Progarchives, the progressive rock ultimate discography
Haken - Aquarius CD (album) cover




Heavy Prog

4.06 | 1003 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

The Klepto
4 stars My New Years Resolution was to listen to more progressive music; so far I've hit Ciccada, Hypnos 69, and now Haken. This album, and thereby the band (as this is their first release), is a really well put together semi-symphonic, progressive metal release. It is filled with powerful vocals, mostly clean but able to growl or reach guttural tones when needed, there is a heavy piano hand present throughout, being more of the central focus point then any other instrument. The guitars and bass - while present - seem to play a lesser role then most rock/metal albums, subbing in keyboards and strings for the majority of the moving melodies. It brings an interesting view and twist of the prog genre, that in itself is something, to bring a example of a genre that is almost defined by it's individuality of bands and albums.

The styles vary between songs as well, with the first song, "The Point Of No Return," sounding like a modern prog piece, followed immediately by "Streams" which, aside from a guttural/death metal-like vocal breakdown in the middle, sounds like something out of the 80s popular rock scene, all the time keeping a heavy or metal edge. The album debates these two styles for a bit, until "Eternal Rain," which is filled with sudden time signature and tempo changes, with the music accompanying the shifts. Newcomers to prog will find this song a bit hard to listen to, as some of the progressions seem to assail the ears. But then just two songs later, a beautiful and melodic track, "Sun," greets the listener with open arms and a warm smile. This song comes off a bit psychedelic, with flowing melodies and layered choruses meandering through a central story. A quite nice and unexpected chapter of Aquarius, followed directly by "Celestial Elixir," which begins with a polka/carnival beat for the first minute or two before going into a keyboard and guitar back-and-forth. It's something else.

There is no doubt that Haken puts out some great progressive metal, and deserves to be on the ProgArchives' list for the best of 2010, but I find myself missing the uniqueness of Ciccada (another very unique and special band). Aquarius, filled with it's epic songs and some really crazy stylistic pairings, was a joy to listen to, and is by far more metal; their music hits upon more themes and genres then anything I have heard by Ciccada, but I think it misses the boat that A Child In The Mirror is on. Still an amazing release, and definitely one of the best modern progressive pieces I have yet heard (I am working on hearing others). A must have for any fan of progressive music.

The Klepto | 4/5 |


As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Forum user
Forum password

Share this HAKEN review

Social review comments () BETA

Review related links

Copyright Prog Archives, All rights reserved. | Legal Notice | Privacy Policy | Advertise | RSS + syndications

Other sites in the MAC network: — jazz music reviews and archives | — metal music reviews and archives