Haken – Aquarius

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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.