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Haken - Vector CD (album) cover

VECTOR

Haken

 

Heavy Prog

3.74 | 215 ratings

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Homotopy
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 is not quite what one could expect as a lot of Haken's music elements, in particular, those that are present on CK, are gone almost completely. No more epic arrangements (like choruses in The Architect and Atlas Stone or strings in Nocturnal Conspiracy), no jazzy interludes (like in CK!), classic prog elements are way less prominent.

Instead, we are in for a lot of (random) riffing edulcorated by catchy choruses and modern electronics. The latter is what I actually like a lot: check out the bridge in Puzzle Box, for example. Alas, the same Puzzle Box is very annoying for the most time. The painful transition between the first two songs serves as an introduction to a mess this album is going to be: the songs form an incoherent pile, no idea why would one call this a concept album with movements and stuff. Despite being different, the tracks generally fit into the foregoing description. Of course there are Haken-isms here and there not letting the listener hang himself, but the music is still far from excellent, let alone masterpiece.

Another complaint will be the mixing. Loud and aggressive, the snare punches my brain with every beat, please no more Periphery guys invitations! Yet another complaint is that the album is quite short. I judge albums by amounts of good music, not it's concentration. Vector is shorter than Visions without the eponymous epic!

That being said, Haken remains Haken here, and the album is by no means bad. I would definitely recommend listening to Veil a few times, and other songs are worth trying if you are into metal. Unfortunately, if you are not then probably you could find more exciting ways to spend your time. All the songs besides Veil didn't age well for me and now feel disposable. I'll hope that after toping it off with unbearable Virus the band will go back to writing incredible music: they have proved able many times already. 3.4 stars.

Homotopy | 3/5 |

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