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Haken - Virus CD (album) cover




Heavy Prog

3.59 | 310 ratings

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4 stars Haken formed in 2007 in London England. They had their critical breakthrough in 2013 with The Mountain, which was pretty much met with critical acclaim everywhere.

A little side note i do have to mention is the title of this album has nothing to do with the current covid 19 outbreak. The band had picked out the title long before the outbreak even occurred. Unfortunately the album has been pushed back to several times. I actually believe it was supposed to come out on June 19th, but ended coming out on July 24.

Virus had three signals / videos that came out before the official album release. They were musically different from one another. The albums opening track Prosthetic was the first single. This is easily the heaviest most straightforward track on the album. As well as it being a very intense track it bridges the gap between this album and Vector. Prosthetic melodies seemed uninspired, but fortunately though subsequent lessons reveal more distinctions, innovation and underlying cohesion. Resulting in one hell of a catchy course. Now on the complete other end of the spectrum from Prosthetic we have a song called Canary Yellow. Canary Yellow was released as a second single and video from the album. This four minute song is more about subtlety and creating a very strong emotional appeal to the listener. The third and final video single from the album is Invasion. This is pretty much the most straightforward song on virus. The mood darkens and perspectives shift as if from fierce defiance and desperation and the growing shadow of an insidious inhuman enemy. On the track Carousel I honestly will admit at first listen I found it somewhat mediocre. It sounded like it was all over the place and had no structure. This song is a definite grower and will take some time to fully appreciate it, but in the end maybe that is the true definition of a great song. Following carousel we have a song called The Strain. Unfortunately I do find the strain to be a little bit underwhelming. It doesn't quite feel and have the same emotional appeal as the rest of the Songs. Its not a bad song but definitely the weakest on the album. Now for the albums definite highlight the complex five-part Messiah Complex. Part one is entitled Ivory Tower eases us into the suite and in so doing introduces a really engaging melody that is then reprised later within the Song. Part two of the Messiah Complex is called The Glutton For Punishment. This is where the full on complexities are unleashed. Including some insanely skillful and intricate instrumentation from everyone in the group and a nice throwback to Puzzle Box from Vector. The Third part is called Marigold. This part has some of the most quirky and progressive ideas within the song. Part four of the Messiah Complex is called The Sect. Almost immediately you're gonna hear reprised ideas From The Cockroach King from The Mountain. The last section part 5 which is entitled Ectobius Rex. Again we hear reprised melodies from the Cockroach King, as well as a triumphant return to the melodies introduced in the opening part of Ivory Tower. Closing out the album is the subdued Only Stars, which reprises the repeating haunting melody which was first introduced in Vector's opening track Clear.


Recommended Tracks: Invasion, Canary Yellow & Messiah Complex

thesimilitudeofprog | 4/5 |


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