Album Review: Soen – “Lotus”

soen - lotus

Soen have always played in that space that blurs the distinctions between genre classification: are they metal?  Rock?  They’re certainly progressive, but are they so progressive to be considered “progressive” metal?  Or rock for that matter?  The good news is that on fourth record Lotus continues to not care about labels, opting to let the emotional core of their music carry through.  Others can opt to argue what it sounds like; to these ears, it simply sounds like Soen. Continue reading

Album Review: Fifth to Infinity – “Omnipotent Transdimensional Soulfire”

FifthToInfinity_OmnipotentTransdimensionalSoulfireIn today’s metal landscape, “dark metal” is a loaded term that encapsulates multiple subgenres. Color me surprised, then, when Fifth to Infinity‘s debut Omnipotent Transdimensional Soulfire labeled itself as “blackened dark metal.” Somewhere at the intersection of doom, melodic black, and progressive metal (not “prog,” though), OTS has the ingredients for an intriguing and challenging listen but fails to deliver this consistently over its runtime. While there are great moments, the album as a whole is a maddening blend of simultaneous detours and overstayed welcomes.  Continue reading