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Haken - Aquarius CD (album) cover




Heavy Prog

4.06 | 1065 ratings

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The Block
4 stars Drowning in the flood of awesomeness

Haken's debut album is one of the best of 2010. It's amazing how a band like Haken can be like so many other bands, but have its own unique style. But, somehow Haken pulled it off with this great multi-genre debut.

In parts of "Streams" they can sound so much like Dream Theater, with deep melodies and a great sound. But still, they keep a unique sound while somehow incorporating Octavarium-era Dream Theater influences. "Streams" is definitely one of the best it not the best track on this 7 song album. The drums are completely solid, mixing in well with the bass lines. Guitarist Charlie Griffiths does a great job on this song and the whole album, putting down some very good riffs and lines. In the instrumental sections of this song all the musicians blend so well together they almost become one. Keyboardist, Hen, does a superb job on this song, especially in the harmonies where he blends right up there with Ross Jennings. Speaking of Ross Jennings I think his singing might be one of the most unique tones I've heard. He almost has James Labrie's voice down pat, like in the beginning of "Aquarium", which you could easily mistake for a Dream Theater song. But, also he has, in most of the other songs, a sort of drawl or accent to change up his tone. Besides his singing, he can also growl quite well, though I prefer his growling on "Streams" to that on the first track, "The Point of No Return". I don't know why, but I just think it blends better with the deeper melodies in "Streams".

This brings me to my second point about how well they blend different bands styles to create their own. But, this one isn't exactly a style as much as it is a technique. They have gotten the technique of incorporating growling with singing just like Opeth. But, they do it in such a different way it isn't a style, but a technique. It's great how they can not even change their tempo, tone, of anything while they change from singing to growling and it still sounds good.

The more I think about it the more I realize that all these different styles are what make Haken's debut so unique. Even though some of their passages sound like they were taken from another band, Haken use so many, and put their own spin on them that it becomes their own sound. For their great debut, "Aquarius", Haken gets 4.5 stars.

The Block | 4/5 |


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