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Haken - Visions CD (album) cover




Heavy Prog

4.13 | 1109 ratings

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Mr. Mustard
5 stars How does a band one-up such a strong debut concept album effort in Aquarius? Haken answered this by releasing an even stronger concept album in Visions. Any sloppiness or lack of flow in their previous has now been rectified to create a much more focused, tight sound. They still haven't left the style that makes them Haken, nor have they left the Dream Theater influence behind. If anything, this sounds very similar to Scenes From A Memory, both instrumentally and conceptually. Regardless, this is still Haken from beginning to end.

The album opens with the short 'Premonition' which acts as the instrumental introduction.

'Nocturnal Conspiracy' is based on a simple and catchy riff that gives it a rather ominous mood. This is short lived as the more metal parts enter along with Jenning's unique vocals. There is also a symphonic sound to this song that was also present in their last album. Of course, a longer Haken song is not complete without an epic instrumental section that occurs around five minutes.

'Insomnia' opens with a riff in 6/4, along with some good vocals over some harmonized bass and piano parts. The instrumental portion of this song is of course complex and chaotic.

'The Mind's Eye' is a slower, almost ballad-like song with some more powerful vocal moments spaced between.

'Portals' is the fully instrumental track of the album similar to Dance of Eternity on Scenes (though not nearly as complex), but is more melodic, especially the fantastic guitar solo at the end.

'Shapeshifter' is based on a crushing riff in 4/4 with the other sections being down-tempo and vocal dominated with a few symphonic moments in the chorus.

'Deathless' is a down-tempo ballad in the first half of the song, but picks up a bit of energy in the second half.

The title track is the epic 'Visions,' which goes through a myriad of twists and turns in its 22-minute duration. There is the beginning symphonic section with a few mixed in riffs and dramatic vocals, which is followed by the first instrumental section, some more riffage, a short acoustic section, a tasteful guitar solo, a very unique and interesting sounding vocal melody harmonized with guitar, and finally the dramatic reprise.

Some may argue Visions is pretty derivative, and while I can't argue that, I will say that the music is so good it hardly matters to me.


Mr. Mustard | 5/5 |


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