Lotus is Stockholm, Sweden outfit Soen‘s fourth album. Though I was initially impressed with the overall playing as far as musicianship, skills, etc., I am wondering where the real FIRE is behind this band. They obviously have it, but this particular record only real hints at their full potential. The vocals, for one thing, fall ever-so-slightly short in my opinion. There is some wonderful phrasing, and control is being exhibited for the most part, but he never really lets rip. That being said, there are some good clean vocals here, and thanks goodness no unnecessary growlies!
Not that this is your typical pedestrian prog rock here. Not by a long shot. There are several tracks, including opener Opponent, that feature soaring vocals and huge riffs. There were moments where I was reminded of prog heavyweights Frost* and Riverside. Some dreamy passages as well, and some overtly mellow tunes, but we forge ahead.
Lascivious features some solid bass and muscular drumming. Lotus is a bit of a journeyman tune, in storyteller mode you might say. It is a good title track with a cool heavy instrumental mid-section. Martyrs is also heavier with some gorgeous piano work. Covenant again features some excellent bass work and an FX intro. Penance is mellower again, almost tame compared to the other tracks.
River is a bluesy ballad, and kicks in a bit about a minute and a half in. A nice slow, shredding solo burns its way in about 2-and-a-half minutes in. Rival is a bit heavier, thank goodness, and then we have the big monster, Lunacy. The closing track features another instrumental mid-section and some nice rhythm riffing.
Overall, then, if progressive rock is your thing, then you may just like Soen. Hell, you may love them! I know that I am, personally, intrigued enough to go back and seek out the first three records!
Playing Time: Fifty-four minutes and nine seconds
Stefan Stenberg – Bass
Cody Ford – Guitar
Lars Åhlund – Keys, guitar
Joel Ekelöf – Vocals
Martin Lopez – Drums, percussion