Soen, the progressive band featuring drummer Martin Lopez (ex-Opeth, ex-Amon Amarth) and singer Joel Ekelöf (Willowtree), spent some time at Ghostward Studios and Deepwell in Stockholm exploting uncharted waters coming up with the band's thrid album "Lykaia".  "Lykaia" sees Soen remain fascinated with the shadows and the darker edges of our world, with a particular focus on the various thoughts and concepts behind religion and ritualistic, belief-based behaviour in society.

Recorded at Ghost Ward, StudioGröndal and Deep Well in Stockholm, Sweden, with production duties handled by guitarist Marcus Jidell and the mix made by Stefan Boman, Soen kept things as far away from the digital age as possible, embracing warmth and organic recordings as the drive behind the technical working process.

Vocalist Joel Ekelöf states: "Wherever we could the music was analog, all the sounds you hear were pure and not samples or keyboard generated. When we needed a Mellotron, we got a real one. With my vocals as well, we intentionally left out the endless possibilities of post editing and instead focused on pure vocal work."

If the first two albums were harder, more technical, angular and perhaps cerebral pieces which demanded sharp focus, "Lykaia" presents a warmer, rounder, flesh and blood on the bones approach that allows listeners a dual entry to the eight tracks presented. The journey is no less dynamic, continuing the underscore of complex melodies with crushing power and no fear of walking proudly into more ambient spaces to explore the temperature. With "Lykaia", however, it is clear that SOEN have never felt more congruent or sure of themselves.

"This has never been about genres, it's always been about the journey we need to take both musically and personally," adds Lopez. "What we're working on right now is another adventure, another journey which in some ways is quite different again but also builds upon the experiences we've had over the last few years."

"Lykaia" track listing:
01. Sectarian
02. Orison
03. Lucidity
04. Opal
05. Jinn
06. Sister
07. Stray
08. Paragon

SOEN is:
Joel Ekelöf - Vocals
Martin Lopez - Drums, Percussion
Stefan Stenberg - Bass
Lars Åhlund - Organ, Rhodes
Marcus Jidell - Guitar

03 Jan

BEST OF THE BEST 2016

Published in WILDSIDE

It’s usual at the end of each year to make a review, a flashback of the previous 365 days. In a year with many great losses for the rock and metal world there were some moments that stood out that of course are not the same for everyone of us. Below, Rockpages.gr team tackles the painful task to come up with the absolute best ten albums and the gig of the year in Greek soil. The lists are all over the place, titles get written and then deleted while everyone is trying to appreciate their impressions and memories…

Finally, just for the shake of a top 10 we rate the editors’ choices with the Eurovision system (No.1=12 points, No.2=11 points and so on) in order to have the final ranking. However, you shouldn’t pay too much attention to numbers, the posirions and the ranking. What matters above all is music! Happy New Year!

1.    Metallica – Hardwired…To Self-Destruct

 

The band’s performance is flawless and despite the fact that Hammett hasn’t written a single note on “Hardwired…”, he absolutely shines on the album as his guitar solos are undoubtedly impressive. Another characteristic of “Hardwired…” is the fact that there are many scattered guitar riffs throughout the album that sometimes “save” an indifferent tune like “Halo On Fire” as after the 3.00 mark, the song is transformed into a sonic juggernaut due to Hetfield’s and Hammett’s awesome guitar work.

Sakis Nikas

MetallicaHardwired

2.    Fates Warning – “Theories Of Flight”

 

The first thing that is really striking with “Theories…” is the up-tempo character of the majorities of the songs and their aggressive attitude; something quite unusual for Fates Warning. Also, there is a clear optimistic mood and a sense of escapism in most of the tracks while the familiar (for Fates Warning) melancholic climate is present in the majestic prog opus of “The Ghosts of Home”. Ray Alder is perfect behind the mic, Bobby Zarzombek is as stomping as ever on the drums, Joey Vera is tight and groovy as ever while Jim Matheos is flawless and unique. Frank Aresti’s presence is small and discreet…yet always significant!

