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Haken - Visions CD (album) cover




Heavy Prog

4.13 | 1109 ratings

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Prog Metal Team
3 stars In 2010 Haken took the Prog Metal scene by storm with their acclaimed 'Acquarius' debut but I wasn't much impressed actually. I disliked the band's tendency to show off all their chops and tricks all the time, as well as their urge to impress the listener constantly. It suffocated their songwriting, but they trimmed that down now, let in more breath in their compositions, and remained focused on the strength of the songs. They also ditched most of their AOR influences. Thanks again for that!

The band is often compared to Dream Theater but I don't see much of that on this album. Their riffing is rarely trash metal based and they don't rely as heavily on shredding and pyroclastics. They often use long instrumental passages for developing melodic themes and shifting moods, reminding me sometimes of Threshold, with a similar atmosphere and melodic qualities. Also, Haken is proggier and more modern then those two bands.

They also try their hands on a 22 minute piece. The main vocal theme lets me down here (too balladry and mellow for my taste) and the track isn't as much to the point as their shorter songs are, but around minute 6 it takes off for real with a roller-coaster of ideas and styles that doesn't let down for most of it's duration. The end section reprises the opening vocal a couple of times and ultimately leaves me with a disappointed taste. Too typical and formulaic. Also the ballad 'Deathless' is a turn-off.

Haken showed a lot of promise on 'Acquarius' and now they delivered. I must say that the first half of this lengthy album works a lot better for me then the second half, which is simply too mellow and sticks too much to trodden prog paths. Anyway, good album and I'm sure real proggers will love this a lot more then me. 3.5 stars.

Bonnek | 3/5 |


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