On February 1st, 2019, Swedish-based progressive metal group, SOEN, will release their fourth album, Lotus, via Silver Lining Music. Having spent the last six months digging deep into the muddy depths of their emotions, the nine songs comprising SOEN’s Lotus are intoxicating, addictive aural therapies, questioning much of today’s darkness while juxtaposing them with moments of great escape and hope.
“We are all very fortunate to have this place where we can go and explore thoughts, perspectives and emotions which everyday life maybe does not have the room for,” says Martin Lopez, one of SOEN’s founding members. “There are definitely things that we say, and places we go, in SOEN which would be very hard to express without us coming together and creating music.”
Produced by David Castillo and Iñaki Marconi at Ghostward Studios and Studio 6 between July and October 2018, the album marks the first recorded SOEN work of new Canadian-born guitarist Cody Ford, whilst the center-point of the album remains those trademark, snap-heavy, progressive SOEN riffs. Songs such as “Rival,” “Covenant,” and “Martyrs” are dissertations on modern societies, fraught with poetic, finitely designed confusion and chaos, yet as the name Lotus suggests, there is still strength, beauty, and purity to be extracted from what at times seems like an endless cycle of human regression.
“The world right now is undeniably a very strange, tense place,” says Lopez. “I think the songs clearly reflect that, but they also reflect that we must now be stronger than ever in challenging, confronting, and dealing with the pandemonium life throws at us all.”
The lavish Lotus artwork features nothing other than an enigmatic and engaging copper-reflective pyramid, offering elements of the sixth sense and greater consciousness before gate-folding open to reveal a girl touched by the copper aura.
“We each have our own personal ideas as to what it means,” says Lopez, “but we’d much rather discuss what others think, what our audience thinks, what the media thinks… I think it’s extremely important that we all communicate with each other and take the time to fully conceive our own meanings and interactions with life and creativity.”
“Ultimately,” concludes Ekelöf, “Lotus is about rising from whatever darkness, or dark places, you might find yourself. And its inspiration comes from a deep motivation to not just settle for the situation you might find yourself in. Lotus is about changing life — both your own and your surroundings for which we must all take responsibility — and make them better rather than letting darkness pacify you and take you down.”
Writes Angry Metal Guy in an advance investigation of the record, “Lotus is an album defined by its contrasts. On the one hand, the record has a metal core. The riffing is massive, with an overdriven guitar tone that strongly differentiates it from Lykaia, while drums and bass drive the songs forward. These moments can be straightforward SOEN tracks like ‘Opponent,’ but there are moments like a hat-tip to death metal riffing in ‘Rival’ or a proggy ‘awkward headbanging moment’ in ‘Covenant’ that mark SOEN as a band with a metal heart… Lotus is also a haunting, fragile album. The album’s softer tracks are no less intense than the heavy material and evoke the work of Pink Floyd (‘Lotus’) or Steven Wilson (doing Pink Floyd [‘River’]). In the tradition of the heart-wrenching ‘The Words,’ songs like ‘Lunacy’ and ‘River’ ache with loss and pain both lyrically and musically. In these moments, it’s the keys and guitars which bear the delicate, melancholic tone.”
SOEN’s Lotus will be released on CD, LP, and digital formats. For preorders go to THIS LOCATION.
SOEN will bring Lotus to European stages this spring on a near-three-week headlining tour from March 12th through April 6th. Support will be provided by Finland’s Wheel and Denmark’s Ghost Iris. For ticket info visit facebook.com/SoenMusic. Additional European dates will be announced in the coming weeks.
SOEN w/ Wheel, Ghost Iris:
3/12/2019 John Dee – Oslo, NO
3/13/2019 Stengade – Copenhagen, DK
3/14/2019 Logo – Hamburg, DE
3/15/2019 Roadrunner – Berlin, DE
3/16/2019 Colos Saal – Aschaffenburg, DE
3/17/2019 Club Cann – Stuttgart, DE
3/19/2019 Backstage Werk – Munich, DE
3/20/2019 Kultopia – Hanau, DE
3/21/2019 Helios – Cologne, DE
3/22/2019 De Effenaar Prognois Festival– Eindhoven, NL
3/25/2019 O2 Academy Islington – London, UK
3/27/2019 L’amperage – Grenoble, FR
3/28/2019 Salamandra – Barelona, ES
3/29/2019 Caracol – Madrid, ES
3/30/2019 Hard Club – Porto, PT
3/31/2019 RCA – Lisbon, PT
4/02/2019 Backstage – Paris, FR
4/03/2019 Z7 – Pratteln, CH
4/04/2019 Legent Club – Milano, IT
4/05/2019 Orion Ciampino – Roma, IT
4/06/2019 Sonic Room Fabricia – Ancona, IT
Joel Ekelöf – vocals
Martin Lopez – drums
Lars Åhlund – keys, guitar
Stefan Stenberg – bass
Cody Ford – lead guitar