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Haken - Aquarius CD (album) cover




Heavy Prog

4.06 | 1065 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
4 stars There's life in the old dog yet...

The ambitious 72 minute debut from London based outfit, Haken.

The Good: Progressive metal has been well established for many years now, however recently there I have noticed a general lack of creativity. Whilst the likes of Redemption, Threshold and Vanden Plas are all top quality acts, they also rely heavily on the old Dream Theater formula and the sub-genre could soon turn into a dying breed.

But then came along Haken. What a breath of fresh air! Whilst the album is categorized here as heavy prog, I personally see it deeply rooted in prog metal with a little bit of everything else, including neo and symphonic. Turn it on at different points and you don't know whether you're listening to Edge of Sanity or Spock's Beard! Whilst the overall album is fairly lengthy, the individual songs are also quite long with shortest clocking in at well over six minutes. This is a fairly risky strategy especially on a debut release, however they pull it off superbly with each track flowing and developing the album as a whole whilst still retaining individual characteristics. It would be hard to a pick a favourite as they each have great moments (like the absolutely bitchin' solo on Aquarium!) but the most accomplished is probably the album finale Celestial Elixer.

The Bad: Some of the growled vocals sound totally out of place and the production could do with a bit of polishing, especially in the drumming department.

The Verdict: Looking forward to see what happens next.

Starhammer | 4/5 |


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