Soen released in the beginning of the year yet another amazing album with ‘Lotus’, pleasing prog fans all over the world. They’ve been touring extensively with that album in hands and now finally made it to Finland for a couple of dates. We caught up with them at their Helsinki stop. With them they brought another band that released a highly impressive prog album this year: the Finnish Wheel! And opening for the night was renowned Italian producer, session musician and sound engineer Marco Barusso‘s solo project The Price. An evening of nothing but quality music by very talented people in other words…
The Price (***)
Up first, playing in front of a barely halfway filled venue was The Price. Their brand of music is a somewhat proggy blend of melodic rock and metal. The show was very enjoyable and professional and vocalist Axel did a tremendous job. He brought a nice energy to the performance, which was needed since the rest of the band only every now and then expressed some new emotion or a bit more energy. A perfect easy-going band to warm up for a night like this.
On the Edge of Madness
Take Back Our Life
It’s been a good half a year that I last saw Wheel properly live. Too long in my opinion… so I was happy to see that they were playing a show close to home again after touring throughout Europe so much. And yet again they managed to grasp my attention and nail me to the floor. Before I realized it, their set was already over, which is a rare occasion for someone like me who attends a lot of gigs. Their grooving intricate music is just absolutely banging live and as good as (if not better than) how it sounds on record.
Combined with the hoods, mystery and a strong light show, it gives you all you want and need of a Wheel show. Vocalist James had a bit of issues with the voice (or so he said, to us it barely sounded different but I guess that’s what you get when you’re a band of perfectionists) and the bass duty was picked up by a replacement (Jyri from Oceanhoarse), so they weren’t in full force maybe, but no complaints from this writer! Maybe one: I need more Wheel, the set was just too short for me. Keep it Wheel!
Where The Pieces Lie
When I discovered Soen years ago, I became an instant fan when in need for some new Tool music. And they satisfied that need more than adequately. Throughout their career they’ve been growing their sound and individuality and are no longer just “that band that sounds like Tool“, but an entity of their own. To be completely honest I lost track of them for a while when my interest in prog faded away a bit, but I was still looking forward to see them live and especially hoping for a nice amount of their older songs in their setlist.
As soon as Soen kicked off their show, people were over the moon. They started not surprisingly with a song of their latest release ‘Lotus‘, but I must say that live this song and many others of that album actually convinced me more than when I listened to them at home. All musicians were moving around on stage and playing with an energy and passion that was simply infectious. Throw on top of that the charismatic presence of vocalist Joel Ekelöf and you have a killer of a show on your hands. Like I said already, their more recent music sounded way more convincing live and the couple of times that they played work from their first 2 records like ‘Tabula Rasa’, ‘Slithering’ and ‘Savia’ absolutely blew me away. It was amazing and those who weren’t there really have missed out on some good live music.
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