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Haken - Aquarius CD (album) cover




Heavy Prog

4.06 | 1065 ratings

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Mr. Mustard
5 stars As of now, Haken is probably the best new Heavy prog/prog Metal band on the scene, and their debut album Aquarius shows they have an obvious affinity for songwriting. This album flawlessly mixes great melodic ideas with Dream Theater-like complexities. Surely these guys had Dream Theater in mind while writing this, as the style is remarkably similar; but these guys are hardly clones. This has a few quirks, such as a more laid back style of playing especially in the keyboard, and great and unique vocals.

The opening song is 'The Point of No Return,' for which the first half is filled with some strong, dramatic, but unique vocals, with the second half being a crazy instrumental section with a combination of metal and jazz and some circus sounding antics.

'Streams' opens with a fantastic piano melody a la 'Firth of Fifth.' The overall tone is pretty upbeat and happy in the verses, dramatic in the chorus, and intense and energetic in the instrumental parts. Unfortunately there are some death growls (which are out of place and rather poorly done) which hurt the flow of what would be a perfect song.

'Aquarium' opens in a pretty symphonic manner, but has some more ballad-like parts intertwined with the more metal instrumentals. The instrumental part beginning at around 5:30 is one the most amusing to listen to, and is one of their best.

'Eternal Rain' is a shorter song with some fun, upbeat melodies that shift between 4/4 and 7/8.

'Drowning In the Flood' shows off their more metal side with some brutally heavy riffs along with some intense vocals. But they also go into a more atmospheric, symphonic section midway through.

'Sun' is perhaps the only "weak" song on the album, but is still an enjoyable listen.

The final song is the 17-minute epic 'Celestial Elixer.' This is pretty similar to the other songs on the album; it has a combination of ballad-like moments, symphonic sections with gliding keyboards, and downright high energy metal riff-based instrumental breaks.

Overall, Aquarium is a very strong debut album, but also a great start to the second decade of the 21st century.


Mr. Mustard | 5/5 |


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