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HAKEN

Heavy Prog • United Kingdom


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Haken picture
Haken biography
Founded in 2007 in London, England

HAKEN is a young but respected outfit from London that started strong, rose to the top of the progressive market, and ended up producing the 80-minute epic 'Aquarius' in 2010. Initially the band was the project of three school buddies - Richard HENSHALL[guitar/keys], Ross JENNINGS[vocals], and Matt MARSHALL[guitar] - who were soon joined by keyboardist Peter JONES and drummer Raymond HEARNE. With the help of TO-MERA guitarist Tom MacLEAN on bass they recorded a three cut demo in 2007 that received good responses and got the band booked in support of RIVERSIDE that year.

In 2008, JONES and MARSHALL left to pursue other interests and were replaced by guitarist Charlie GRIFFITHS [LINEAR SPHERE/ANCHORHEAD] and the keys of Diego TEJEIDA and after touring to support KINGS X, BIGELF and TO-MERA, Laser's Edge signed HAKEN to their progmetal label Sensory Records.

Musically HAKEN is many-faceted: sometimes song-oriented, sometimes avant-garde, often heavy, and always Prog. A twisted meeting of RUSH, The TANGENT, KANSAS,and hints of Italian symph, the six-piece is sure to please a very wide spectrum of prog listener.

- Atavachron (David) -

See also: - To-Mera

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VectorVector
Century Media 2018
$12.93
$13.42 (used)
L-1VEL-1VE
Century Media 2018
$17.99
$22.00 (used)
The MountainThe Mountain
Inside Out Music 2013
$12.83
$12.86 (used)
Restoration EpRestoration Ep
Century Media 2015
$8.16
$8.00 (used)
Aquarius (Re-issue 2017)Aquarius (Re-issue 2017)
Inside Out Music 2017
$12.39
$7.40 (used)
Visions (Re-issue 2017)Visions (Re-issue 2017)
Inside Out Music 2017
$12.39
$16.80 (used)
VisionsVisions
THE LASER'S EDGE 2017
$34.12
$8.25 (used)
AquariusAquarius
THE LASER'S EDGE 2017
$99.99
$12.71 (used)
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HAKEN discography


Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help Progarchives.com to complete the discography and add albums

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

4.08 | 983 ratings
Aquarius
2010
4.12 | 994 ratings
Visions
2011
4.15 | 1043 ratings
The Mountain
2013
3.93 | 491 ratings
Affinity
2016
3.86 | 74 ratings
Vector
2018

HAKEN Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

4.67 | 32 ratings
L-1VE
2018

HAKEN Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

HAKEN Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

HAKEN Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

4.03 | 94 ratings
Enter The 5th Dimension
2008
4.08 | 195 ratings
Restoration
2014
4.67 | 6 ratings
The Endless Knot
2016
4.50 | 6 ratings
Initiate
2016

HAKEN Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Vector by HAKEN album cover Studio Album, 2018
3.86 | 74 ratings

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Vector
Haken Heavy Prog

Review by Aussie-Byrd-Brother
Special Collaborator Rock Progressivo Italiano Team

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.

 Vector by HAKEN album cover Studio Album, 2018
3.86 | 74 ratings

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Vector
Haken Heavy Prog

Review by Einwahn

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 Haken favourite is the soaring operatics of 'Aquarius', or the human intensity of 'The Mountain', then you are in for disappointment. The band has moved away even from the melody that permeated the less-popular 'Affinity' (my own favourite, so don't trust me). The fan I would alert to this album is maybe a disaffected Opeth fan, who gave 'Blackwater Park' five stars and 'Sorceress' two stars. In 'Vector' you will definitely find the blinding, pounding heaviness you have been missing.

Personally I seem to love everything this band does, they are magnificent IMO.

Verdict: Dalek music.

 Vector by HAKEN album cover Studio Album, 2018
3.86 | 74 ratings

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Vector
Haken Heavy Prog

Review by javajeff

4 stars Vector is another solid release by Haken. While more of the same from this level of talent is not always a bad thing, it maintains the same level of high quality that made them successful. It does follow a formula that is prevalent on other albums, but it still has enough originality to keep it interesting. The musicianship is stellar of course, and there seems to be more of a Djent feel. I can hear some Meshuggah influences, and Vector sounds heavier at times. This may be the best album for Ray, as the drums sound phenomenal. Nil By Mouth is a good instrumental, and the standout tracks are Veil and A Cell Divides for me. However, there are no bad tracks, and Vector continues to grow on me with every listen. It is a good listen for all progressive metal fans, and a must for any Haken fan. There is a lot of good music on Vector, and only time will tell how it stacks up against their amazing catalog. Haken has such a solid collection of albums, that this is always a challenge for them to try to top the previous release.
 Vector by HAKEN album cover Studio Album, 2018
3.86 | 74 ratings

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Vector
Haken Heavy Prog

Review by proghaven

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 behind life. He was a hero of Civil war but his activity in World War II was (to say softly) far from splendid. He showed up suddenly but failed to keep up to date.

