Soen, are due to release their second album Tellurian, on November 4 through Spinefarm Records. The Swedish, progressive rock band consists of drummer Martin Lopez (ex-Opeth, Amon Amarth), vocalist Joel Ekelöf, guitarist Joakim Platbarzdis and bassist Stefan Stenberg. Their debut album ‘Cognitive’ was released in 2012.
Tellurian is a thoughtful album, driven with raw and subtle changes in emphasis throughout tracks so you never know what to expect as your listening adventure unfolds. The album opens with ‘Komenco’, a short track of just over 30 seconds, with a hypnotic drum beat and accompanying bass which then flows into the start of second track ‘Tabula Rasa’. This track has a steady and chant-like unfolding with stellar guitar and drumming. The earnest vocal tone builds as the tempo becomes more subtly emotive.
‘Kuraman’ begins with an energetic and upbeat sound and features a heavy, drum beat throughout. The tempo then starts to slow down before a softer guitar melody kicks in. The vocals are beautifully eerie.
Next, and one of my stand out tracks on the album, is ‘The Words’. The track opens with an intricate melody that pulsates and dances around your head. The soaring, trickling quality to Joel Ekeloff’s voice connects beautifully with the moody instrumental on the track. This track has a soft feel to it as it sweeps over you.
Tellurian offers up next ‘Pluton’, a meaty, rock track with a catchy, mounting guitar melody. Soen continue the theme of having stark emphasis changes on this track as it shifts into soft, dramatic and then a very soft tempo and vocals. ‘Ennui’ features some harmonising with impressive guitar riffs and is one of the rockier tracks to bang your head to on the album.
Another stand out album track is ‘Void’, which features a catchy, melodic coupling of drums, bass and rocky guitar riffs as subtle tempo changes segue into a thoughtful and emotional sojourn in tone.
The album closes with ‘The Other’s Fall’ which showcases Martin Lopez’s impressive tribal drumming sounds which pull you in and hold on till the end.
Tellurian has a different sound and feel to Cognitive, which has had comparisons drawn between the band’s sound and Tool. With their debut album Soen focused on softer rhythms and melodies such as the track ‘Savia’ and with more harmonising on vocals with ‘Fraccions’.
Tellurian is a fresh sounding and adventurous album that brings together band members displaying their individual craft to its fullest as seemingly disparate entities yet managing to blend together in a union that is symbiotic as well as creative. With Tellurian Soen have created a compelling album that, when examined by the listener, will reveal all of its beautiful intricacies.