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Haken - Visions CD (album) cover




Heavy Prog

4.13 | 1109 ratings

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4 stars Haken seems to have taken the prog community by storm once again. Released only a year after the bands triumphant debut album, Visions gives us another piece the puzzle known as Haken. But is this just a continuation of the previous themes or an even bigger triumph that we, the fans, have got on our hands with this release? Let's listen and find out!

Let me start by introducing my Haken story to everyone who has yet to read my in detail review of Aquarius. I heard that album around Christmas 2010 and, just like many others, became intrigued by this collectives mature style and a clear sense of direction that shined through on each and every track on Aquarius. Unfortunately, this initial enthusiasm began to fade over time and this is why I consider my review of that album to be a mature statement of my recollections after my initial honeymoon with the album faded to obscurity.

Visions was a slightly different beast in nature since my initial spin didn't really make my senses tingle as much as I wanted them to, but I carried on playing the album for two weeks straight and the results have definitely began to turn for the better, and in this case, even excellent. The biggest difference for me between Aquarius and Vision is the more thematic approach to music making. All of the compositions here have some sort of a connection with one another which is why this album's biggest highlights didn't struck me as hard the first time that I've heard them. Aquarius had a more eclectic approach where almost every track introduced some new elements which ultimately didn't make the final result glue together as well as I would have wanted it to.

The similarities between the two albums are very striking with both releases are comprised essentially of the same type of track listing with a few ballads, instrumentals and one lengthy album closer to finish the story off with a bang. Silly of me, did I forget to mention that this is another concept album? Well it least sort of. You see, my biggest grudge with Aquarius was the fact that it was labeled as concept album without Haken making a single effort of making it a coherent one. I'm not going to repeat my thoughts on the issue here since we have a new concept album to tackle on Visions and what an issue it is!

Even though English is not my native language, I've never had the problem of at least following the otherwise rather confusing lyrical content of Peter Gabriel or Peter Hammill, but the work of Ross Jennings is just beyond my comprehension. I can definitely make out words and sometimes even complete sentences, but that apparently doesn't guarantee that one would understand what is actually happening on this album. I get the feeling that it has something to do with ripping off Lamb Lies Down On Broadway, but other than that it completely looses me along the way.

So why the slightly higher rating than last time you might ask? Well, it's not that I completely hated Aquarius, in fact it was quite an enjoyable journey even considering all of it's flaws and I could easily round my rating to 3,5 stars in that case. Visions makes a few improvements on the same basic formula, thus making the overall experience slightly more enjoyable than the last time. Therefore I can't see a reason why this release wouldn't be rounded up to a full 4 star rating. But mind you, it's still somewhere between 3,5 and 4 stars, this time rounded upwards.

I can probably give you at least 10 other great releases of 2011 that deserve more of your time and money than Haken's Visions, but the haters are gonna hate and fanboys will go on with their epic rant crusades so I guess it's business as usual!

***** star songs: Nocturnal Conspiracy (13:08) Shapeshifter (8:08) Deathless (8:04)

**** star songs: Premonition (4:10) Insomnia (6:06) Portals (5:27) Visions (22:25)

*** star songs: The Mind's Eye (4:05)

Rune2000 | 4/5 |


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