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Haken - Virus CD (album) cover




Heavy Prog

3.59 | 310 ratings

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2 stars Haken continue to explore the territory of their most popular song with a quick successor to 2018's Vector. The music remains similar to what can be heard on the red one: lots of heavy technical riffing adulterated with melodic vocals and different kinds of stuff one might classify as prog elements.

In my Vector review I asserted that while the album feels like riffing for riffing sake, it still does have something to recommend it. Electronics are impressive, choruses are indeed catchy, and the whole style felt at least fresh for the band whose previous works enjoyed much less tech pounding. Unfortunately, Virus falls short in this respect. Choruses try to be catchy but are, in fact, just annoying, all the more so because it reminds Vector to the extent that makes it feel like self-parody. On the milder parts, supposed to give you breathing space, nothing worth mentioning to be heard. Riffs feel just as random as on Vector. Guitar solos, so gorgeous on The Architect, and more or less decent on Vector, are just as random. Keyboard solos... ha-ha, what keyboards? Epicness, which started to taper off on Vector, is finally diminished to the lowest levels. To add insult to injury, the album fosters the self-parody feel by annoying inclusions of excerpts from previous albums.

What can I say about the album I could not even finish in one sit despite several attempts? When Prosthetic was released, a lot of people fairly noticed that it sounds like a song from Train of Thought. I thought that it tells it all about the fall of the band: they are now on the ToT level. Quite surprisingly, the whole effort doesn't seem to meet even that standard. Several great moments here and there and that's basically all the album has to boast of.


Homotopy | 2/5 |


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