Soen - Lykaia

Soen Lykaia cover
UDR Music
“Lykaia” is the new and third studio album by Soen, which marks a rather significant change for the band. Guitarist & producer Kim Platbarzdis is no longer with the band and he was replaced by guitarist (and producer too) Marcus Jidell (The Doomsday Kingdom, Avatarium, ex-Royal Hunt). Marcus is a great guitarist, producer & songwriter, so Soen have made a great choice in general. Let’s hope he sticks around with the guys and stay for many years.
Apart from the guitarist change, “Lykaia” also marks a change on the band’s sound. That “Tool” influence is not as evident as before as Soen are following a more atmospheric music path nowadays and I’m glad they do so, cuz this “sound” fits them better. Certainly, the modern prog metal/rock influences are still apparent, but they have been embellished with lots of atmospheric passages on the whole. The opener “Sectarian” is an excessive example of modern melodic prog music with atmospheric touches. “Lucidity” & “Paragon” are two wonderful atmospheric rock tracks that remind of Pink Floyd, Anathema, Alan Parsons Project and so on, only to impress us again with the middle-eastern part at the end of “Jinn”. I could easily go on a track by track analysis, but I think it’s pointless; sometimes it’s way better to listen to the music itself than read any kind of track analysis.
The album was recorded at Ghost Ward, StudioGrondal and Deep Well in Stockholm, Sweden, produced by Marcus Jidell (The Doomsday Kingdom, Avatarium, ex-Royal Hunt) and mixed by Stefan Boman. The sound is warm, full and atmospheric. Generally, the line-up changes work a bit weirdly for the bands. In this case Soen seem to have been benefited by that change in several parts. It’s obvious that the band has adopted a more personal sound with each new album and that’s what progressiveness is all about. Opeth wish they could play like this, but they have lost their “inspiration” years now. Let’s hope that the band will follow that atmospheric path they have taken with “Lykaia”, cuz the final result is quite impressive. I’d dare to say that “Lykaia” is the band’s best release so far and one of the top atmospheric rock/metal albums for 2017…