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RICHARD HENSHALL

Progressive Metal • United Kingdom


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Richard Henshall biography
Solo project from Haken's and Nova Collective's guitarist

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RICHARD HENSHALL discography


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RICHARD HENSHALL top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.62 | 46 ratings
The Cocoon
2019
0.00 | 0 ratings
The Cocoon (Instrumental)
2019

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RICHARD HENSHALL Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 The Cocoon by HENSHALL, RICHARD album cover Studio Album, 2019
3.62 | 46 ratings

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The Cocoon
Richard Henshall Progressive Metal

Review by Grumpyprogfan

4 stars I had no idea what to expect with Richard's first solo release but this totally blew me away. If you're a fan of his work with Haken or Nova Collective then this is a must have. Richard wrote all the music plays guitar, keys and sings. His vocals aren't bad, they are low in the mix, but the majority of music on this album is instrumental. On bass, Haken mate Conner Green helps out and Matt Lynch (Nova Collective) handles the drums. I love the drumming on this album. Upbeat stellar patterns that weave in and out effortlessly and are tasteful. Guest vocalists, guitar soloists, keyboard soloist, and a string and sax player fill in the rest.

The music is similar to his other projects but there are differences. It is not as metal-ish as Haken's last release, or as driving as Nova Collective. There are more mellow, experimental, and jazzy sections. "Lunar Room" even has a rap section that sounds good to this non-rap fan. The music that is being rapped to is not what you would expect and it works. The syncopated instrumental break at 3:27 through 5:15 is amazing. I believe the guest guitar soloist during this section is Marco Sfogli and he slays. My favorite tune is "Twisted Shadows" with Haken's Ross Jennings sharing vocal duties. This is the most Haken sounding tune on the album but more of the off-beat counterpoint interludes (I call them carnival sounds) than crushing metal guitar licks. Absolutely love the jazzy guitar breaks at 4:24 and 5:41. This song goes through a lot of musical states and somehow stays together. Something only accomplished musicians can pull off. Oh, and the rest of the songs are quality? not one dud. Enjoy!

 The Cocoon by HENSHALL, RICHARD album cover Studio Album, 2019
3.62 | 46 ratings

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The Cocoon
Richard Henshall Progressive Metal

Review by A Crimson Mellotron

2 stars Haken mastermind and multi-instrumentalist Richard Henshall released his first solo album in 2019, and if I am not wrong this is the very first solo album to come from anyone in Haken.

He obviously blended a variety of influences here, trying to disassociate this album as much from the band. However, all this to a result that is simply unappealing to my taste and perception of music.

We can hear jazz, metal, pop, ambient, math rock, and even hip-hop all thrown in the mixer, resulting in some directionless, in my opinion, compositions that sound overly chiseled here and there.

Opener 'Pupa' is a mellow and ambient little piece leading to the main song on the album, the title track 'Cocoon' where Hen displays his songwriting ability and his guitar craft. We get a sax solo that comes as a surprising but pleasant treat.

'Silken Chains' is another guitar-oriented song that falls in the 'forgettable' category of mine. 'Limbo' is another shorter interlude made up of ambient soundscapes and vocal melodies provided by Henshall, that is leading to the really messy track 'Lunar Room'. This song happens to be written by Bent Knee-native Ben Levin who also raps on this track. There are also female vocals, guitar solos, and many things that do not leave me astonished and wanting to hear the track again.

'Twisted Shadows' sounds like the track that could fit on the Haken albums of this period ('Vector' or 'Virus'). Ross Jennings also provides vocals and Jordan Rudess lays down a keyboard solo. The song is very technically honed and much heavier than the rest of the album. I do not have much to say about the closing track 'Afterglow' except that it could have been left out.

Generally, this is not the kind of album that is appealing to me. It is decent for what it is, that is for sure. Still, given Henshall's background, I must compare it to Haken and admit it sounds weaker than any of their albums. He is a fantastic and very talented player but his powers work better in the band environment at this moment, in my humble opinion.

 The Cocoon by HENSHALL, RICHARD album cover Studio Album, 2019
3.62 | 46 ratings

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The Cocoon
Richard Henshall Progressive Metal

Review by uribreitman

3 stars Haken fans are naturally attracted to "The Cocoon", debut solo album by Henshall. It's a mature debut, made by a master craftsman. Henshall enlisted his wide group of musician friends. The result is a delight, showcasing different influences such as prog-metal, jazz-metal, post-rock and math-rock. Henshall is a true virtuoso, demonstrating his John Pettruci heritage. It's almost a lost Haken album - the only missing element is Ross Jennings's voice (hiding in track #6). The compositions are intelligent and engaging. The only problems are the "big concept", the lyrics and Henshall's weak singing voice. He's not much of a front-man, you see. That's why Henshall used Ben Levin's vocals for one track. But it's clearly not enough. So if you're searching for imaginative melodies and clever arrangements - you've got it, big time. But if you really need inspiring lyrics (like Haken's "The Mountain") with a strong soloist - "The Cocoon" will disappoint you somewhat. It's not a bad album in any sense. It's just that Haken's albums are so much more grand than this small one.
 The Cocoon by HENSHALL, RICHARD album cover Studio Album, 2019
3.62 | 46 ratings

BUY
The Cocoon
Richard Henshall Progressive Metal

Review by alainPP

4 stars Richard Henshall is the guitarist of the group Haken, it is known! Before, he had worked for NOVA GROUP, TO-MERA and later Shattered Fortress, the project of Mr. PORTNOY. All that to say that the gentleman has a few arrows to his bow and his quiver is full; he also plays the synthesizer course !! This project has taken him four years surrounded by his faithful lieutenant GREEN on bass and on drums LYNCH having played with him CYNIC. Guests like Jordan Rudess, Marco Sfogli or Ross JENNINGS come will enhance their project. At influences, I thought bulk MESHUGGAH for the brutal rhythms DEAR HUNTER for neo-prog fruity variations, KING CRIMSON for pervasive apocalyptic bass and sax, some AL DI MEOLA and VINNIE MOORE moments for flights fluid solos, some TESSERACT, LINKIN PARK, NINE INCH NAILS, RAGE AGAINST THE MACHINE for the singular phrasing during one of his titles and Oceansize, but mostly HAKEN latest release version a little more light.

