REVIEW: Soen – Lotus


The Swedish progressive metal act SOEN entered the metal scene with their 2012 release Cognitive. The supergroup is now ready to present their fourth album Lotus to the world.

In Lotus Soen are embracing both the melancholy of progressive metal, but also the aggression. Lotus shows us the skill these musicians have in songwriting, sound-wise nothing has changed much since Cognitive (2012), Tellurian (2014), and Lykaia (2017), the opening track could have easily come from one of the earlier albums. Lotus offers a lot of familiar elements that we so love about Soen, but there are also a lot of fresh and new elements noticeable.

Take a song like “Martyrs” it has the familiar riffs that Soen has been delighting progressive metal fans with since their inception, the often atmospheric keyboard and hammond sections are often beautifully placed and lift the songs to their full potential.

Lotus exists out of great riffs, atmospheric soundscapes, sublime vocals, quiet melodies that make you shiver. All-in-all the album is crafted masterfully. The juxtaposition of these melancholic softer passages and the hard-hitting riffs are a definite hit, for instance in “Lunacy”, and “Penance”. The latter being my personal highlight of the album.

By far the vocal delivery of singer Joel Ekelöf is one of the best parts of the album. His voice is much more versatile, sometimes even reminding of Muse. There’s just something about his timbre that really adds up to the sound of the music, and makes Lotus an emotional, and introspective journey.

Lotus is many things. It’s heavy, it’s melodic, it’s dark, it’s light, it’s filled with contrasts that are put together as if they belong with one another. All-in-all the album is an outstanding record that is yet another hit. We all know that Soen delivers, and this again is proof that the band reaches new highs every time they release something. The band describes Lotus as “intoxicating, addictive aural therapies, questioning much of today’s darkness while juxtaposing them with moments of great escape and hope,” I can’t come up with a more accurate description of what it feels like to listen to this album. But one thing I’m sure of, this album is going to score high on the end of the year lists!

1. Opponent
2. Lascivious
3. Martyrs
4. Lotus
5. Covenant
6. Penance
7. River
8. Rival
9. Lunacy