Sakis Nikas

 FatesWarningTheoriesOfFlight

3.    Rotting Christ – Rituals

 

It is obvious that on this album, more so than ever before, mainman Sakis Tolis prioritized and emphasized on the vibe of each individual composition, to the point of ‘sacrificing’ some of the band’s classic traits in order to accomplish a personal, esoteric vision. ‘Rituals’ is a rewarding result. How many bands can successfully incorporate Euripides, Blake and Baudelaire in their music? What other artist pays tribute to important parts of Greek musical heritage the way Sakis does in ‘Tou Thanatoy’ and ‘The Four Horsemen’?

Romanos Terzis

 RottingChristRituals

 4.    Anthrax - For All Kings

 

“For All Kings” carries on really where “Worship Music” stopped but it is enriched with some modern traces here and there while the pure thrash moments are considerably fewer in number. The albums opens with quite possible the best cut which is called “You Gotta Believe” and it reminds of the good old days. This is classic Anthrax at its very best. The follow up “Monster At The End” might not be of the same caliber or quality level but nevertheless is a remarkable moments which shows Anthrax borrowing influence by Disturbed (in the verse) and late Machine Head (at the chorus).

Sakis Nikas

 AnthraxForAllKings

 5.    Testament - Brotherhood Of The Snake

 

Californians thrashers are back fiercely after an absence of four years. Modern relentless thrash metal and I have the impression that the degree of technical complexity has increased in the compositions, and this is easy to understand when in the lineup super players like DiGiorgio and Gene Hoglan are involved.

Konstantinos “2112” Konstantinou

 TestamentBrotherhood

 6.    Opeth – Sorceress

 

It would be bizarre, if an artist with such an array of influences and a taste as eclectic as Mikael Åkerfeldt’s would keep on making the same type of music, insisting, among other things, on singing in a very specific and restrictive style. Furthermore, no one could ever accuse him of not having explored or evolved the irresistible progressive – death metal combination that made Opeth famous, in the fullest degree.

Romanos Terzis

 

 OpethSorceress

 7.    Innerwish- “Innerwish”

 

It is a complete work with a perfectly clean and "full" production.  "InnerWish" follows the classic stamp/sound that the band has outlined throughout the years and manages to "walk" into new territories such is heavier style and Epic tunes. My personal opinion, is that the band has made the correct choice with Giorgos as his voice matched the bands' new musical direction.

Jason Kasioptas

 InnerwishST

 8.    Avantasia – Ghostlights

 

Every time Tobias Sammet gets ready to unleash a new studio album with Avantasia, there is naturally a buzz in the metal community as it’s not that often nowadays to be treated with such prestigious releases that feature a parade of special guest stars.

Sakis Nikas

 AvantasiaGhostlights

 9.    Gojira – Magma

 

After 2012’s amazing ‘L’Enfant Sauvage’, brothers Duplantier took their time, and, now living in Brooklyn, searched – and found as it turns out – the way to make their music a little more accessible without sacrificing its particularities. Their mother passed away during the writing process for the new record, and this has given an even more powerful sentimental substance to ‘Magma’.

Romanos Terzis

 GojiraMagma

 10.    Helstar - Vampiro

 

Helstar’s trademark power/thrash outbursts are wonderfully blended with a technical atmosphere that is not tiring at all and takes “Vampiro” to another, higher level! The presence of two new members –Andrew Atwood on guitar and Garrick Smith on bass- has breathed new air to the band while Helstar’s founders Larry Barragan and James Rivera are having the time of their life with the latter being right at home with the whole vampire theme of the album.

Sakis Nikas

 HelstarVampiro

 

 

 

Kostas Voulgarelis


1. Monkey3 - Astral Symmetry
2. Opeth - The Sorceress
3. Black Mountain - IV
4. Hexvessel-When We Are Death
5. Messa - Belfry
6. Goatess - Ii Purgatory Under New Management
7. Witchcraft - Nucleus
8. Wolf People - Ruins
9. Goat - Requiem
10. 1000mods - Repeated Exposure To...

