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Haken Vector album cover
3.68 | 332 ratings | 11 reviews | 24% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

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Studio Album, released in 2018

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Clear (1:50)
2. The Good Doctor (3:56)
3. Puzzle Box (7:43)
4. Veil (12:35)
5. Nil by Mouth (6:51)
6. Host (6:45)
7. A Cell Divides (4:57)

Total Time 44:37

Line-up / Musicians

- Ross Jennings / vocals
- Charlie Griffiths / guitars
- Richard Henshall / guitars
- Diego Tejeida / keyboards
- Conner Green / bass
- Raymond Hearne / drums

- Miguel Gorodi / flugelhorn (2)
- Peter Jones / drum programming

Releases information

Artwork: Blacklake

CD Inside Out Music ‎- 190758839226 (2018, Germany)
2CD Inside Out Music ‎- 19075883912 (2018, Europe) Bonus CD with instrumental versions

2LP + CD Inside Out Music ‎- 19075883931 (2018, Europe) Full album on both media

Thanks to mbzr48 for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
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HAKEN Vector ratings distribution

(332 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(24%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(40%)
Good, but non-essential (27%)
Collectors/fans only (8%)
Poor. Only for completionists (1%)

HAKEN Vector reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Aussie-Byrd-Brother
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Popular London-based prog-metal act Haken return quite quickly after their stop-gap live disc `L-1VE' a few months back with 2018's `Vector', a work that's likely going to be well-received by their existing fanbase as well as being able to be approached easily by newcomers who don't mind their prog rock on the louder side! A concept album telling the tale of a patient in an asylum being subjected to all kinds of psychological and physical experiments, `Vector' mixes the heavy instrumental show-boating runs with frantic rock and thoughtful ballad passages that the band always deliver, even if they strip back virtually all of the Seventies/Eighties influences from their past few discs this time around, and they throw in a touch of jazz and electronica along with a big variety of rich vocal arrangements.

After instrumental `Clear's scene-setting moody opening dirge of distortion and heavily treated organ, `The Good Doctor' kicks the album off proper, and what a burst of instant momentum and shot in the arm it is! Everything Haken does well is in this one - infectious energy, punchy frantic time changes, Richard Henshall and Charlie Griffiths' heavy twisting guitar runs, Conner Green's pulsing bass, Raymond Hearne's pounding drums and Diego Tejeida's delirious keyboard freak- outs all wrapped in a catchy tune with Ross Jennings' confident lead vocal delivering a memorable melody, and there's a swaggering funkiness rippling throughout the track too - phew! `Puzzle Box' is then full of bludgeoning riffing and shimmering mysterious touches powered by rattling drumming alongside Diego's twitching electronic glitches and eerie ambient interludes.

But it's `Veil' that will have most prog fans salivating like the epic-craving animals they are, even if it does borrow heavily from the tightly technical Dream Theater template, especially the reprising metal guitar riffing, pummelling drum tantrums and heroic synth theme! The thirteen minute piece initially misleads with a swooning group vocal around delicate piano that sounds like the band are about to cover Queen's `Love of my Life', but it's soon crushed by thrashing bombastic bursts of histrionic guitar soloing tantrums, runaway keyboard soloing and some low-key thoughtful breaks in between a range of vocal passages where Ross' voice moves between snarling menace and ethereal drifting mystery, and the fellas together offer sublime harmonies of soothing dreaminess.

Schizophrenic instrumental `Nil By Mouth' attacks at full speed, full of grinding twists 'n turns, heavy stop/start grooves and even a loopy sense of humour, and themes from the whole album are subtly reprised throughout. `Host' is home to dark jazz flavours from flugelhorn wafting through seductive guitar chimes of ringing Post-Rock ambient reaches and a mesmerizingly seductive wrap of dreamy vocals that hold just enough of a reassuring edge. The piece almost takes on the more reflective and melancholic moments of the most recent Opeth albums, and there's just a hint of a gothic moodiness infiltrating the final moments. Besides a short ambient break in the middle, closer `A Cell Divides' reminds of Muse and mostly revolves around a dramatic recurring chorus, but it's perhaps the least interesting track here (certainly the most straightforward) that unfortunately doesn't finish the disc in the big or powerful way that prog concept albums should conclude on.

As strong and mostly consistent as it is, admittedly `Vector' feels a little unfinished, like it needed a bit more to push it to true greatness, and it's perhaps not the bigger step-up in progression from previous albums that all their prior works were, instead sounding quite often like `just another Haken album'. Also, while the fairly short vinyl length of about 45 minutes is appreciated over some bloated jammed-full 80 minute CD behemoth, it doesn't feel long enough to really make the concept a big musical statement here in the manner of all the great prog albums. Still, it's the very definition of a grower of a very fine album from an immensely skilled younger band, full of great playing and terrific singing, and it keeps the great band that is Haken chugging along nicely.

Three and a half stars.