Maybe the analogy with Haken seems farfetched but isn't. The dawn of Haken was somewhat similar to the dawn of Marshal Budyonny. The band gloriously started in 2010 with Aquarius, a prophetical, forerunner album that really became a discovery, a breakthrough. Along with Galadriel's Calibrated Collision Course, Lifesigns' Cardington and (partially) Wobbler's From Silence To Somewhere, Aquarius may be considered an embryo of some forthcoming paradigm of prog, a beacon for progsters, a sort of visual aid on How To Say A New Word In Music.

But the start suddenly became the end. Their second album, Visions, was still fine but sounded like it was manufactured from the unspent raw materials previously reserved for Aquarius. And since then, the artists were constantly lagging behind themselves, and producing high rated albums unworthy of Haken. Looks like their initial amazingly high creative energy was enough for one incredible album only.

And from time to time, the musicians' will to re-climb the mountain they left eight years ago is audible in their new album. The Good Doctor and especially Veil are their evident attempts to reach the same flight level as in Aquarius... but no, they flew too high in those days, now it would be a back-breaking toil - while Puzzle Box is an adequate job for their current creative condition! A grumpy fuss in the vein of The Mountain (their high praised album from 2013) is what they can do best of all nowadays. Or an insipid collection of musical platitudes in the spirit of Affinity (their album from 2016) like Host or A Cell Divides. One track (Nil By Mouth) is obviously influenced by System Of A Down - I believe back in 2010 Haken would not need such a source for inspiration. After all this fuss and bother, the nice impression from the Bach- like intro (Clear) is completely dissipated and forgotten. The music of Vector in toto is sweltering, cramped, planar, I'd say 2D. In brief, unpleasant. No I don't want to say that annual miracles are expected from an artist who debuted with a miracle. But I still hope that Aquarius was not the final miracle from Haken. I entertain this hope even despite Vector.

 Aquarius by HAKEN album cover Studio Album, 2010
4.08 | 983 ratings

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Aquarius
Haken Heavy Prog

Review by siLLy puPPy
Collaborator PSIKE, JR/F/Canterbury & Eclectic Teams

4 stars First things first. The name of this band, HAKEN, rhymes with bacon. NOT with shockin' or backin.' My mistake for years has lied with the first variant of mispronunciation. These days we read about many bands but rarely share some of them out loud with persons in our daily conversation. And now to our regularly scheduled review of this London based progressive rock / metal band that took the world by storm in 2010 with their outrageously mature for their new kids on the block debut AQUARIUS. While it may seem like a title that would behoof contemporary worshippers of 60s R&B bands like The Fifth Dimension, which only rings more true if their promo titled "Enter The 5th Dimension" is taken into consideration, nothing could be further from the truth as HAKEN is the complete opposite within the realms of modern day progressive rock with a few metallic moments thrown in to capture the liberal progressive metal crowds, hence the band more often than not appearing on metal sites with the tag progressive metal attached because when the metal is unleashed, it is every bit as intense as any progressive metal madness out there.

However, despite the metal leanings, HAKEN spend a majority of their time focusing on non-metal motifs and considering that AQUARIUS was written first and foremost on the piano and was only then adapted by the chief composer/ guitarist and keyboardist Richard Henshall into a larger paradigm of progressive rock shapeshifting genre jumping eclectic madness, it still somehow finds its way into the metal world to some's chagrin and other's boon. In the first decade of the 21st century there has been a gradual cross- pollination of different genre styles within the progressive rock world. The neo-prog section in the progressive rock market for example has been incrementally adding more metallic elements to their hook-laden style which too is primarily composed for keyboards and then allowing the rest of the musical experience to gestate around. Likewise HAKEN took a similar approach and having a similar amount of keyboard plus high pitched vocals as the main sonic frame, simply took all the extra liberties of creating a more dynamic and adventurous take on what bands like Arena, Pallas and Galahad had been working up to.

