ALBUM REVIEW: Soen – Imperial

Analyzing the evolutive process of an artist of a band tends to be a journey full of debacles and details that are indeed interesting. Taking into consideration the personal issues that every artist deals with while writing an album is a very impactful and important aspect of how the final product comes out and one thing is for certain, COVID-19 and all that we lived through 2020 will be a heavy influence in all the albums that we listen to this year. Soen’s Imperial (Silver Lining Music) is no exception. An album as captivating as their last effort Lotus (Silver Lining Music), the Swedish band is expanding what could already be considered their signature sound: strong, beautiful, and catchy ballads that mix heavy sections here and there. Maybe, as mentioned, it is because of all the different situations that everyone went through last year that made the band go through a route that is perceived as sentimental but, more than anything, it feels real.

Going back to the first album Cognitive (Spinfarm Records) and comparing it to this one, it sounds like a different band, with the ever-growing vocal dexterity of Joel Ekelöf and the definitive Latin American roots that drummer Martin López brings to the table. I believe those are the strongest suits that Soen brings with their music. In tracks like ‘Lumerian’, ‘Monarch’, and ‘Dissident’ we can hear the typical heavy side of the band that we are accustomed to, especially when taking into consideration what López brings in the drums: thundering, well though rhythmic patterns that will have you headbanging with no doubt. At the same time, tracks like ‘Illusion’ and ‘Fortune’ bring a more cathartic, slow side of the band which blends beautifully altogether through the album. My favorite track is ‘Modesty’, which brings one of, if not the best, vocal performances by Ekelöf in any of the band’s tracks within their catalog.

So, if you’re a fan of the band, you will not be disappointed, and it seems like the band found their signature sound with the last few efforts and will keep capitalizing on it. If this is your first impression of Soen, it might work for your if you’re into the more slow-paced, melodic side of Progressive Metal, but I also encourage you to go back into their catalog and check their other albums as well. Soen has been and will stay as one of the most solid bands out there.

Order Imperial here:​

7 / 10