The line-up makes you sit up and take notice: Soen are a new alternative metal project with Martin Lopez (ex-drummer of Opeth) and Steve DiGiorgio (Metal-Fretless-Gott, played among others with Sadus, Control Denied, Death). The quartet is completed by guitarist Kim Platbarzdi and vocalist Joel Ekelöf (Willowtree), who for his convincing debut "Cognitive" has set a course between tool and quiet Opeth. Groove grenades like "Fraktal", "Delenda", "Canvas" or "Slithering" are not only reminiscent of the alternative metal kings from L. A. at the time of "Ænima" and "Lateralus", Ekelöf also sounds in many moments like a mixture of Maynard James Keenan and Opeth's Mikael Åkerfeldt. To stamp the band as a mere copy, however, would be far from doing justice to the quartet's qualities. Lopez proves once again that he is one of the best drummers in the genre. DiGirgio's filigree playing is unique anyway, and Ekelöf's fantastic harmony singing captivates from the first second. By the way, the Canadian producer David Bottrill (Coheed And Cambria, Tool, King Crimson, Muse) is responsible for the voluminous mix of "Cognitive".
Top Track: Canvas