AQUARIUS is first and foremost a concept album about a mermaid who was discovered by a fisherman who then sells this fish-tailed damsel to a circus. This album has been divisive in many sects of both the prog and metal communities with the Disney-esque thematic approach surely being the point of contention numero uno in which those who can't stand this album consistently reproach. As the story unfolds it is revealed that this mermaid's blood is the sole substance that can save the entire human race from impending doom and gloom in the form of a Noah's ark type flooding scenario resulting from global warming and like a good virgin is sacrificed to the gods for the sake of the many and predictably ends up suffering the same fate. OMG, you really can't devise a more cheesy plot. This is the stuff of the Lifetime network or tales in an evangelical setting but you know what? Somehow i've grown to like this album more than this horrendous lyrical plot would otherwise allow me to do so. The secret to this album's success lies well beyond the infantile lyrical setting and exclusively in the eminent maturity of the musical expressions that border on sheer genius.

Suffice it to say that this sextet of young adventurous musicians comes across as a veritable conglomeration of seasoned veterans who created an afterthought supergroup more than a band who had only been around for a short time and cranking out their debut album. In the high arts territory of progressive rock and experimental metal, several albums are usually required for a group to finally find their true voice in the crowded fields of talented musicians who have yet to find their unique idiosyncratic expressions. Not so with HAKEN. Lyrical content aside, AQUARIUS is a musical feast for the ears with one hook-laden melody after another teased out into an infinity and fractalized manner of performing brilliant time signature shifts, tempo variations and genre bending antics like well-trained circus performers at their peak. While AQUARIUS may swallow up an entire hour and thirteen minutes of your life with only a couple weak tracks in its midst, the experience is one that has won the hearts of many and deserves much (but not all) of the praise that has been showered upon it.

Second things, second. This is not a metal album per se despite having metal elements aboard. Metalheads have been spoiled by the fact that metal sounding attributes have remained exclusively in the domain of, well, metal for the majority of the genre's existence. Such is no longer the case. Elements of metal have been cross-pollinating with musical genres for decades but when a full-fledged progressive rock powerhouse like HAKEN finally takes these fusions to a logical extreme, it often ruffles feathers when such bands are deemed metal. Think of this as a progressive rock album first with more metal than usual and all is good. I mean, is Mr. Bungle or Riverside metal most of the time? Not really, but somehow they straddle multiple realities with only the most hardcore crying foul if they are included in the metal universe. Metal music is a vast spectrum at this point and nomenclature is a mere filing system that shouldn't reflect the true nature of any particular band's overall metal creds. Musically speaking, HAKEN has all the chops that make an excellent metal album, it's just that they don't choose to exercise those given chops throughout the album's entirety.

AQUARIUS is first and foremost a piano driven melodic experience that highlights the ho hum saccharin storyline and it's true that while tracks like "Streams," "Aquarium" and "Sun" take these gut wrenching overweening AOR moments a tad too far, much of the album is a brilliant mix of progressive rock musical compositions and genre jumping instrumental woofiness that embrace a shimmering modern day production job replete with all the brilliant effects such as echoes, symphonic ambience and crystal clear distinction between not only the predominant musical actors such as the guitar, bass, drums and keys accompanied by supplemental musical sounds from the tuba, trumpet, trombone, clarinet, flute, harp, djembe and ocean drum. The labor of love of AQUARIUS is apparent and the excellent performances nullify and voidify the rather silly lyrical content. BTW, vocalist Ross Jennings despite his best effort of expressing himself in clear and concise clean vocalization and coming across in the same trill Jon Anderson manner throughout the majority of the album, still can't be understood beneath the musical backdrop.

This is a progressive album in every sense of the word. Lengthy compositions with most hovering around the ten minute mark and the finale "Celestial Elixir" almost hitting the 17 minute mark allow the music to develop at its own pace. While piano dominated in terms of compositional construct, the musicians are often let off the leash with extended guitar and keyboard solos to express themselves in creative new ways unheard before this album. While the overall approach may seem somewhat familiar, i mean this sort of progressive metal has been done with bands like Shadow Gallery, Dream Theater etc, HAKEN do have a unique sound all their own when they deviate from these established paradigms. The tracks uniquely develop their own personalities for the most part but some have more than others. While somewhat restrained by the vocal / piano anchoring that continues throughout, many external liberties are abundant. For example "Drowning In The Flood" seems to adopt a Soundgarden grunge / alt metal approach. The real strength of AQUARIUS is in the hyperactive instrumental parts that jump from polkas and waltzes to a very few death metal growl oriented heavier pieces. Much of the symphonic wizardry evokes a 70s Genesis meets Kansas feel but with a modern heavy neo-prog veneer.

