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| 27 October 2023 | 1 Reply

Label: Silver Lining Music

Release Date: September 1, 2023

Rating: 100%

Reviewer: Todd “Toddstar” Jolicoeur

I love it when I listen to a band new to me and it strikes a chord.  The latest offering from Soen did exactly that.  This 10-track collection of tracks are powerful rockers that run the gamut of sounds and rock textures, but it is damn good.  Disc opener “Sincere” kicks down the proverbial door with thunderous drums, heavy bass lines, soaring guitar work, and solid vocals that get you in the mood to rock immediately.  The overall tone of the track is cool and sets the pace for the rest of the disc.  The breakdowns are cool and add to the tracks overall feel.  “Unbreakable” unfolds differently from the opening but with no less intensity or power.  The guitars and bass jump into the fray quickly and the drums bring up the rear anchoring the track perfectly.  Once the vocals kick in, we are off and running for a killer rock and roll ride.  The layered wall of sound vocals on the chorus gives the track punch.  “Fortress” is a great track that allows you to sink back into your chair and dig into the track and all its various layers and textures.  The guitar leads are immense and are perfectly balanced at time by chugging riffs and a solid rhythm section underneath.  The vocals and melody are contagious and get you humming along before you know what happened.  Title track “Memorial” has a different feel from the first percussive sound and only gets better as the guitars work their way into the mix.  Once the lead vocal hits, you realize the power of the combination of the various instruments and vocals.  The layers of instrumentation, including strings, give the song depth and help it stand up amongst the others without standing out.  “Tragedian” slows the pace and groove of the disc with a cool intro featuring the lead vocals we have come to know on this disc, but the stripped back music allows us to enjoy the lush vocal that is draped across this amazing composition.  The guitars and rhythm section turn it up slightly at the first transition and become the perfect supporting partner in this sonic exchange with the vocalist.  The bridge features yet another killer guitar solo.

“Violence” starts off with more big riffs, thumping bass lines and solid drums, but the vocals and the cadence shifts stand out on this track.  The breakdowns are incredible and allow the vocals to swirl atop the bass and drums through the verses and the closing bridge.  The vocal takes a lighter turn at the transition between verse and chorus, and it accentuates the lyrics perfectly.  “Hollowed” is a beautiful track and features a co-lead vocal from Elisa.  This ballad is delivered with precision from both the vocals offered up as well as the instrumentation.  The guitars take a different route than most of the album, but the simplicity speaks volumes sonically.  The same can be said for the stripped back sounds from the drums and bass.  The lush vocal duet is the star of this track… until the solo hits at the bridge.  Hands down a favorite on this disc.  “Incendiary” has a symphonic vibe woven into its musical DNA that cannot be denied.  The overall tone of the song is anthemic as well, potentially lending itself to live performance.  The vocals are haunting and rich, leading the charge while the guitars, drums, and bass keep the track moving along.  I find my fingers tapping against my keyboard every time I listen through this track.  “Icon” is a straightforward rocker that relies as much on the drumming and anchoring bass lines as it does the lofty vocals and swirling guitars.  The vocals come at you from the opening line, and you feel the intensity immediately, becoming wrapped in the power and energy of the track.  Disc closer “Vitals” is a hauntingly beautiful track that showcases a totally different side of the band, especially the lead vocal.  The piano interlude that merges with the vocal and grows as strings are thrown overtop the piece are amazing, but I am mesmerized by the lead vocal that tucks aside all rock power and delivers from the heart and soul.  While not the norm for a closing track, there is something about this that works.  Sometimes I am a bit late to the review party, but in this case, I am so happy I kept the invite.

Tracklisting: Sincere – Unbreakable – Violence – Fortress – Hollowed – Memorial – Incendiary – Tragedian – Icon – Vitals







Category: CD Reviews

About the Author ()

ToddStar - that's me... just a rocking accountant who had dreams of being a rock star. I get to do the next best thing to rocking the globe - I get to take pictures of the lucky ones that do. I love to shoot all genres of music and different types of performers. If it is related to music, I love to photograph it. I get to shoot and hang with not only some of my friends and idols, but some of the coolest people around today.

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