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Soen: Tellurian

Ambitious second from technical supergroup.

After releasing their first album Cognitive, there’s been a sustained interest in what supergroup Soen would do next.

Boasting ex-members of Opeth, Amon Amarth and Willowtree, their pedigree alone might carry them, but a desire to succeed on their own merits has also served them well. Tabula Rasa reminds us of UK underground proggers Master And The Mule or Our Man In The Bronze Age, blending expansive atmospherics with nigh post-metal tendencies. _Ballad The Words _offers a Mellotron-infused change of pace, but maybe is overlong. Soen have previously had comparisons to Tool but A Perfect Circle would be more apt judging by Pluton, while Koniskas’ angular breakdown section is Rush-like. Void feels like early Tool, if a bit more frantic, while closer The Other’s Fall recalls Ænima or Lateralus. It bodes well that Tellurian brings to mind both progressive giants as well as underground bands, and consequently it’s at times an energetic and vital listen. However, its running length is over-ambitious, for in the abstract the tempo and dynamics stick to a similar formula, one that occasionally does a disservice to the genuinely great ideas contained within.