When all is said and done it took me a while to warm up to this album and the band HAKEN in general. While being accused of merely stealing the ideas of others and not really developing a style of their own, which is an accusation i cannot wholeheartedly deny, i have to admit that after many repeated listens to help me decipher the multitude of feelings i've experienced in listening to this band and this album specifically, i have to finally admit that i neither find this album to the unabashed masterpiece of the ages that many do, but neither do i find this a complete piece of trash that others want to make it out to be simply because it somehow has been included in a larger metal paradigm despite not really being a metal album. Ultimately what wins me over with AQUARIUS is the musicianship. Yes, the lyrical content and conceptual storyline is laughable but doesn't detract from an excellent musical listening experience. This is suavely performed with the proper emotional tugs in the neo-prog inspired melodic hooks with the icing on the cake resulting from the extravagant delving into technical workouts. A slow and determined weaseling into my heart but nevertheless, HAKEN has done so with AQUARIUS. Four stars.

 L-1VE by HAKEN album cover Live, 2018
4.67 | 32 ratings

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L-1VE
Haken Heavy Prog

Review by rdtprog
Special Collaborator RPI / Symphonic Prog Team

5 stars To celebrate his 10th anniversary the band was ready to release a live album after four albums of great music. On this package with have 2 CDs and 2dvds. The main show is the full show in Amsterdam running for 120 minutes. The CDs contains that full show. The second DVD is not your typical bootleg show for an extra but another professionally shot show in Prog Power for almost an hour. The 2 shows are mixed in a very good Dolby 5.1 surround sound filling up the room nicely. The visuals are busy but maybe a bit too much with stroboscopic effect, which is not the case with the Prog Power show. As for the music Haken has set a new standard with his new kind of Progressive Metal that not only has a djent influence but a complexity that show a band that enjoys going in a different style of music to give a breather to their fast pace and heavy prog metal sections. Adding to this great music, Ross Jennings vocals are very enjoyable. The set list is covering all their catalog including the highlight track of the show: the epic "Visions" as an encore. The last song "Crystallised" from the EP "Restoration" is another high moment on The Prog Power show with the medley of the album "Aquarius" of the first show. This package could be a good introduction to the band or a must for Haken fans.
 The Mountain by HAKEN album cover Studio Album, 2013
4.15 | 1043 ratings

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The Mountain
Haken Heavy Prog

Review by Biff Tannen

4 stars I will admit that this band took a while to grow on me, but once it did, the greatness just poured out from my speakers. The Mountain, in particular, stands out as being especially terrific, thanks to the thematic nature of the lyrics, the flow of the record, and, of course, the great songwriting. It seems like Falling Back to Earth and Cockroach King are the songs most genuflected to, and it's easy to see, but for my money, the last two songs are the two biggest standouts: Pareidolia and Somebody. The build-up in the latter, and then the release at the end, is just breathtaking. That, my friends, is how you end a prog record. 4.5 out of 5 stars.
 Aquarius by HAKEN album cover Studio Album, 2010
4.08 | 983 ratings

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Aquarius
Haken Heavy Prog

Review by guiservidoni

5 stars From its debut album Aquarius, to the latest effort Affinity, Haken never fails to amaze me.

Aquarius is a true masterpiece. Rather darker and more mellow than what would come after that, and at the same time having fun jazzy odd-timed jam parts. You don't know exactly where each of the songs are taking you, but you're sure you want to keep going.

The songs are structured similarly: an intro that isn't just there for showing off (it'll give the theme of the whole song), the lyrics content, the unpredictable jam part, and the epic closure reintroducing the theme. Despite everything being similarly structured (alright, Celestial Elixir is an exception), each song connects differently with you and that makes the album easier to digest: you're kind of expecting what you get, but you still get impressed!

However, if you're expecting something of the last almost-17-minute-epic, you will be turned upside down. That is a true masterpiece that I didn't think Haken would be able to ever top (until Visions came out). It sets everything so beautifully I wish I could listen to it for the first time again, just to be caught speechless at the end.

Seriously, if you're into anything prog has to offer, and didn't listen to this album yet, I don't know why you're not opening Spotify at this very moment (still, buy the physical copy later, because you'll need it).

 Affinity by HAKEN album cover Studio Album, 2016
3.93 | 491 ratings

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Affinity
Haken Heavy Prog

Review by Luqueasaur

4 stars Electronic gadgets, the 80s, modern metal, prog, HAKEN: 8/10

HAKEN is one of the most prominent progressive rock bands of modernity, especially after the media attention they received following the release of THE MOUNTAIN (2013). It was through that album I was introduced to them, and while I could definitively see potential and musicianship, they weren't interesting to me. I felt like they sounded just like every other modern prog metal band. They had particular characteristics on their own, but generally speaking, they still sounded bland. It's similar to NWOBHM and how most bands of that particular style are all absurdly similar in their core, with little uniqueness among them. The thing is: I like NWOBHM's core, but not modern prog's. So HAKEN was not for me.