         Καλύτερη συναυλία: Avatarium, The Slayerking        

Yiannis Dolas

1. Metallica – Hardwired… To Self-Destruct
2. Volbeat – Seal The Deal
3. Apollo – Waterdevils
4. Imperial State Electric – All Through The Night
5. Sunburst – Fragments Of Creation
6. C.O.P. UK – No Place For Heaven
7. Inglorious – Inglorious
8. Maverick – Big Red
9. Mystic Prophecy – War Brigade
10. High Spirits – Motivator

Καλύτερη συναυλία: Οι Turbonegro στο Rockwave Festival

Dimitris Kazantzis

1. Metallica - Hardwired...To Self-Destruct
2. Epica - The Holographic Principle
3. Marillion - F.E.A.R.
4. Testament - Brotherhood Of The Snake
5. September Code - Iii
6. Rotting Christ - Rituals
7. Lacuna Coil - Delirium
8. Fates Warning - Theories Of Flight
9. Delain - Moonbathers
10. Operation: Mindcrime – Resurraction

Καλύτερη Συναυλία: Scorpions 

Kostas Kounadinis

1. Agatus - The Eternalist
2. Innerwish - Innerwish
3. Helstar - Vampiro
4. Vicious Rumors - Concussion Protocol
5. Attacker - Sins Of The World
6. Running Wild - Rapid Foray
7. Wild Rose - Four
8. Wardrum - Awakening
9. The Defiants - The Defiants
10. Testament - Brotherhood Of The Snake

Καλύτερη Συναυλία: Heir Apparent (Up The Hammers Festival)

Mariza “Crash”

1. Shiraz Lane-For Crying Out Loud
2. Pretty Maids-Kingmaker
3. Toxicrose-Total Tranquility
4. Avantasia-Ghostlights
5. Change Of Heart- Continuum
6. Wild Rose-‘4’
7. Blackrain-Released
8. Phantom 5-Phantom 5
9. Nordic Union-Nordic Union
10. Vega-Who we are

Καλύτερη Συναυλία: Nasty Ratz - Sleaze N’ Roll Festival 2016

Kostantinos “2112” Kostantinou

1. Metallica – Hardwired…To Self-Destruct
2. Q5 – New World Order
3. Last In Line – Heavy Crown
4. Kansas – The Prelude Implicit
5. Wolf Hoffmann – Headbangers’ Symphony
6. Anthrax – For All Kings
7. Vardis – Red Eye
8. Fates Warning – Theories Of Flight
9. Hammerfall – Built To Last
10. Eclipse – Armageddonize

Καλύτερη Συναυλια: Dirkschneider – Anvil

Sakis Nikas

1. Metallica – “Hardwired…To Self-Destruct”
2. Fates Warning – “Theories Of Flight”
3. Graham Bonnet Band – “The Book”
4. Rick Springfield – “Rocket Science”
5. Helstar – “Vampiro”
6. Last In Line – “Heavy Crown”
7. Innerwish- “Innerwish”
8. Testament – “Brotherhood Of The Snake”
9. Dexter Ward – “Rendez-Vous With Destiny”
10. White Widdow – “Silhouette”

Καλύτερη Συναυλία: White Widdow (δεύτερη μέρα)

Dio Papageorgiou

1. King Crimson - Radical Action to Unseat the Hold of

                                  Monkey Mind
2. Hansen & Friends - XXX - Three Decades in Metal
3. Insomnium - Winters Gate
4. Avantasia - Ghostlights
5. Fates Warning - Theories of Flight
6. Witherscape - The Northern Sanctuary
7. Evergrey - The Storm Within
8. Testament - Brotherhood Of The Snake
9. Devin Townsend Project - Transcendence
10. Radiohead - A Moon Shaped Poo

 