Review by kev rowland
4 stars For some reason or another I lost touch with what Haken were doing over recently, and while they are now back with their fifth studio album, the last of theirs I heard was the third, 2013's 'The Mountain'. Now, I gave that top marks and said it was my progressive album of the year, so what would I think some six years down the track? They have always been a heavy act, but this sees them take it into a whole new area, as if Meshuggah have decided to add polish, finesse, and keyboards. It may smooth the edges, but there is no doubt that this is a metallic beast of an album 'We've always had a heavy influence', explains guitarist Charlie Griffiths, 'but it was obvious from the riffs that were naturally coming out of us early in the writing process that this would be a more metal album. These are some of the most riff driven songs we've ever written.'

But, there are times when there is gentle piano, delicate harmony vocals, as if those nasty horrible loud guitars have gone away forever, but it is all just a ploy to get the listener to let down their guard. There again, how many metal bands can be riffing like mad but then have a flugelhorn over the top? Musically the album is a mess, all over the place, and is all the better for it. If that isn't enough, there is also an underlying theme to make it even more prog! 'The scene is set with the track The Good Doctor, which was a really fun song. Musically it feels like a logical step from 'Affinity', but lyrically it's a bit more theatrical and about as 'rock opera' as Haken has ever got', explains Griffiths. It's about a Doctor with an intriguing, perhaps sinister interest in a particular patient. From there the story enters the point-of-view of the patient - who appears to be catatonic, but his mind is sparking with what could be memories, or delusions brought on by the treatment he's receiving - we leave this up to the listeners to decide. Although we don't want to give too much away, listeners who are familiar with our back catalogue will have fun discovering further clues we've planted throughout the album'.

Although this ia an awesome album I would prefer if the guitars had been allowed to keep more of their edge and not be polished away quite so much. I am sure that Haken in a live environment will much more of a bruising experience than it is on record. It is going to be interesting to see where they go next on their musical journey, as while they also add in Linkin Park influences, this British act are determined to go their own way and create something metallic and progressive on their own terms.

Latest members reviews

3 stars - Review #13 - So, it's safe to say that Haken has gathered a very decent fan base through the years. The band itself has gone through a few fases, in fact. Vector is the second Djent-progressive metal album by Haken, the first one being Affinity, released a couple years ago. It concentrates ... (read more)

Report this review (#2541513) | Posted by King Brimstone | Saturday, May 8, 2021 | Review Permanlink

2 stars It's year 2074. The zombie apocalypse ravaged half of the human population, food supplies run low, water is mostly contaminated so it cannot be consumed, society has been completely obliterated, rights no longer exist, and Haken still sounds like Dream Theater. When are they going to get their ow ... (read more)

Report this review (#2526555) | Posted by Isaac Peretz | Friday, March 19, 2021 | Review Permanlink

3 stars After combining metal and 70s prog eccentricity on their first albums, and referencing 80s prog on their previous release Affinity, with their fifth album Vector, Haken move into the territory of contemporary (heavier) prog metal. Dream Theater and 70s prog are still major influences on the band, bu ... (read more)

Report this review (#2440550) | Posted by lukretio | Sunday, August 23, 2020 | Review Permanlink

3 stars Vector came as a surprise to me as a fan of all of the band's earlier work, which has typically seemed like a modern metal take on classic 70s symphonic prog bands, with occasional humor from light syncopated passages. This album represents a marked shift from their previous albums to one filled mo ... (read more)

Report this review (#2431649) | Posted by boomer89 | Thursday, July 23, 2020 | Review Permanlink

5 stars This is a good example of Haken doing their own version of Train Of Thought (Dream Theater). However, this is quite a brilliant album for sure. I love the djent elements, this album sounds like an over the top version of Fear of a Blank Planet by Porcupine Tree. Clear is a very weird and oddly heavy ... (read more)

Report this review (#2379511) | Posted by Zoltanxvamos | Monday, May 11, 2020 | Review Permanlink

3 stars Haken surprised me here. Thought they would go in more for a post-rock direction. But this is their densest (and that's the ultra-bombastic Haken we're talking about!), djentiest and most electronic album. I realize I'm in the minority, but here's my beef with his record. Whilst not forgettin ... (read more)

Report this review (#2135037) | Posted by Progrussia | Friday, February 8, 2019 | Review Permanlink

3 stars 2018 was rich with great and anticipated releases. In particular, we've been gifted with the first album from Haken's Vector-Virus combo. On this release the band has allegedly tried to explore new territories taking their most popular song (Cockroach King, that is) as a starting point. The result i ... (read more)

Report this review (#2080072) | Posted by Homotopy | Saturday, December 1, 2018 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Be guided by the cover art. You are warned by a red alert. You see a Rorschach image that seems like an inhuman robot. That's the music defined. The robots are on speed and whirring out hyper-dense machine rock. Let's try and help by defining who won't and who may like this album. If your Hak ... (read more)

Report this review (#2049822) | Posted by Einwahn | Tuesday, October 30, 2018 | Review Permanlink

1 stars When I listened to Haken's Vector, I remembered Marshal of the Soviet Union Semyon Mikhailovich Budyonny. In 1919- 1920 he developed the massing of mobile formations principle. This made him one of the biggest military thinkers in history. But since then, he only rest on his laurels and lagged be ... (read more)

Report this review (#2048739) | Posted by proghaven | Sunday, October 28, 2018 | Review Permanlink

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