SOEN, the progressive heavy rock group featuring world-renowned drummer Martin Lopez (formerly of Amon Amarth and Opeth) and the dynamic voice of Joel Ekelöf (Willowtree), will release their upcoming full-length opus Lykaia on February 3, 2017 via UDR Music. After several weeks of anticipation since the original announcement of its release, the band is revealing the first single from the album, entitled “Sectarian”. A charging, insightful metal anthem, “Sectarian” grooves amid classic progressive rock and turn-of-the-century alt-metal influences, all the while experimenting with further inspiration to create a solid track that is simply damn good. Listen here:
Lykaia is a journey into earthier places – their most cohesive, powerful and congruent creative quest yet. For those who have followed SOEN‘s career thus far, the new album’s concepts of journey and exploration are not new. 2012’s Cognitive beat a firmly heavy, progressive metal path. 2014’s Tellurian – with its Pink Floyd explorative spirit and Opeth-like forceful power – saw SOEN start to stride freely into their own control and unique visions.
The new album 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.
Following that theme, drummer Martin Lopez comments about “Sectarian” in particular,
“At the time I wrote the song, there was a lot going on in the world with all this religious nonsense that we lately are getting used to, I was truly pissed off with the circumstances like everyone else and with that anger in commanding me started writing about it. It’s simply my view on the matter and this need that people have to follow a leader and a God that I see suffocating them and telling them how to live. I just don’t understand it; some of us have a religious background a forced one, like it usually is but I’ve never bought into it.
The way some people make this insane ideologies their call and how they can remove the human condition of feeling empathy towards others to please a figure, a ghost they’ve never seen or touched. It’s just something I cannot understand and just the fact that so many have died either defending or just being makes me lose all hope in humanity… Are we really this weak? How can this happen? The lyrics are just that a pissed off guy telling his view on things.
I had a few heavy parts that I thought would fit this theme and just went on to write the song, Joel came up with a great melody and I added some rhythmical ideas to it. Later on we put the song together with the rest of the band and everyone had the chance to add their personality to the music while recording their instruments.”
Lykaia pre-orders are now available in three formats – digitally, audio CD in digisleeve, and gatefold vinyl. Order now and receive “Sectarian” as an instant grat.
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 on Lykaia, embracing warmth and organic recordings as the drive behind the technical working process.
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.
Stay tuned for more coming from SOEN leading up to the February 2017 release of Lykaia.
Lykaia Track listing:
1 – Sectarian
2 – Orison
3 – Lucidity
4 – Opal
5 – Jinn
6 – Sister
7 – Stray
8 – Paragon