London-based progressive band Haken returns with their third album, The Mountain, now signed with notable prog label Inside Out Records. If you liked their previous work, you will find this one to be even more expansive.
It takes a lot of courage to start of your album with a soft and quiet number featuring the vocals, but that's what Haken does with The Path. However, it does set you up for one characteristic of the band and that's Ross Jennings's fine voice and creative vocal arrangements. Many times he reminds me of Peter Gabriel in the early Genesis days.
Yet Haken's progressive rock runs the breadth and depth of everything from early Genesis to King Crimson, Porcupine Tree to Pain of Salvation, Flower Kings to Dream Theater. It's eclectic in the best sense of the word with continuity of the band's creativity holding The Mountain together. When thing that remains constant is Haken's ongoing juxtaposition of lightness with heaviness. It's everywhere here. Atlas Stone, Cockroach King, Pareidolia, and Falling Back to Earth are only a few examples. I might even suggest, with Falling Back to Earth, their heaviness has become more intense. Pareidolia does much the same, only also using changes of tempo to accentuate the movement between light and heavy.
But then there's the songs and moments where Haken becomes more sublime, less assertive and vigorous. The aforementioned The Path is one occasion and its recurrence later as The Path Unbeaten, but also the hymn-like Because It's There with its notable choral arrangement. Actually, the last three songs are marked by a softer, more relaxed feel, against the rest of the album. The only notable rambunctious moment, which is tame, comes at the end of Someday. Fundamentally, The Mountain is more trademark Haken, offering inventive and impressive progressive rock. Prog rock wonks will be happy all over the world. Recommended.
Fundamentally, The Mountain is more trademark Haken, offering inventive and impressive progressive rock. Prog rock wonks will be happy all over the world.
Mat Sinner is both an icon and legend in the German, and the larger European, hard rock and heavy metal scene. Cranking out music since 1982, Sinner is an industrious and prolific musician and producer whether through his namesake band, the heavy metal heroes Primal ... [ Read More ]