Soen - Cognitive
Label: Spinefarm Records
Reviewer: Mujtaba M Badr - 2012-09-13
Highlights: Most of the tracks are highlights
Since Mr. Martin Lopez departure from the Opeth realm in early 2006, everyone who had been hooked on his beats, grooves, and rolls in every album he had done with Opeth, were asking themselves this question: Does this mean the end of Martin Lopez's career? When he returns, what will his next band souch like?
The answers to those questions took a little time to arrive but, damn, were they ever satisfying! Martin Lopez had teamed up with another metal icon, specifically, bass icon, Steve DiGiorgio and also enlisted Kim Platbarzdis and Joel Ekelöf. The result is Soen, a supergroup in it's own right with a sound that is nothing like Opeth or, at least the Opeth that had Lopez. Every Progressive Metal fan sat awaiting the release of the band's first album, the opportunity of listening to something with both Martin Lopez's and Steve DiGiorgio's name being unmanageable.
The period of waiting came to a close at the end of 2011. "Cognitive", Soen's first album had arrived, and, as it was promised and described by Martin Lopez himself, the music was, "... melodic, heavy, intricate and very different than everything else." Now, even though I completely agree with the first part, I have to disagree with the word "very" before different. Yes, it is very different than anything Martin Lopez had done before but it's not very different than what many well known names in the world of Alternative/Progressive Metal (i.e. Tool, Porcupine Tree, and other bands that fall under the title, "the thinking man's metal") have done. which is in Soen case, also reflected in the awesome artwork of Cognitive.
Cognitive, during its near 50 minute journey, can be described as a piece of art that one can't take a small bite of and assume that they've understood the entire work or have seen the whole picture. No, it is a one complete portrayal that must be looked at it in its entirity and notice the details that are drowned by the sweeps of Kim Platbarzdis' guitar playing, the structures bulit by Steve's bass, Martin laying down the texture, and Joel Ekelöf coloring it with his vocals.
To enjoy Cognitive to the max, you need to first get yourself separated from the surroundings and plunge into the gardens of Soen, though your first impression might be that this band is just trying to be "Tool" (due to the similarity between vocalists and obvious influence), Soen has something completely unique to it. Something that will only be found should you pay closer attention to the album. Then you will begin to hear the dialogues taking place among Steve's bass, Martin's drums, and Kim Platbarzdis' guitars.
This album is a highly recommended for anyone who can appreciate the sound of art, a person who is not just looking for plain, straightforward music to listen to. I'm not saying this album is complex or anything, but it emits an atmosphere that could trap your soul within it if you only knew how to approach it. Don't expect the Lopez from Opeth and allow yourself to enjoy ride with the masters of Soen.