Soen has become one of my favorite bands. Despite all the member turn over, drummer Martin Lopez and vocalist Joel Ekelöf have always managed to get the right people in the band. Now with their fourth album “Lotus,” they actually have the same lineup as their last album which is a first for them. While I really like “Lykaia” a lot, I’ve made no secret that I thought it was brickwalled. The reissue/remastered version of the album did help though.
Fortunately, the band seemed to have learned from that mistake as “Lotus” does not have that issue. In fact, it’s their best SOUNDING album to date. Additionally, this batch of songs is also the best they have written. I think they clearly have benefited from having the same lineup as the last record. The songs are all unique and full of hooks.
First, I’ll mention the only moment on the album that I have a minor issue with. The last section of the final track “Lunacy” has an extended ambient-ish moment that could be shortened a bit for my taste. But it’s a minor quibble! When you’ve already experienced perfection up to that point, I suppose I have to complain about something. The album has two of the most powerful (mellower) tracks that Soen have done in the title track and “River.” Both are phenomenal and rank for me with “The Words” which was my favorite Soen song til now. Oh that title track is now!
The band rock otherwise and the songs have the strongest hooks they’ve written. The secret weapon on “Lotus” is keyboardist Lars Åhlund who adds color and depth to every single song. He really stands out and, in the process, Soen has their own sound. Enough comparisons to former bands and Tool. “Lotus” is better than anything Tool has done anyway. Yeah I fucking said it.
“Lotus” is an album that as each song hits you, you keep saying “wow that was really good.” By the end, you just want to hear it over again. There’s no question that this is Soen’s masterpiece and one of the best albums of 2019 and any year for that matter. Everything has aligned for Soen and I am very happy for them…and for me because I get to listen to this album again and again!
Rating: 10/10 (yes even with my little quibble)