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Haken - Aquarius CD (album) cover




Heavy Prog

4.06 | 1065 ratings

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Prog Metal Team
3 stars The album hit-list of the running year is always a frenzied affair, with albums jumping up and down depending on the supply of exaggerated 5 star fan ratings or the equally irrelevant 1 stars hoping to bring down the album again. A few rare exceptions not withstanding, I can't say I have been very impressed by any of these 2010 chart-wonders, but Haken looks like an album where I can understand some of the high esteem it receives.

The album features bombastic operatic prog-metal that is not entirely my kind of thing, certainly not if the AOR influences come to the fore, which happens all too frequently during the chorusses. On the plus side, this band clearly oozes quality and attitude. Their creativity and playing pleasure is obvious, and while they often indulge in prog-clichés, there's always something unexpected, something twisted, weird and captivating happening when you least expect it.

In a way it makes them similar to a band like Between the Buried and Me, which also suffers from the typical over-eclecticism which seems to be quite in fashion these days: the band masters a dazzling range of styles but somehow they feel compelled to slap us around the ears with that on each and every track, shifting from opera to jazz to death metal to mellow prog, all in the course of a minute. I'd rather prefer it all to be a bit less really; and certainly less AOR obviously :)

This is the kind of release that will excite lovers of the prevailing heavy-prog and neo-prog/metal tastes. But I'll wait till the band grows out of their youthful need for bragging. Till then I'd recommend it to fans of what I call 'Glossy Prog', such as Transatlantic and Ayreon.

Bonnek | 3/5 |


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