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CR623482 CR3 DxO DeepPRIMEBürgerhaus Stollwerck, Cologne, Germany
13th September 2022
Soen - “Imperial European Tour” - Support: Oceanhoarse & LizZard

SOEN together with LIZZARD! Quite understandably, the hearts of Progressive Rock fans beat high here. Both bands released highly acclaimed albums in 2021: With their last album ‘Imperial’, SOEN consistently followed the path they took two years earlier with ‘Lotus’. LIZZARD, on the other hand, showed themselves in captivating form on ‘Eroded’ and delivered their best album of their career.


The opener, however, was OCEANHOARSE. And the Finnish Metal band (“we play heavy fucking metal”) absolutely didn’t fit to the following two bands. But the Finns did their thing consequently. There was posturing, fists were clenched, the singer disappeared several times in a smoke screen. And it was loud. And that’s another way to make an impression. The quartet from the far north earned the well-deserved applause in the sold-out Bürgerhaus Stollwerck.

Music: 5
Performance: 9
Light: 6
Sound: 6
Total: 6.5 / 10

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The following changeover phase was short because only about 10 minutes after the last notes of OCEANHOARSE, the French trio started their set. And that was impressive. Mathieu Ricou (vocals, guitar), Will Knox (bass) and Katy Elwell (drums) brought their complex, grooving tunes to life quite brilliantly on stage. This, however, requires concentration and so, singer Mathieu Ricou and bassist Will Know were forgiven for not leaving their designated places behind their microphones. Nevertheless, it was great to watch the band during their performance. While Will Know seemed highly concentrated for the entire duration, Mathieu Ricou didn’t miss the chance to make contact with the audience again and again and smile into the crowd. Meanwhile, Katy Elwell on the centre-positioned drums passionately worked the skins.

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All in all, LIZZARD offered a very appealing performance that made an impression. Up to the last row in the sold-out club, the band, which was completely unknown to some in the audience beforehand, was really celebrated. Chapeau!

Music: 10
Performance: 9
Light: 9
Sound: 8
Total: 9 / 10

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It was already 10 pm when the time came for the headliner SOEN. With three bands filling the evening with music and a relatively late concert start at 8:30 pm, it thus came to a little employer friendly start of the Swedes only at quite a late hour. In the following almost 100 minutes, the quintet reeled off the setlist very confidently. This was oriented to a large extent to the songs of the last two studio albums. Understandable, since the last two albums offer an insane collection of hits that are worth performing live. As I said, the performance was sour. To my taste, however, it was a bit too sovereign and detached. Especially at the beginning of the gig a few members of the band seemed a bit passionless in some scenes. The longer the set went on, the more this impression evaporated.

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Singer Joel Ekelöf, in the past quite sometimes dressed in black suits, gave himself on the evening in Cologne as a Rob Halford copy. Thanks to leather jacket, baseball cap and reflecting sunglasses it took a second look to recognize him as the singer of SOEN. Surprisingly negative I experienced the sound. While during the first one or two songs the guitars were hardly audible, the sound technician couldn’t manage to conjure up a sound like LIZZARD or OCEANHOARSE had during the course of the evening. Too bad.

01. Monarch
02. Deceiver
03. Lunacy
04. Martyrs
05. Savia
06. Lumerian
07. Covenant
08. Modesty
09. Lucidity
10. Antagonist
11. Illusion
12. Lascivious
13. Jinn
14. Lotus

Music: 10
Performance: 8
Light: 8
Sound: 6
Total: 8 / 10

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All Pictures by André Wilms

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