Soen is the brainchild of drummer Martin Lopez who founded the band following his departure from Opeth. Their studio debut ‘Cognitive’ dropped in 2012. With legendary bassist Steve DiGorgio and Lopez in the band the musicianship is of course exemplary but special mention goes to vocalist Joel Ekelöf. Some considered the album to be just marginally short of plagiarism because of the obvious similarities to Tool’s style, a claim easily dispelled by their sophomore outing ‘Tellurian’ (2014). Althoug the similarities to Tool are still present, the tracks now evolve more organically. On ‘Lykaia’ (2017) Soen find their own voice and identity: it’s a prog record with accessible yet intricate song structures bursting with consummate musicianship. With the Tool comparisons now swept firmly under the rug, ‘Lotus’ (2019) sees Soen experimenting with more of a classic rock style that signals the next step in their evolution as one of the most exciting prog metal bands in the business. (#GMM21)