Almost two years after the release of the successful “Lotus”, Soen are back with their brand new album, called “Imperial”. Soen has been compared to Tool and Opeth. And why is that? This Swedish progressive metal supergroup might has some resemblances, but with this record, they have proved their unique style and own path. After five albums, they have crafted and enchanted their trademark, that blends heavy, emotional and subtle melodic passages, all combined. “Imperial” is where “Lotus” has finished, meaning it’s a sequel. But let’s talk business, shall we? The record opens with “Lumerian”, which makes the listener dive into the world of machinery and gears of Soen, which are combined with powerful, aggressive riffs and mixed with their atmospheric side. Joel Ekelöf’s voice and Lars Åhlund’s keyboards are perfect. “Deceiver” is very enigmatic, let me explain why. Joel’s words are telling you something and the most important ones, are the ones he’s singing in a different tone. Like some type of message. And to capture that, the keys make the magic work. Enigmatic keys, like a power plant, followed Martin Lopez’s drums. Here is  “Monarch”. Joel is indeed a chameleon: he can sing, in every tone. Powerful and majestic riffs. Very prog. “Illusion” is the single that everyone is talking about. The keys resemble somewhat from the early 60’s. It’s the most emotional and calmest, the best song!!! If you want a song for a wedding, choose this one. Grab your partner and kiss her/him gently! Imagine that you’re at a concert and “Antagonist” starts, then what will you do? Answer: you JUMP! Guitars and drums blend together. It’s so insane, complex and and catchy, that makes this music so desirable. Even more with the keys. If you think keyboards are easy in a prog rock band, try to discover “Modesty”. The guitars in here, almost come alive, like a zombie. “Dissident” is very proggy and we can see it all been very cooked. “Fortune” has the most beautiful guitar solo and keys you could ever hear. And Joel will make your heart cry out. This album is clearly one of the best of this year. We can’t wait to see the guys on the road.

♦ 9/10

Raquel Miranda