Progarchives, the progressive rock ultimate discography

HAKEN

Heavy Prog • United Kingdom


From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

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

HAKEN forum topics / tours, shows & news


HAKEN forum topics Create a topic now
HAKEN tours, shows & news Post an entries now

HAKEN Videos (YouTube and more)


Showing only random 3 | Show all HAKEN videos (12) | Search and add more videos to HAKEN

Buy HAKEN Music



More places to buy HAKEN music online

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)

4.05 | 1109 ratings
Aquarius
2010
4.11 | 1141 ratings
Visions
2011
4.20 | 1237 ratings
The Mountain
2013
3.95 | 634 ratings
Affinity
2016
3.68 | 270 ratings
Vector
2018
3.66 | 229 ratings
Virus
2020

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

4.45 | 78 ratings
L-1VE
2018
4.41 | 17 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)

3.94 | 111 ratings
Enter The 5th Dimension
2008
4.04 | 259 ratings
Restoration
2014
4.07 | 15 ratings
The Endless Knot
2016
4.07 | 14 ratings
Initiate
2016
4.00 | 9 ratings
Nightingale
2022

HAKEN Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 The Mountain by HAKEN album cover Studio Album, 2013
4.20 | 1237 ratings

BUY
The Mountain
Haken Heavy Prog

Review by Semibreve

4 stars (NOTE: Excluding the two bonus tracks of the reissue for this review.)

Few albums start in a way that suspends you, readying you for a compositional left-turn into heavy territory that juxtaposes a soft beginning. The Mountain, an effort from the modern prog-rock band Haken, does this beautifully with its tranquil opener The Path, and leads a perfect transition into the piano arpeggios of Atlas Stone that eventually throws the listener into an explosion of heavy prog, contextualizing what the album intends to do for the rest of its length. In a sense, this well-crafted opener reminds me of prog-rock classics like Close to the Edge or Foxtrot, except Haken's efforts aren't derivative and instead establish their own sounds through the opener.

Though the arrangements of individual songs are unpolished and sometimes unfocused (especially towards the beginning with the chaotic Atlas Stone and Cockroach King), the album as a whole is an excellent portrait of what Haken can do next. It is clear that the members have pursued new musical territory, with a wide variety of genres being explored from acapella in Because It's There to conventional jazz in Cockroach King. Sometimes the genre diversions can feel disorienting and out-of-place, however, they never fall below the quality that the album has established as a precedent.

Many of the tracks are triumphant representations of prog rock, though the pristine track of the album is Cockroach King, which is a fantastic amalgamation of various prog-rock influences, from the vocal harmonies of Gentle Giant to the synthesizer wackiness that can be seen across many classic bands such as Yes. The problem with a perfect track being situated in the middle of the album is that the subsequent tracks feel underwhelming compared to the creativity of the opening trio of songs, though the later tracks feature more focused compositions and fewer genre diversions that can both be an improvement and a boring detraction. Falling Back to Earth, although a concentrated effort of progressive metal, is noticeably less creative than the other progressive metal track Pareidolia, and both less creative compared to the heavy prog modifications Haken added within the first few songs. As a result, the album loses a lot of musical excitement towards the back half. I found myself distracted more once Falling Back to Earth came, though my focus was revived once the quiet reflection of As Death Embraces leads into the slow buildup of Pareidolia that marches the listener into a dark and brooding climax that helps finalize and conclude the various emotions and tensions introduced throughout the album.

Despite the few compositional mishaps, this album is nearly perfect due to the talent of the instrumentalists and the creativity of the production. From the heavily plucked guitar arpeggios in Pareidolia reminiscent of Close to the Edge to the quirky bridge of Cockroach King or odd vocal effects near the end of In Memoriam, we can see both the extreme talent of the players as well as the creative control they have over their instruments. As a bassist myself, I'd love to shout out Thomas MacLean for his versatile bass work on Cockroach King. The various tones that he incorporates throughout the track--as well as the various genre influences--is a sight regularly unseen within heavy prog-rock.

