When former Opeth and Amon Amarth sticksman Martin Lopez introduced his new band, Soen, to the world by way of their 2012 debut album, Cognitive, the hero worship of Tool was there for all to see.
While third opus Lykaia does little to distance itself from Maynard’s mob, it does suggest that the band are starting to find themselves, and it’s a warmer, more measured opus. Though Soen still sound far from the finished article, there are some flashes of brilliance to be found here. Opal is a muscular, hook-laden number that could easily be a crossover hit for them thanks to a glorious chorus, as could Orison, with its stadium-shaking melody, soaring guitar leads and powerful dynamics. Singer Joel Ekelöf puts in a strong performance throughout and his hypnotic croon lifts the likes of the organ-led lullaby Paragon, but efforts such as the instantly forgettable Jinn or the understated and ultimately unremarkable, Pink Floyd-cap-tipping Lucidity fail to excite. A fun but familiar listen.