Fireworks

Haken - 'The Mountain' Hot

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Written by Central Electronic Brain     November 17, 2013    
 
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Well worth a listen for something different and stretching.

Haken is a UK based progressive rock band and have already gained an impressive pedigree, ´The Mountain´ being their third album release on the back of multiple tours with bands such as Dream Theater, King´s X and Bigelf.

As a sextet, Haken overall packs a strong musical punch with depth in the guitar and keyboard department and thus encompassing atmospheric musings and punchy soloing. Having said that, the album starts slowly with the quiet and introspective ballad, ´The Gate´ before moving up-tempo with the hypnotic riffery of ´Atlas Stone´ and its bright vocals and melodic guitar. The album then takes a surprising turn into a menacing vocal interlude before getting back to the main tempo and so proving the band is focusing on the "Prog" as well as the "Rock".

Fireworks - The Ultimate Magazine For Melodic Rock Music

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This approach is reiterated in ´Cockroach King´ with some unusual tempos and off the wall keyboard sounds. However, the band does need to be careful with some of the whimsical elements of their repertoire as evidenced in the backend of this song and aspects of the subsequent ´In Memorium´. The band has the musical chops and variety in their songwriting to not need to go too far down this path.

For me the more industrial aspects of their songs work best as there is a strong and aggressive guitar/keyboard signature throughout this album and especially in the standout track ´Falling Back To Earth´ in which the band excels in all departments.

In summary, Haken has the talent to further their success to date and this album has a clear and present demographic to home in on. Well worth a listen for something different and stretching.

Rob McKenzie

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