Although this has grown to be the peak effort of Haken when compared to their recent releases, there is more in them that they can achieve within their discography. I believe that The Mountain is a representation of what they can achieve, and now the only step for the band is to master cohesiveness within their albums. All in all, the album should be required listening for modern prog (due to it already surpassing the quality of other albums), but I believe it's not the end for Haken's efforts and what their talents can achieve next.

(When listening, be prepared for numerous jaw-dropping moments. When the album shines, it REALLY shines.)

 Virus by HAKEN album cover Studio Album, 2020
3.66 | 229 ratings

BUY
Virus
Haken Heavy Prog

Review by King Brimstone

3 stars - Review #22 -

So, Vector and Virus are one album. They both feature the same characteristics, the same story, even a similar minimalistic album cover. I also think it deserves the same three star rating as Vector, even though I think it's better than Vector. Virus features the same amount of tracks as Vector, with their lengths going from two minutes up to seventeen, and with multiple purposes.

The ballads of the album are Canary Yellow and Only Stars, the latter being a reprise of Vector's Clear. The heavier tracks of the album are the opener Prosthetic, The Strain and Invasion. The lengthy tracks of the album, Carousel and the suite Messiah Complex, are very dynamic songs with multiple sections that work very well, they're the redeeming part of the album.

While I think that this album is great (and totally enjoyable), it's also quite generic. Djent is a progressive metal sub genre that I've always been divided about. Either it's impressive and shocking like when it's done by Meshuggah, or boring and forced like when it's done by... yeah, Haken. It's a good album though.

Three Stars.

 Aquarius by HAKEN album cover Studio Album, 2010
4.05 | 1109 ratings

BUY
Aquarius
Haken Heavy Prog

Review by King Brimstone

4 stars - Review #14 -

I can safely say this is the second best Haken album. Featuring colossal compositions, wonderful (and when I say wonderful, I mean it) melodies and choruses, Aquarius is truly an excellent effort from this band. Although I must say that the concept of the story itself is very vague and bizarre: a man finds a siren, and he sells her to a circus, then they find out that if they don't kill the siren, a deluge with destroy planet earth (wtf).

With seven tracks and a runtime of 72 minutes, you are obviously going to expect lengthy tracks. Songs like The Point Of No Return showcase Haken doing everything that they're good at, like memorable melodies and short but concise solo sections. Streams features a fun breakdown near the middle. Aquarium is one of my favorites, absolutely wonderful main verse and chorus, even if Ross sounds like he's trying too hard to hit the notes in the latter one. Sun is a beautiful ballad that works as a great break from the rest of the album.

That leaves us with the closing 17-minute epic, Celestial Elixir. Its first four minutes feature reprises from previous tracks, the next four minutes present the main verse and the main chorus, which is one of the most beautiful choruses I've ever heard. After that, the band does a circus themed instrumental section with fun guitar solos. Finally near the end the chorus and verse get reprised, concluding the song. Very cohesive track, but works well.

Excellent album! I recommend it to both, prog rock fans and prog metal fans. Four stars.

 Vector by HAKEN album cover Studio Album, 2018
3.68 | 270 ratings

BUY
Vector
Haken Heavy Prog

Review by King Brimstone

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 much more on the technical side rather than the melodic one, and this is something that many people have criticized: Haken was known for packing wonderful melodies all along their records, it was pretty much their trademark, and it was very present in their first three albums. However with Affinity, technicality took the throne and the band focused more on this aspect rather than melody making.

That's not to say that Affinity has no good melodies, just fewer. This is what happens with Vector (and Virus, since they're both technically one album split in two). While there's songs like Puzzle Box or Veil that combine instrumentals and great melodies in a very respectable way, there's other like The Good Doctor or Nil By Mouth That simply fail in the process, the latter being one of the most uninteresting tracks the band has made.

With that said, it's still a great progressive metal album, and worth checking out. Although it might be worth saying that this album doesn't sound too unique, many progressive metal bands sound like this already. Three Stars.

 The Mountain by HAKEN album cover Studio Album, 2013
4.20 | 1237 ratings

BUY
The Mountain
Haken Heavy Prog

Review by King Brimstone

5 stars - Review #2 -

Terrific work. Very easily the best album by this British band that emerged out of nowhere. In this album, Haken combines the technicality and dynamism of Dream Theater with the bizarre vocal work of Gentle Giant, along with slight jazz influences and a very good use of melody.

