Album Review by Jorge Pozo
Soen, the enigmatic Swedish progressive metal outfit, is back with their sixth studio album, ‘Memorial.’ This latest release not only demonstrates their musical prowess but also showcases their evolving maturity and a willingness to explore new dimensions within their genre.
Right from the opening notes of ‘Memorial,’ it’s evident that Soen has perfected the art of combining power and melody. “Sincere,” the album’s first track, wastes no time plunging listeners into Soen’s world. It’s a tribal rocker driven by explosive drumming and edgy guitars, setting an engaging tone. However, it’s with the second track, “Unbreakable,” that the album truly takes flight. This song’s chorus is nothing short of anthemic, making it one of the standout rock moments of the year. It exemplifies Soen’s signature fusion of technical precision and emotional depth.
As the album unfolds, it becomes clear that while ‘Memorial’ bears some resemblance to the band’s previous works, it’s far from a mere retread. Each song reveals its own secrets and nuances, enriching the listening experience.
The eponymous title track, “Memorial,” takes listeners on a sonic labyrinth. It’s a composition marked by dynamic shifts and haunting melodies. Here, Joel Ekelöf’s vocals shine brightly, delivering an epic and memorable chorus that lingers long after the music has faded.
The emotional peak of the album arrives with “Hollowed,” featuring guest vocals by Elisa. This haunting track elevates the album to ethereal heights, showcasing Soen’s ability to craft atmospheric and emotionally resonant music.
While ‘Memorial’ may not be the most technically intricate album, it compensates with exceptional songwriting. Soen has a remarkable talent for creating hooks that captivate the listener, guiding them through intricate musical landscapes.
This album serves as a testament to Soen’s evolution as a band. It not only highlights their musical maturity and songwriting brilliance but also their capacity to craft a deeply resonant and accessible body of work. ‘Memorial’ firmly establishes Soen as a dominant force in the progressive metal and hard rock scene. It may well be considered their most accomplished and accessible album to date.
With ‘Memorial,’ Soen invites listeners on an emotional journey through intricate compositions, creating an immersive and thought-provoking musical experience.
Released on Sept. 1st on Nuclear Blast
Memorial Track Listing:
Hollowed (feat. Elisa)
Joel Ekelöf – Vocals
Martin Lopez – Drums
Lars Enok Åhlund – Keyboards and Guitar
Cody Ford – Lead Guitar
Oleksii “Zlatoyar” Kobel – Bass