Vaggelis Saridelis

1. Downfall Of Gaia – Atrophy
2. NOFX - First Ditch Effort
3. Rotting Christ – Rituals
4. Opeth – Sorceress
5. Gojira – Magma
6. Deathspell Omega - The Synarchy Of Molten Bones
7. Anthrax - For All Kings
8. Wardruna – Ragnarok
9. Metallica – Hardwired To Self-Destruct
10. Glenn Hughes – Resonate

Kostantinos Spiliotis

1. Metallica - Hardwired...To Self Destruct
2. Megadeth - Dystopia
3. Rotting Christ - Rituals
4. 1000Mods - Repeated Exposure To...
5. Planet Of Zeus - Loyal To The Pack
6. Nightstalker - As Above, So Below
7. Anthrax - For All Kings
8. Russian Circles - Guidance
9. Lamb Of God - The Duke
10. Testament - Brotherhood Of The Snake

Καλύτερη Συναυλία: Smoke The Fuzz Fest

George Terzakis

1. Harakiri For The Sky - III: Trauma
2. Decembre Noir - Forsaken Earth
3. Suidakra - Realms Of Odoric
4. Oceans Of Slumber - Winter
5. Poem - Skein Syndrome
6. Be'lakor - Vessels
7. Evergery - The Storm Within
8. Hatebreed - The Concrete Confessional
9. Dark Tranquillity - Atoma
10. InnerWish - InnerWish

Καλύτερη συναυλία: Oceans Of Slumber, Mother Of Millions

Romanos Terzis

1. Metallica – Hardwired… to Self-Destruct
2. Fates Warning – Theories of Flight
3. Gojira – Magma
4. Rotting Christ – Rituals
5. Alter Bridge – The Last Hero
6. Dream Theater – The Astonishing
7. Killswitch Engage – Incarnate
8. King 810 – La Petite Mort or a Conversation with God
9. Anthrax – For All Kings
10.David Bowie – Blackstar

Καλύτερη συναυλία: Steven Wilson

ΔΕΛΤΙΟ ΤΥΠΟΥ: Οι Soen, το progressive group που έχει στις τάξεις του τον εκπληκτικό ντράμερ Martin Lopez (ex-Opeth, ex-Amon Amarth) και τον δυναμικό τραγουδιστή Joel Ekelöf (Willowtree), πέρασε τους τελευταίους μήνες στα Ghostward Studios και Deepwell στη Στοκχόλμη της Σουηδίας, προσπαθώντας να κάνουν ένα ακόμη ταξίδι σε αχαρτογράφητα ύδατα… Το “Cognitive” του 2012 ήταν ένα άλμπουμ που αναμφισβήτητα αντλούσε επιρροές από τα χαρακτηριστικά των μοντέρνων progressive rock συγκροτημάτων, ενώ το “Tellurian” του 2014, ήταν το άλμπουμ που βρήκε το σχήμα να κινείται στις δικά του, μοναδικά οράματα, αγκαλιάζοντας το πνεύμα πειραματισμού των Pink Floyd, κρατώντας όμως τη δύναμη και την επιρροή των OPETH και πολλών άλλων. Ο ντράμερ των Soen, Martin Lopez, δηλώνει: «Ποτέ δεν έχουμε να κάνουμε με κάποιο μουσικό είδος, αλλά με το ταξίδι που χρειάζεται να κάνουμε και μουσικά και προσωπικά και αυτό που δουλεύουμε τώρα, είναι μία ακόμη περιπέτεια, ένα ακόμη ταξίδι, το οποίο είναι αρκετά διαφορετικό, αλλά θα λέγαμε και ότι στηρίζεται στις εμπειρίες που είχαμε τα τελευταία χρόνια». Το «ταξίδι» των SOEN, μόλις ξεκίνησε. Ονομάζεται “Lykaia” και θα κυκλοφορήσει στις 3 Φεβρουαρίου 2017 σε CD digi, Gatefold βινύλιο και Download από τη UDR.

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