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Haken - Aquarius CD (album) cover




Heavy Prog

4.09 | 964 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
4 stars 8/10

Aquarius is a mind-blowing tour de force of Progressive Rock.

A long time ago, in the 1980's a band called Marillion was founded to bring back the old glory of Progressive Rock. From there, the new wave of Prog Rock music began, that has extended until today. We have different bands that, let's say, were dominant in specific periods, and Haken might be the leader band of all prog rock in the future. Their energy, their songwriting, everything about this band is completely original, something that is rare to find in such a young band. No wonder "Aquarius" comes close to being a masterpiece.

The talent of these musicians is impressive: keyboards, guitars, bass, vocals, everything is sublimely performed. These artists together make a blend of progressive metal and progressive rock, but it's much more complex than that; every moment is extremely rich and lush, every single sound is extremely well cured,the production is ambitious and just gorgeous. It's a masterpiece of complexity, an outstanding achievement of progressive, no doubt about that. The eclectic side of the band is well shown, especially in the keyboards; so many different sounds and synth programs are used, it just makes a single song sound absolutely complete in every way. But it's not only about the keyboards; amazing guitar sections, tons of time changes, great vocal delivery, that can change from a nice tone to a death growl. Everything changes in this album, it has an amazing flow that you rarely find in an album.

Aquarius is a tour de force of Progressive Rock/Metal, an amazingly solid release that promises so much for this band. Surprisingly enough, this doesn't sound like an early album for a band, as a matter of fact it sounds so mature this could be a magnum opus of great bands. But when you do hear the following album "Visions", you realize how this has actually a lot of moments that might be a little na´ve. But these moments are really hidden, and you need to listen to the next release to figure that out.

The album has many highlights, but my favorite moments are for me "Streams", a perfectly executed 10 minute track that has nothing but great hooks and mind-blowing arrangements, and "Drowning In The Flood" is a just as good, flawless track pretty much as brilliant; the opener "The Point Of No Return" is an epically written piece with so many haunting moments and beautiful passages.

"Aquarius" will be considered a prog metal classic in the years to come, a seminal release for many future prog releases. If you're a fan of the genre, this is strongly recommendable.

EatThatPhonebook | 4/5 |


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