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Haken - Affinity CD (album) cover




Heavy Prog

3.94 | 620 ratings

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4 stars I just recently got into Haken's stuff, and some of it utterly blew my mind. Tracks like "Celestial Elixir", "Visions", or basically anything on "The Mountain", made this album one of my most highly anticipated releases of the year. If you go in with such high expectations, I'll say that it does live up... but not completely. Don't get me wrong, Affinity proves to be an excellent album, no doubt about it. It's just that there are some parts that are a little forgettable at times. The album starts with "Initiate", which I initially didn't like but grew to love. One of the main treats of the album is "1985", a track that is elegant in its absolute cheesiness. It sounds exactly like the type of 80's prog song you hear from bands like "Rush" or "Yes", but it still has the Haken-ness that makes it one of the highlights of the album. The next highlight of the album is their juggernaut of a track, titled "The Architect". Now, as much as I liked this track, the growling was so very unnecessary and out of place. I've never been a fan of Haken growls. I didn't like them in "Aquarius", I definitely did not like them here. Otherwise, this song has an amazing bass solo, an excellent chorus, and is overall one of Haken's strongest tracks yet. Just... the growls. Anyway, one of the problems in this album is that some tracks are less memorable than others. That's the one issue that prevented me from giving this a solid five. Tracks like "Lapse" and "Red Giant" were pretty good tracks, they just don't hold up when compared to the amazing amount of experimentation and musical genius found on the rest of the album. I might be nitpicking a little, but I'm merely giving my full thoughts. Overall, this is an extremely strong outing that displays amazing musicianship, and if it weren't for a few setbacks, I would definitely call it an absolute masterpiece. Seriously though, no growls.
TheWall7 | 4/5 |


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