The album's music is spread across nine tracks of very different lengths, going from just two minutes to ten. It's very clear that the short tracks (more specifically, the ones under four minutes, excluding Because It's There) work as small interludes to build up tension before a track, or to provide a break from one. These tracks are:

The opener: The Path, which features soothing melodies that open up the album in an amazing way. The first proper ballad of the album: Because It's There, which once again, works as an amazing break from the previous tracks. And the second ballad: As Death Embraces, which builds up some tension before the +10 minute track that comes right after it.

Then there's four tracks that work as very strong and balanced efforts, I personally think they're the best from the album:

Atlas Stone: Which features some serious jazz influences presented in a Gentle Giant-esque way. Cockroach King: The most popular song from the band, which once again presents influence from jazz (mostly classic) and Gentle Giant. In Memoriam: A short track that packs a punch with its fast paced sections. And Somebody: Which is a nine minute ballad that closes the album amazingly with a charming chorus.

Finally, the two juggernauts, which catch the attention of everyone that take a peek at the album's track list:

Pareidolia: A very Devin Townsend/Dream Theater influences track that features a very epic thematic and more technical instrumental sections, along with a build up that starts after the instrumental section mentioned before. Falling Back To Earth: My personal favorite. Perfect balance between heaviness and melody, amazing melody. This track's chorus is the most memorable thing in the entire album, to be honest.

Absolutely recommended if you're a fan of Dream Theater or Gente Giant, The Mountain is Haken's masterwork. Four stars.

 Restoration by HAKEN album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 2014
4.04 | 259 ratings

BUY
Restoration
Haken Heavy Prog

Review by dougmcauliffe

5 stars //Short Review

Haken is a band that I got pretty deep into earlier this year and introduced to last year with their album Virus which now over a year later, in my eyes still holds up as one of their best works. The Haken fan community is probably one of the most kind and friendly groups of folks I've run into in music circles, and I think that's because Haken hasn't released anything that I could see people perceiving as a true stinker. I've heard some fans say they don't particularly like the direction of the newest two records, but I've never seen anybody actually call a Haken album "bad." I think every Haken album is good, some are better than others, but any album front to back is going to an enjoyable listening experience. Now if somebody asked me my favorite Haken album, i'd say The Mountain*. Why's there an asterisks next to it? Because truly, my favorite Haken release is the Restoration EP here, which in my eyes could be long enough to be considered a full length, single album. At the end of the day, the attached label "EP" has no bearing on what we have here, Restoration is my favorite collection of Haken music. I love that album to album you can really see marginal improvements in the drumming, on top of this I think in this shorter format the band on one hand gets to hold back a little and restrain themselves from overstaying their welcome, while on the same token also exploring the long song format on the ending epic Crystalized to the best degree and execution I think they ever have. In my opinion, once you start having multiple epics on one album it can be a little exhausting, so this comfy runtime strikes a chord with me. As for the songs, Darkest Light is an awesome groovy, menacing, heavy prog metal affair with chugging guitars along with those huge Haken hooks and vocal lines. Earthlings is a gorgeous clean guitar driven track with great flow and feel throughout, I love the slowburn nature of this track and how it takes its time to develop and breathe. The crown jewel of this release is certainly the 19 minute Crystallized which is simply one of my favorite songs of the last decade. The track has a very positive and upbeat aura around it. I love the windy guitar lines and melodies that open it up as well as the tight and groovy staccato vocal delivery. The band takes you through peaks in valleys but my favorite passage of this song is when the band embraces their inner Jethro Tull around the 11-minute mark. It's just pure feel-good melodic bliss and man! That Harpsichord shreds! Along with this, Haken doesn't fail to bring that quirky, Gentle Giant inspired twist that's become an archetype of their music. The song closes on a big soaring finish, with inspiring instrumentation and a very "finale" feel to the vocals around it. A fantastic track that never has my attention drifting, every minute counts.

I'm giving this 5 stars, this is my favorite EP, my favorite Haken release, and I just love the songs, styles and influences they embrace throughout.

