For those who aren’t familiar with the name of Soen, I have to announce to you that this is a band with experienced and very gifted musicians, that all of them participated in other famous bands before gather up and form Soen. So, here you can find ex-members from Opeth, Amon Amarth, Iced Earth, Testament etc.
Their discography consists of 3 studio albums, with Lykaia, being their brand new one. Since I found out them pretty recently, I am not familiar with their previous works, so I cannot get into any comparisons.
When I listen to some “new” Prog Metal bands, I catch myself thinking how big was TOOL as an influence in terms of music and style; and Soen is not an exception.
Their style - to my ears at least – sounds like a mix of Tool and Riverside.
Truth is that Lykaia is a very good album but it simply feels like a lot of their ideas are redundant. The guitar playing, for example, is top notch but, on the other hand, we know many Prog Metal bands that can play equally well. Yet, there are several “magic” moments where the band “shines” and at this point you realize how efficient these guys are as musicians. The album is very delightful, with nicely orchestrated compositions, great guitar solos, powerful riffs, clean vocals, but without innovative ideas, unfortunately. In many cases, I caught myself wondering, “Where do I know this from”?
The main issue with this album is that great musicianship does not equal great songwriting, and, although their songs are very solid (and, at times, catchy), they din't really capture my interest for an extended period of time.
Despite all those things, Lykaia is a decent album. Fans of Prog-Metal will definitely enjoy it, not to mention the fans of Progressive Rock and Heavy Metal.
I think I could give it 3.0 out of 5.0 stars.