ARTIST:

HAKEN

(UNITED KINGDOM)
TITLE:

VECTOR

(2018)
LABEL:

INSIDEOUT MUSIC

GENRE:

PROGRESSIVE METAL

TAGS:
Concept-album, Technical
""Vector" is one more stone in a monumental building that actively participates in redefining progressive metal."
NUNO777 (05.04.2019)  
4/5
(0) opinions from our readers (0) comment(s)

Since the release of "Affinity", Haken has increased its activities. First, Mike Portnoy's Shattered Fortress tour of Dream Theater's old songs, which allowed the group to open its field of action and convert new fans. A few months ago, "L-1VE", the band's first concert DVD, was released to complete a decade at the top of the world's progressive metal scene. It was during the tour with Mike Portnoy that the first drafts for a future album were written. A few months later, the Londoners deliver us this fifth album, "Vector".

After having demonstrated three times his great mastery of epic and convoluted progressive metal, Haken undertook with "Affinity" to write in more synthetic formats. This approach finds in "Vector" an additional step with their shortest record and a single track of more than ten minutes. This desire for conciseness is reflected in the harmonic and melodic qualities of the songs and their efficiency turns. Example with the direct "The Good Doctor" which reminds us of Muse and "Puzzle Box", a real assembly of Haken's signature which summarizes many of the elements covered in previous albums such as the dark ambiences of "Aquarius" or the very 80's keyboards and sounds from "Affinity". The option of shortening developments is particularly apparent in the latter with this brief two-thirds break that could have been stretched further.

After this excellent appetizer, "Vector" goes to the main course with "Veil". Here again Haken uses all the tricks of which he used to. The riffs are biting and powerful, the contrasts between calm verses and powerful choruses, the virtuoso instrumental parts and the feeling-filled solos. "Veil" is full of so many ideas that it will overheat many synapses. The most remarkable are the dissonant jazz sequence with a mitan and the cover of a break with a strange atmosphere very "Twin Peaks". The impression of frenetic madness that emerges from the title, in the assemblages between parts and the excess of contrasts, will certainly support the psychological concept of "Vector". With its slightly exaggerated madness and density, "Veil" is difficult to access but turns out to be one of the band's most surprising achievements. Finally, "Nil By Mouth" is a very technical and perfectly executed typical instrumental but which does not bring anything fundamental to the album.

Haken has applied to the letter the rule that a short album should begin and end with highlights. If "Affinity" spoiled its finale by leaving a mixed impression on the rest of the album, "Vector" refines its conclusion with two tracks that combine originality and emotion. In this welcoming "Host" with pop accents, the English trade the heavy saturations for the warmth of acoustic guitars, the timidity of trembling keyboards and the murmurs of trumpets creating a soothingly sweet atmosphere. These subtleties make the impression of a final ascent even more vertiginous in power. Different in its approach but just as successful as its predecessor, the intense "A Cell Divides" closes "Vector" with a dive into the abyssal depths of a boiling human consciousness in the form of a jerky rhythmic variation supported by a very Leprousian tonality with a devastating effect. 

With "Vector", his darkest disc by the theme he explores and musically the most dense and unleashed, Haken pursues a constant evolution initiated from the very beginning. Album after album, Haken sets the milestones for a redefinition of progressive metal and by his already monumental discography places himself at the forefront of this revolution.


More informations on http://www.haken.fr/





TRACK LISTING:
01. Clear
02. The Good Doctor
03. Puzzle Box
04. Veil
05. Nil By Mouth
06. Host
07. A Cell Divides

LINEUP:
Charles Griffiths : Guitares
Conner Green: Basse
Diego Tejeida : Claviers
Ray Hearne : Batterie
Richard Henshall: Guitares / Claviers
Ross Jennings : Chant
   
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