 Restoration by HAKEN album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 2014
4.04 | 259 ratings

BUY
Restoration
Haken Heavy Prog

Review by Isaac Peretz

1 stars After the considerably overrated "The Mountain", Haken released their second EP, "Restoration". It basically sounds the exact same as The Mountain and I'm not joking, all three tracks could've been in that album.

Darkest Light is a generic prog metal tracks that copies Dream Theater WAAAAY too much. Please make something that makes you say "That's Haken!" not "That's Dream Theater!". I simply don't care at all about that track.

Earthlings is a truly beautiful song, it has an amazing build up and, pay attention to what I'm about to say: It's just as long as it deserves to be. I ended up really liking this track and I feel like it's the best work from the album.

That's something I can't say about Crystallized! The closing "epic" is hailed by many as Haken's master work. To me it just proves (along with Visions' title track) that Haken doesn't know how to make epics. An epic is a track that is +20 minutes long because it *needs* to be of that length, otherwise many aspects and sections of the track would go to waste if it got trimmed. Crystallized is a ten minute song overextended to almost twice its length. And I'm very sorry but it just doesn't work. You can tell they had a good concept behind it but was unfortunately ruined when they bloated it. Just, not good.

One Star.

 Vector by HAKEN album cover Studio Album, 2018
3.68 | 270 ratings

BUY
Vector
Haken Heavy Prog

Review by Isaac Peretz

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 own identity? I feel like they're excellent musicians stuck in their comfort zone. Vector continues the trend started in Affinity of albums with use of distorted guitars and heavy riffs in a Djent-esque way. This album in specific is much shorter than the albums before, but at the same time very concise and direct, without dumb overextended tracks. Is it enjoyable? Absolutely. Is it great? Meh.

Vector also works as the first part of a concept album (second part is Virus) about a patient and an evil doctor. The doctor ends up turning him into a cockroach, then tragic things happen and the patient dies pretty much.

It's a decent album, not special in any way, but enjoyable. Two Stars.

 Virus by HAKEN album cover Studio Album, 2020
3.66 | 229 ratings

BUY
Virus
Haken Heavy Prog

Review by Isaac Peretz

2 stars Virus is more or less the same album as Vector, which makes sense since they're both technically one album. That's why I'm giving it the same rating as Vector, because they both have the same quality.

Basically it's Djentesque progressive metal. Djent has been growing in popularity, that doesn't annoy me as long as these bands use it to develop their own sound. Well, Haken is obviously not doing that. They still sound a lot like Dream Theater and clearly this trend won't stop, since it's been a decade already. Obviously this is an enjoyable album, but not excellent in any means.

I have said this many times: Haken has excellent musicians, but they need to exit their comfort zone and develop their own sound! Otherwise you just have a Dream Theater copy-cat and, well, you'll have a better time just listening to Dream Theater.

Two stars.

 Aquarius by HAKEN album cover Studio Album, 2010
4.05 | 1109 ratings

BUY
Aquarius
Haken Heavy Prog

Review by Isaac Peretz

2 stars *sigh* I guess it's ok for a debut.

When this album was released I really was expecting them to evolve and define their very own sound that you could easily recognize them with. It's been ten years and they still haven't done it. And Aquarius clearly shows the beginning of a band that can't really go beyond their inspirations: Dream Theater and Gentle Giant. Two incredibly bands that have left a very strong lineage through the years, and Haken belongs there.

Getting inspiration from other artists is perfectly fine as long as you develop your own style, but copying them to death? No. Aquarius is exactly that. While I must say that the quality is ok for a debut, it's very mediocre overall. One of Haken's biggest problems is song lengths. They grab a short song and stretch it to twice its length, so even though there's some good melodies here and there, they become stale very quickly.

I would personally give it one star because of how generic it is, but for a debut, it's actually pretty ok. Two Stars.

Thanks to atavachron for the artist addition. and to Quinino for the last updates

Copyright Prog Archives, All rights reserved. | Legal Notice | Privacy Policy | Advertise | RSS + syndications

Other sites in the MAC network: JazzMusicArchives.com — jazz music reviews and archives | MetalMusicArchives.com — metal music reviews and archives

Donate monthly and keep PA fast-loading and ad-free forever.