Today the fine folks at Decibel Magazine are hosting a stream of “Savia” from progressive metal supergroup, SOEN. The tune comes courtesy of the band’s Cognitive debut initially released digitally via Spinefarm Records last Winter. Featuring the all-star lineup of drummer Martin Lopez (ex-Opeth, Amon Amarth), bassist Steve DiGiorgio (Sadus, Testament, Death, Iced Earth), vocalist Joel Ekelöf (Willowtree), and guitarist Kim Platbarzdis, Cognitive was mixed by David Bottrill (Tool, Coheed and Cambria, Silverchair, Smashing Pumpkins, Muse, etc.), mastered by JoÃ£o Carvalho, and features ten tracks of what Lopez describes as “melodic, heavy, intricate and different.”
Dubbed a “a glorious and transcendent final epic, complete with that old familiar nautical feeling that gives off a peaceful vibe,” by Metal Army America, the sophisticated offering has been raising the eyebrows of North American critics in-the-know since its preliminary release. Opines Ultimate-Guitar, “The instrumental prowess of each of the members aside, the thing that ultimately makes Cognitive a success is the high caliber of songwriting from beginning to end, a triumph in rhythmic and melodic interplay between all instrumentalists and vocalist Joel Ekelof… a brilliantly executed album… sure to stand up to repeated listening for a long time to come.”
Experience album closer, “Savia” courtesy of Decibel Magazine at THIS LOCATION.
When Lopez joined forces with DiGiorgio, Ekelöf, and Platbarzdis, it was obvious that this collaboration would not be another name-dropping, substance-deprived “super project.” The foursome paint their musical canvas with broad strokes that on first listen may appear gray and sullen, but the true power of the music lies clandestine, just a little below the monochrome surface. More than just a sum of its rather esteemed parts, SOEN weave an intricate network of melody and melancholy. While SOEN may sound Opethian at times, it features none of the guttural vocals and full-on death metal wall of sound of Lopez’ former group. Nothing more is needed however when Ekelöf’s somber voice, Platbarzdis’s transcendent guitar work, Lopez’s trademark drum beats and DiGiorgio’s exquisite bass lines collaborate to build a pensive tide waiting to wash over you.
Cognitive isn’t an instantaneously accessible album but with a bit of listening patience, can prove to be one of the most rewarding pieces of “thinking man’s metal” you will ever come across. In a world full of super-compressed albums waging the loudness war, Cognitive breathes with ease thanks to the warmth of Platbarzdis/Lopez production and the masterful mixing work of. Like rain on a windowpane, translucent and free of form, Cognitive breathes like a living entity. The colors are there, lingering within the grays. It’s just up to you to find them.
Cognitive will see a proper Stateside release this Summer. Further information on SOEN, including official release dates, to be revealed in the coming weeks. Stay tuned.
“There you have it, a band that managed to blend together two of the greatest bands of progressive music, creating their own structure on the way, adding great musicianship and technicality and, most importantly, managing to bring great songs. Tracks like ‘Canvas,’ ‘Purpose,’ and especially the closing track of the album, ‘Savia,’ are a testament that progressive music can have unconventional structure and be straightforward at the same time!” – Scene Point Blank
“This is a style of music that we need more of. This is an album that’s a great listen with no weak songs on it. It” – No Clean Sinnging
“For a debut album, this is really something to behold. The production is even, the music thematic and smart, and the musicians eager to share every second with the other. Most remarkable is that SOEN simply appear to be on the exact same page.” – The Metal Observer
“…a fantastic record, and these talented musicians pull off this sound with proficiency. We could all use a melancholic and intelligent rock record that is equal parts melodic and progressive.” – Heavy Blog Is Heavy
“…a pretty damn great record.” – AngryMetalGuy
“Simply put, this album kicks ass.” – Bloody Disgusting
“…Cognitive finds SOEN head and shoulders above their peers in terms of musicianship and song craft.” – Sputnik Music
“There is much more on SOEN‘s debut release than a first casual listener observes. Yes, at first they do sound a little like Tool but as you immerse yourself into their world there are a myriad of different influences that help give them an awesome modern prog/metal sound.” – Sludge Factory