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Haken - Aquarius CD (album) cover




Heavy Prog

4.09 | 964 ratings

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4 stars As a debut album this shows amazing ambition (although strictly speaking a couple of band members also play in To-Mera). Never settling too long in any one style its certainly an eclectic listen with influences from across Rock, Jazz, Pop & 80s British sitcom theme-tunes. You'll hear snatches of Camel, Dream Theatre, Kansas, Moon Safari, Rush, Threshold & BFMV...... and thats just in the song "Streams".

In fact, over the 7 tracks, its this huge range of styles that becomes a detriment to the piece as a whole. It does feel somewhat disjointed and certain sections feel bolted together as if they had all these little sections and riffs and just strung them together. There are a few points in the album that feel like the band are "showing off" to the detriment of the song (yes, streams, i'm looking at you)

When the album flows (Drowning, Eternal and the majority of album closer Celestial Elixir) it really shines and shows a young band with limitless potential. Some breathtaking musicianship and a fine vocal performance from Ross Jennings (whose dancing, however, makes Ann Widdecombe look like Ginger Rodgers).

Its a solid 4 star album, a dazzling display of talent that just needs a little more focus and songcraft. In time this band really could be THE outstanding modern prog act. I await the follow up with baited breath.

They can also reproduce this live as a barnstorming set at summers end 2010 can attest.

devox | 4/5 |


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