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Haken - Vector CD (album) cover




Heavy Prog

3.68 | 332 ratings

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1 stars When I listened to Haken's Vector, I remembered Marshal of the Soviet Union Semyon Mikhailovich Budyonny. In 1919- 1920 he developed the massing of mobile formations principle. This made him one of the biggest military thinkers in history. But since then, he only rest on his laurels and lagged behind life. He was a hero of Civil war but his activity in World War II was (to say softly) far from splendid. He showed up suddenly but failed to keep up to date.

Maybe the analogy with Haken seems farfetched but isn't. The dawn of Haken was somewhat similar to the dawn of Marshal Budyonny. The band gloriously started in 2010 with Aquarius, a prophetical, forerunner album that really became a discovery, a breakthrough. Along with Galadriel's Calibrated Collision Course, Lifesigns' Cardington and (partially) Wobbler's From Silence To Somewhere, Aquarius may be considered an embryo of some forthcoming paradigm of prog, a beacon for progsters, a sort of visual aid on How To Say A New Word In Music.

But the start suddenly became the end. Their second album, Visions, was still fine but sounded like it was manufactured from the unspent raw materials previously reserved for Aquarius. And since then, the artists were constantly lagging behind themselves, and producing high rated albums unworthy of Haken. Looks like their initial amazingly high creative energy was enough for one incredible album only.

And from time to time, the musicians' will to re-climb the mountain they left eight years ago is audible in their new album. The Good Doctor and especially Veil are their evident attempts to reach the same flight level as in Aquarius... but no, they flew too high in those days, now it would be a back-breaking toil - while Puzzle Box is an adequate job for their current creative condition! A grumpy fuss in the vein of The Mountain (their high praised album from 2013) is what they can do best of all nowadays. Or an insipid collection of musical platitudes in the spirit of Affinity (their album from 2016) like Host or A Cell Divides. One track (Nil By Mouth) is obviously influenced by System Of A Down - I believe back in 2010 Haken would not need such a source for inspiration. After all this fuss and bother, the nice impression from the Bach- like intro (Clear) is completely dissipated and forgotten. The music of Vector in toto is sweltering, cramped, planar, I'd say 2D. In brief, unpleasant. No I don't want to say that annual miracles are expected from an artist who debuted with a miracle. But I still hope that Aquarius was not the final miracle from Haken. I entertain this hope even despite Vector.

proghaven | 1/5 |


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