Crime Records

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Review: The Mountain by Haken

Band: Haken
Album: The Mountain
Label: Century Media Music
Country: United Kingdom
Released: September 2nd

This album is my official introduction to Haken. Its been out a hot minute but I told HW I wanted to talk about it. There is something so grandiose here, so epic. The first time through on this album it cant all soak in. Buckle in, this is gonna take several spins. This album would be wonderful bundled in with Leprous' Coal, Shinings One One One, and Vulture Industries' The Tower as like companion pieces. 
 The composition is godly. The closest thing I can compare it to would be Frost* with some Steven Wilson. Every movement chorus and verse is so well put together. Every piece plays its part in the bigger picture. There is NOTHING throwaway here. There is no fear for experimentation on this disc and it never backfires. There are acapella parts. There are passages of jazz. 
 I hear a cornucopia of influences but nothing rips anyone off. I hear a good bit of Yes in Cockroach King ( I'd love to hear the bands 2 cents on this thought.) Maybe some Dream Theater and Porcupine Tree here and there. With any endeavour of this scale of course everyone is a total virtuoso on their respective instruments. The album overall is very nerdy for the musicians listening to this cd but it doesnt get boring for non musician ears. 
 Regarding the album the band members said this of the mountain:
"To us, 'The Mountain' is symbolic of our journey as a band, but also reflects the wider trials and tribulations of life. Lyrically, we've done a lot of soul searching which has given the album an emotional depth that we're sure listeners will really relate to, whatever personal mountain they are climbing.
Musically, the new songs feel rawer and more emotional than anything we've created in the past. All the essential elements of our sound are still there but have been delivered in a more gritty and focused style. We've really pushed ourselves in all areas and truly believe that this album is a step up from any of our previous work.."
 After checking out their other albums, Aquarius and Visions this makes total sense to me as well as a listener. Don't write them off either. The other 2 albums are a different beast entirely but also amazing. 
 I get a sense from my friends and forums this band has a lot of potential and is really catching on for us prog nerds. I hope they really get a lot of attention from this album. I see this as their sleeper that gets everyone really hyped for whatever comes next like when Dead Letter Circus did with their debut album. Now everyone wont shut the fuck about them although they wholeheartedly deserve it as well.
  But Haken also deserves that status as household name and I feel it in my gut hearing this album. Boys keep it up. You will go far.