IMPERIAL - Album Review
The provocative, imperious and engaging Swedish-based metal group SOEN will unveil their fifth album, 'IMPERIAL', via Silver Lining Music on January 29th 2021.
Founder members Joel Ekelöf (vocals) and Martin Lopez (drums), along with Lars Enok Åhlund (keyboards and guitar), Oleksii “Zlatoyar” Kobel (bass) and Cody Ford (lead guitar) have never shied away from challenging our perceptions of life and humanity, and 'IMPERIAL' continues SOEN’s unique journey through the psyche of our species and the conundrum of our times. Eight crisp, sharp, and supremely constructed songs spanning frustration, reflection and hope, 'IMPERIAL' is the most fierce and dynamic release of SOEN’s journey, one which continues to be deeply therapeutic for both the group’s dedicated followers and the band themselves.
'Lumerian' is a heavy guitar driven opener with a melodic side and a classic 80's rock chorus. All delivered effortlessly, before 'Deceiver', which again has a full on attack to kick the track off, before again the melodic vocals take us onwards but always this track has a darker more metal undertone waiting to come out, with a little taster about mid track.
'Monarch' next, and air raid sirens fill the speakers before a more aggressive Scandinavian sounding approach hits our ears. Again a repetitive chorus will grab you.
'Illusion' has a much slower more controlled start and brings us a ballad with just vocals and keyboards leading the way before the rest of the band come in. This track has a thoughtful and poignant vibe, and a wonderful guitar solo. Next up is 'Antagonist', where the pace lifts and races away. Stronger and more determined vocals again bring us an 80's rock feel.
'Modesty' is a different style of track with a much more radio friendly pop vibe. Again strong vocals throughout, before 'Dissident', which from start to finish has a much heavier vibe, especially musically, but also vocally.
'Fortune' finishes this latest release with an anthemic sounding beast that just flows wonderfully and is a great way to round things off.
Described as a Swedish metal band, these guys are far more than that. They are melodic both vocally and musically, have a great understanding of song construction and they deliver it all masterfully. For me they are much more classic rock rather than metal, but that is for the listener to decide.
This is definitely an album that delivers an experience rather than just eight individual tracks, and is expertly put together. Take a listen and judge for yourself.
TFM gives 'IMPERIAL' 7.5/10, an interesting and compelling addition to your music library.