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Soen - Lykaia review


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Band: Soen
Album: Lykaia
Release date: February 2017

01. Sectarian
02. Orison
03. Lucidity
04. Opal
05. Jinn
06. Sister
07. Stray
08. Paragon
09. God's Acre [bonus]
10. Vitriol [iTunes bonus]

Alternative is a style that attracts a large number of rock musicians, but on the long list of active bands in this field, a lot of them do not have any evidence of their musical claims. Nevertheless, there have always been groups in this style that draw attention to themselves by providing different ("alternative") sounds. Undoubtedly, names such as Amon Amarth, Death, and Sadus (all of whom have donated members at one point or another) are enough to give metalheads the motivation to listen to the music of Soen at least once, and UDR Music, which has a long history of releasing heavy metal and thrash albums, took a risk on this one.

For me, listening to the music of Soen is also a pleasure because I simply enjoy listening to the music of Soen, without separating the famous members from the band to raise a flag; I found that UDR had not committed a mistake, but had bet on the winning horse. In fact, if you are a metalhead and don't listen to Soen at least once, it's like you're working in a bakery and haven't even tasted the bread!

Soen, who went for a long time before releasing the first of their now three beautiful albums, have made a name for themselves by placing importance on lesser-known topics in the alternative genre. When I saw the cover of the album, it initially reminded me of the Swans album The Seer, and at first I thought I'd be listening to a derivative work, but after that, the title and contents of the album told me the band's true path. It's not a distortion, but a good copy for the album. Lykaia, which is named after a location significant to the mythological stories of ancient Greece, is a whimsical one in today's world of inspiration. I actually think that the choice of this theme for this time period can be challenging and ironic. In the story associated with Mount Lykaion, it is said that in the evening at a ceremony on the mountain, one who eats human flesh will turn into a wolf for nine years before returning to his human body…

But beyond the story that makes up the main narrative of the album, Lykaia's voyage begins with a very strong text; its lyrics tell of a man's man and the struggle to save him from various factions, illustrated by the penetrating and beautiful vocals of Joel Ekelöf. The high-powered guitar riffs that blend with the Eastern scales streamline all the instruments in Lykaia, but the bass lines and solos that give the album a great deal of weight should not be overlooked. Undoubtedly, however, the leads and rhythm of the guitars play an essential role in order to create a more religious atmosphere than even the violin, which has not been used by many artists in this genre save in rare sporadic instances because it is believed to be a departure from the heart of this music. It's almost as though we're going to leave and revisit Rainbow's "Stargazer" and the sound of Ritchie Blackmore's guitars.

The percussion of Martin Lopez beautifully fills all the blank spaces in the foreground, but this album cannot exist only in divided segments, and the more you listen, the more the other layers of sound and space appear. The slabs that go on to add to the album's progressive musical compositions and combine with Joel Ekelöf's celestial vocals and keyboard solos recall the highlights of such great bands as Opeth, Alter Bridge, and Cold.

This album is happy and wretched, like a wolf who enjoys his nature but has no choice…

Rating breakdown
Performance: 9
Songwriting: 9
Originality: 8
Production: 9

Written by R.Baldur | 06.07.2017


Guest review disclaimer:
This is a guest review, which means it does not necessarily represent the point of view of the MS Staff.

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