea[m]ster on 01.11.2014 at 16:18

Ewww a rare "9" R' ! I liked their debut. So I can't wait to listen to this. Btw, have you checked out that entire Eden Circus release? I really, really like it ; It's AOTY material - and it's in the same vein as this. I was wondering which one you thought was better. Thanks for the review.


I haven't checked the whole album out yet, but from the track you showed me there are some similarities when it comes to the Tool inspirations. It's still in my list of things I need to check, which seems to be getting unmanageably long these days, with all the great music coming out! Tellurian is easily one of the best records I've heard this year.
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02.11.2014 - 01:56
R'Vannith
ghedengi
Written by Hallford9000 on 01.11.2014 at 22:20

Also liked the debut, based on the review this deserves a try it seems. Besides, I read Myrthago Wood and came upon the word R'Vannith, where it is explained that it means "roman". Is that how you got your name?


Actually I got it from a Skyclad song, it's the title of a track from their album "A Burnt Offering For The Bone Idol."
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02.11.2014 - 21:33
Maco
Handbanana
Nice album cover.
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I'm derp.
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13.12.2014 - 05:11
Susan
Smeghead
What a beautiful, beautiful album. At times it lacked metal just a bit but that did not diminish its beauty at all.

"tellurian" essentially means "of the earth," and thus "organic." Genius.

Too true.
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"A life all mine
Is what I choose
At the end of my days"
--The Gathering "A Life All Mine" from Souvenirs
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28.12.2014 - 04:35
Olives
Bashing Tool seemed tasteless to me, other than that good review, great album,
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