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Haken - Affinity CD (album) cover




Heavy Prog

3.94 | 620 ratings

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3 stars So close.. I anxiously awaited this release, as a huge fan of The Mountain, this was one of my most anticipated releases of the year, and now that it has come, how does it live up to my hype? Meh. Slated to be a throwback late 80's/90's album, this seemed right up my alley, but now that it's in hand, I can't help but feel this concept could have been more fleshed out, and used to greater effect. Part of the reason The Mountain was such a good album was that the band managed to create some great tension/release moments with their juxtaposition of quiet/loud moments, and while there were plenty of flashy instrumental sections (not my cup of tea), they still managed to mix it in with a sense of humor. This made The Mountain a fun album, it knew when to be serious, it knew when to be fun, and the compositions flowed quite well. Unfortunately, with this release, most of the fun and self awareness appears to be gone, and with it, any emotional depth. Don't get me wrong, there are still some excellent parts on this album, in fact there are excellent parts on all songs on this album, but as a whole, the compositions leave me cold, and don't tend to have any natural flow to them. A lot of these songs seem to follow a technical verse/big chorus/overly complex instrumental/big chorus pattern, and it seems the depth of the compositions have been sacrificed for flashy crazy time signatures. Some of these melodies (especially in the choruses) could be quite memorable, but they've been chopped up and put on top of needlessly changing time signatures, and because of this, I can't recall a single melody of any song on here. This isn't to say I hate the album, I do love the track 1985 for it's incredibly cheesy synths (the only hint of the Haken I know and love on this album), Lapse for it's Allan Holdsworth-ian sound, and Earthrise is a wonderful progged up pop song. Overall though, I'm going to have to give this 3 stars (minus half a star for the screamo section on the Architect).
jazz2896 | 3/5 |


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