Progarchives, the progressive rock ultimate discography
Haken - Affinity CD (album) cover




Heavy Prog

3.95 | 689 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

4 stars I was already very curious to hear what Haken would have come up with for their fourth full length. After reading in Prog that they were going for 80s influences I was - as they anticipated most people to be - quite sceptical. The two singles already released beforehand - Initiate and The Endless Knot - did not impress me as much as their previous efforts had, Initiate being a very nice listen but somehow very poppy and The Endless Knot just didn't quite grab my attention despite its interesting complexity. The Endless Knot also had a slight autotune sound, which they luckily didn't use throughout the album.

But listening to this album in its intended song order now I must say that they've delivered some quality material that does not necessarily disappoint me (after all, it's difficult to follow up the great 'The Mountain'). They've managed to garner new influences - less Gentle Giant, more 80s Yes etc. - but still remain true to their own sound. The guitar sound is just like in their previous albums, lovely and smooth bass lines (as in The Architect), a distinct modern metal sound in parts (heavy, 7-string riffing in 1985 and even a blast beat as well as growling vocals in The Architect), thankfully a real drum sound and not the artificial sound so popular in the 80s and the vocals are always very recognisable (in a positive way).

As the desired sound shifted, so did especially the keyboards. I must say that I personally enjoy the warmer 70s sound more than the synthesizer-drenched sounds of the 80s but it doesn't destroy it. One criticism, however, would be that many songs have lots of underlying sound beds, which gives it a slightly overproduced, artificial sound and takes away the band-sound a bit. But the musicianship is nevertheless great as usual with plenty of odd time signatures, impressive soli and great melodies.

I will listen to it a couple more times but my first impression is positive. There is great variety in the music (some more serious as The Architect, some very poppy and cheerful as Earthrise) but I find the mix quite enjoyable. The band wanted something different than before, which is why I would not directly measure it against their previous releases. It's a good thing that they want to keep innovating their own sound and on this record they have succeeded in doing so while still retaining a high quality as well as their own identity in the music. 4 stars +. :)

arschiparschi | 4/5 |


As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Forum user
Forum password

Share this HAKEN review

Social review comments () BETA

Review related links

Copyright Prog Archives, All rights reserved. | Legal Notice | Privacy Policy | Advertise | RSS + syndications

Other sites in the MAC network: — jazz music reviews and archives | — metal music reviews and archives

Donate monthly and keep PA fast-loading and ad-free forever.