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Haken - The Mountain CD (album) cover




Heavy Prog

4.15 | 1013 ratings

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Crossover & JR/F/Canterbury Teams
5 stars 2013 has turned ot to be an excellent year for prog rock. We've had some outstanding releases from Spock's Beard, Dream Theater and Steven Wilson, just to name a few. And right there with them is this album from Haken.

Musically, Haken uses quite a bit of metal motifs, without falling into the traps of excessive repetition and overbearing headbanging. They also add a healthy dose of nods to classic prog bands, most notably Gentle Giant on this album. Particularly, Cockroach King is an example of this. Ross Jennings channels the spirit of Phil Schulman (who apparently doesn't use it much anymore), and creates a dense array of rhythmic and tonal complexity in his vocals. The rest of the band matches this, and even adds the light fusion touches that GG often used. This is my choice as the best track of the year from any artist.

The two songs bookending Cockroach are nearly as good. Atlas Stone and In Memoriam are modern prog as it should be done, with twists and turns galore, and again, more than a bit of fusion added in.

My only complaint about the album are the light spots, where Jennings sounds too close to the breathy, weak sound of Radiohead's Thom Yorke. But really, thats a very mild complaint.

My copy has the bonus tracks, The Path Unbeaten and Nobody. The former is a stripped down version of the light opening track, and the latter sound like a single edit of Somebody, which becomes tedious without the break section.

Without the bonus tracks I rate this 4.5, which I can safely round up. It's that good.

Evolver | 5/5 |


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