Haken – Aquarius

03047098-photo-pochette-aquarius

By Rob Kachluba

I am totally blown away. Haken is the best thing to happen to progressive metal in many, many years. Hailing from England, this relatively young band has unleashed a masterpiece. The great thing about this band is unlike a lot of prog rock bands they don’t come across as being pretentious. You get a huge helping of Yes/Kansas but they can turn up the heaviness ala Dream Theater’s “Train of Thought” on the drop of a dime. They make it all seem very seamless. The singer has a nice warm voice and takes you on the journey of what I believe is a concept album. Numerous time changes bring depth and incredible excitement with great anticipation as to what is coming next From prog rock to metal to movie soundtrack with loads of bizarre instruments such as banjos and oboe. They are always surprising you with each turn of the song. The music itself is quite intricate but presented in a very comfortable and melodic way. Closing track “Celestial Elixir” is seventeen minutes long and has one of the best choruses that you will hear all year. This album needs to be heard in its entirely to fully grasp how magical this cd is.

Pure gold.

(Sensory)

Rating: 9.5

Sean Palmerston

Sean is the founder/publisher of Hellbound.ca; he has also written about metal for Exclaim!, Metal Maniacs, Roadburn, Unrestrained! and Vice.

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  • Careful with that axe…

    Agreed……. Just come back from a great HAKEN show at the Underworld London, opening for Diablo Swing Orchestra – HAKEN were on fire – great sound, a good crowd of enthusiastic people turned up, specifically to see HAKEN as well as the DSO and there was a real buzz after the set – STREAMS – ETERNAL RAIN – CELESTIAL ELIXIR, during which the Dixieland section was played live by the Haken Horns, who burst on to the stage bang on cue, played brilliantly and disappeared – pure HAKEN. Here they are warming up back stage.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EcRbN5hAQz8

    Looking forward to a big HAKEN headliner – maybe The Barfly – and of course they have just been confirmed as openers on Day 2 of ProgPower Europe, with Shadow Gallery headlining.

    As along term fan – I’ve seen all their headline shows and they’ve also shared the stage with some legends – Riverside, Kings X, Bigelf, To-Mera, Anchorhead and of course now the DSO – I’m glad more people are getting the chance to hear this band.