True to the tradition that wants them to release a new work every two years (with only one exception until now), Soen present us their sixth full-length album. A band that literally never sits down to rest, since after the recordings they go on tour and this cycle repeats itself.
One would expect that this would bring a drop in the quality of the new music they present us, but fortunately this doesn’t seem to be happening yet in the band’s camp. Musically they continue, as maybe it was expected, the recipe that they started in “Lykaia” (2017) and established in “Lotus” (2019) since now their style is immediately recognizable. Now, for those who are still comparing them to Tool, I happen to know some very skilled doctors to have their ears checked.
The songs have even shorter durations compared to the previous releases (four minutes on average), the guitars sometimes play fantastic heavy riffs and sometimes wonderful melodies, the atmosphere is enchanting and the charismatic Joel Ekelöf gives once again an amazing performance. Some calm moments with keyboards that remind of their prog rock influences find their way into the compositions, although the band focuses mainly on the harder side of their music.
Of course, Soen will always put something different in one of their releases, so “Hollowed” and “Vitals” deserve a special mention as they escape from the general direction. The former is a calm, atmospheric song with strings and the participation of Italian singer Elisa Toffoli. Definitely one of the best moments of the album. The second, which is the last one, features a piano, a Pink Floyd aesthetic and a majestic and emotional refrain.
In conclusion, the Swedish progsters continue their streak of excellent albums and they don’t disappoint here either. Yes, the truth is that they don’t surprise so much anymore and what one will listen to is almost expected but it doesn’t matter that much when the result is as good as “Memorial” which I believe will leave their fans satisfied. Whether it is better or not than its predecessors, that lies in everyone’s personal taste.