"Pupa" begins with an instrumental synth-piano air causing a rhythmic bass-fast pulling prog metal to DREAM THEATER, and younger, to offer "Cocoon" a controversial track where crimsoniennes clash of sounds and jazzy without ever giving in a typical chorus clocked. This is initially a little confusing, but the ear prog proved possible to find varied and creative frames throughout this title fusion. Sax in the second part comes acÚrer our ears to give guitar solo to even more beauty. The play "Silken Chains" comes together; a title evoking me ZAPPA DI MEOLA then qu'OCEANSIZE bases would not have denied. An easy groove, causing a phrased voice, a guitar that still flirts with jazz influences, and a final crescendo along almost orgasmic coming close such, certainly one of my favorites with the piano that comes slowly drop his notes at the end. "Limbo" interlude hovering at Vennart an interstellar beauty to the limit this time of post rock with a stratospheric flight to the key as to rest some of the notes of the flood and the convolutions of the previous titles; cool title, hovering just sublime.

"Lunar Room 'comes with an air completely unconventional, out of context with that phrasing unseating rap, yes I said rap makes me climb the hairs in the sky! Not possible, I fled! But conscientious, I come back, I leave and I fell backwards. I can hear it again and after several readings I realize that it is stamped PROG. The question in this piece, marrow pith passes through a solo twirling guitar Sfogli of having worked with James Labrie. The final climbs again so pronounced with voice and chopped rhythms, a bit in the djent kind. A composition ultimately disturbing but oh how innovative! "Twisted Shadows" then tumbles with the most recognizable piece. I realize the Haken from the beginning, a little disconcerting to ZAPPA, some blues, some funky atmosphere to start his typed Richard Henshall. He is assisted by Jordan Rudess trance eyeing more towards LIQUID TENSION EXPERIMENT as to DREAM THEATER. The air, the Devin Townsend takes us on different musical genres: a universal melting pot for (re) unifying music of the XXI century with that of the past? "Afterglow" ends the album on a note of melancholy depression very pleasant, a musical oxymoron well revealing the duality of this album at once intimate and explosive. A mesmerizing and taking air, I found a bit of hushed atmosphere of ANATHEMA I love, then a detour djent to recall his Haken. This is the kind of piece that gives the furious desire to press the replay button! He is assisted by Jordan Rudess trance eyeing more towards LIQUID TENSION EXPERIMENT as to DREAM THEATER. The air, the Devin Townsend takes us on different musical genres: a universal melting pot for (re) unifying music of the XXI century with that of the past? "Afterglow" ends the album on a note of melancholy depression very pleasant, a musical oxymoron well revealing the duality of this album at once intimate and explosive. A mesmerizing and taking air, I found a bit of hushed atmosphere of ANATHEMA I love, then a detour djent to recall his Haken. This is the kind of piece that gives the furious desire to press the replay button! He is assisted by Jordan Rudess trance eyeing more towards LIQUID TENSION EXPERIMENT as to DREAM THEATER. The air, the Devin Townsend takes us on different musical genres: a universal melting pot for (re) unifying music of the XXI century with that of the past? "Afterglow" ends the album on a note of melancholy depression very pleasant, a musical oxymoron well revealing the duality of this album at once intimate and explosive. A mesmerizing and taking air, I found a bit of hushed atmosphere of ANATHEMA I love, then a detour djent to recall his Haken. This is the kind of piece that gives the furious desire to press the replay button! a universal melting pot for (re) unifying music of the XXI century with that of the past? "Afterglow" ends the album on a note of melancholy depression very pleasant, a musical oxymoron well revealing the duality of this album at once intimate and explosive. A mesmerizing and taking air, I found a bit of hushed atmosphere of ANATHEMA I love, then a detour djent to recall his Haken. This is the kind of piece that gives the furious desire to press the replay button! a universal melting pot for (re) unifying music of the XXI century with that of the past? "Afterglow" ends the album on a note of melancholy depression very pleasant, a musical oxymoron well revealing the duality of this album at once intimate and explosive. A mesmerizing and taking air, I found a bit of hushed atmosphere of ANATHEMA I love, then a detour djent to recall his Haken. This is the kind of piece that gives the furious desire to press the replay button! then a small detour djent to recall his Haken.

It's finish! An album to share my opinion. Heavy times frantic, atmospheres felted by now, almost impossible fusion of times and blazing musical vibrations. The PROG is increasingly in innovative research. This album may take several plays to delve into it literally true, but for me some titles exploded in my ear from the first listening due to their creative beauty. Others like "Cocoon," "lunar room" and "twisted shadows" may require repetitive plays to domesticate. That said, they have become almost despite myself, ones that make me vibrate currently. A drive outsized certainly be placed on the innovative current prog metal mountains.

Thanks to bonnek for the artist addition.

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