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Haken - Visions CD (album) cover




Heavy Prog

4.13 | 1109 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
2 stars The new(ish) kids on the prog block, youthful British outfit Haken have burnished themselves with an enviable reputation of late, and over a very short space of time to boot. Thanks to their dark, brooding and genre-mashing brand of heavy prog - a sound that adorns the highly-rated debut release 'Aquarius' and this similarly-intoned follow-up from last year - this talented six- piece have quickly sky-rocketed to the top of the modern prog arena, cleverly mining the current popularity for all things prog-metal to cunning effect whilst also refusing to lose sight of their own more classically-themed ambitions. On reputation alone you'd be forgiven for thinking the new Pink Floyd had arrived, and a quick glance at the group's various press reviews would suggest just that. However, dig beyond the kudos and you find a different picture, namely a garishly overdressed pair of albums drenched in all manner of contrasting styles; progressive rock overkill, if you will. Indeed, listening to 'Visions' is pretty much akin to gorging on an overly rich six- course meal with all the trimmings, just with the ingredients messily sprayed about the plate. This is harsh, angular, unintentionally discordant music with one foot entrenched firmly in the heavy-metal camp; an overlong, oppressive, heavily-treated album filled with roaring vocals, churning guitars and metallic riffing that quickly wears out it's welcome. The mistake here? The group's insistence on mindlessly flinging everything at the audience, elements from virtually every facet of progressive music, the result being that instead of actual ideas and constructed compositions we get quick-fire aggression and an almost total lack of musical discipline. In the end bracketing either 'Aquarius' or 'Visions' in any one genre is almost a moot point; Haken have seemingly had their sonic cake and eaten it. Then they've thrown it up all over the listener. Fans of metallic prog have obviously unearthed their new heroes; the rest of us have found a group seriously lacking in focus, with too many ideas for their own good. STEFAN TURNER, STOKE NEWINGTON, 2012
stefro | 2/5 |


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