Review by Adam M on February 7, 2017.
Soen have a nice grasp on the progressive landscape by now. Having huge nods to both Tool and Opeth, their sound is somewhat derivative, yet freshly and expertly delivered.
These songs are so tight that it may be difficult to completely come to terms with them. They are relatively straightforward, yet still complex enough to catch your attention for further listens. As such, while their sound remains grounded in the framework of tried and true formulas, it reaches beyond to so much more. The vocals here recall highly both Maynard James Keenan and Mikael Akerfeldt, so it says there must be an appropriate combination formed. This is good because the vocals never stood out as much for me on their previous release Tellurian. It seemed somewhat incomplete and this release does a perfect job finding what was missing and filling in the void. The songs are somewhat more epic in nature, but usually progressive enough that they remain intelligent throughout. There seems to be more of a fulfillment of their sound now and it sounds like the songs are fully fleshed out to reach their maximum potential. There are several twists and turns in the songs and they have that somewhat mechanical sound that Tool has and makes them really interesting. It seems like the band has moved out of the rut of the previous album, which, while strong, didn’t seem to be realizing its potential.
Here the songs have room to breathe and wallow in their influences more splendidly. The result is a progressive album that is noteworthy for building upon a solid foundation and bringing the results into an ethereal place. This album is truly where the band is able to showcase their talents and fully realize the promise they had to begin with. Lykaia is a progressive lover’s dream come true.
Rating: 8.2 out of 10