While I thought fondly of them and on several occasions tried to dig their stuff, I just couldn't. I still can't, honestly. Although I admit THE MOUNTAIN is sorta more interesting than AQUARIUM and VISIONS, it still wasn't enough for me. They still retained a visible amount of said plague of genre homogeneity.

Not on AFFINITY, though. They merged electronic and the 80's in their well-sculpted style (please note that when I say 'sculpted' it does not necessarily mean it's unique, all it means is that it has been matured and became characteristic of them). I think the album has two highlights: it is fresh, featuring a blend of antique methodology on new influences and it is antithetically technical AND simple. I'll develop those ideas right ahead.

You see, in the early days of the progressive genre, you had two (actually three, but I'm going to conveniently discard the importance of classical music for the sake of simplifying my argument) mainstream influences: jazz and rock. Rock was based on blues and folk and had divergent origins from jazz (sort of...). The grand idea of prog was to create music based on the fusion on the couple, that is, to get those two contemporaneous musical directions and merge them. Nowadays, we have, mostly, rock and electronic, on mainstream terms. What HAKEN did is comparable to what was done back in the day, to this antique technique: to get those two musical directions and merge them, along with some technical virtuosity and straying away from radio-friendliness for the sake of quality, and to blend the "electronic" part on characteristically eighties' electronic. This is taking the concept of progressive rock literally; which, as Robert Fripp states, is to break boundaries (don't confuse it with Avant-garde: music that is already beyond the borders). Well, there's no paradigmatic shift or breakthrough with AFFINITY, but it does sound fresh. Honestly, for as much as there are many great new prog metal bands, it's nigh impossible to refute the claim they sound way too much similar. This, in my opinion, is the case for HAKEN as well, excluding on AFFINITY.

In conclusion, if you're a prog puritan ('Symphonic Prog is the only true prog!'), this isn't for you. Electronics are omnipresent and relatively meaningful in virtually all moments and this might be enough to make any purist shiver in anger... spoiler: dubstep.

Now, talking about technicality, HAKEN nails it. They have an enviable ease to mess around with odd time signatures which I find appalling. Particularly on their ability to maintain a fluid song even with alternating signatures, a feature easily observed on 1985's intro and verse parts (6/4 and 7/4 played as naturally as 4/4). You might argue that this characteristic isn't really noteworthy, especially on the technical scene that is prog - and that might even be a prerequisite instead of a "quality" - but hear me out, the thing I'm praising is not how they are able to play it, but how they're able to make it sound natural. So much so, that their music sound rather simple. On a rushed, superficial listen, you might feel prone to contest my affirmation, but upon closer inspection, you'll realize the intricacy I'm talking about. And well... there's The Architect to prove my point. Also, kudos for Charlie Griffiths. All of the musicians are skilled, but he deserves particular acclamation for his masterful lead playing, especially on the solos. HAKEN's solos are pretty dope.

Highlight, undoubtfully, is 1985. That solo, man. Nothing beats it. Cheerfulness and images of palm trees and dudes in white suits motorboating through Biscayne Bay on the sunset will flow in your mind as Raymond's rhythm makes you swing and Griffiths' melodic riffs make you go wow, but if you think it's over, well, don't kid yourself, because Diego Tejeida's heavy keyboards preludes the second piece of the solo, which, much darker than the first, is even more climaxing, as Tejeida and Griffiths play along until its ending. Miami Vice. Vaporwave. ELECTRONIC DRUMS!

In the end, I consider this Haken's best release and, by far, one of my favorite releases from 2016 (although being honestly I listened to what, three or four albums from that year?). Definitely worth checking out. They're still not ultra famous, so if you check them out before they attain that level (and trust me - they will), you'll be the hip and cool guy who'll say "yeah, I knew them since the beginning". It'll be worth it.

 Affinity by HAKEN album cover Studio Album, 2016
3.93 | 491 ratings

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Affinity
Haken Heavy Prog

Review by dmwilkie

4 stars I was impressed by 'The Mountain', having discovered it long after it was released, so I had high expectations for 'Affinity'. These have largely been met. I agree with others who regard 'The Architect' as the best track. It is my favourite track of 2016 - I love its adventure, its range of mood and tempo, and I thought the importation of growly vocals was a masterstroke. '1985' and 'Lapse' are also outstandingly good, in my view. The other tracks range from good to rather ordinary, making it a bit of a mixed bag. But, given that Haken have an adventurous approach, this is hardly surprising. One of the best of 2016.
Thanks to atavachron for the artist addition. and to Quinino for the last updates

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