Album review: HAKEN – Vector

Inside Out [Release date 26.10.18]

Haken recently celebrated their tenth anniversary and now we have album number five from them. Although the band produced the album s they normally do, this time they enlisted Adam ‘Nolly’ Getgood (Periphery, Devin Townsend Project) for the recording and mixing of the album. Haken also stated that this album would see them go in a heavier direction and that ‘Vector’ is a concept album of sorts, in that the lyrics give clues that link to past songs by the band.

Starting with the short, synths heavy cinematic ‘Clear’ which the launches into ‘The Good Doctor’, one of Haken’s most commercial and melodic songs to date. The synths/keys riff is reminiscent of Muse. ‘Puzzle Box’ keeps the melody adding in heavy riffs on the choruses with vocalist Ross Jennings soaring majestically above the music. Plenty of time changes and musical SFX to keep the most ardent prog fan happy.

‘Veil’ is the album’s epic, starting with a gentle Queen-like vocal harmony the pounding rhythm section and guitars soon kick in. Haken do epics so well, keeping the listener enthralled and revealing a little more of the music on each listen.

Haken have definitely recorded some of their heaviest music to date as the instrumental ‘Nil By Mouth’ ably demonstrates. The stop/start riffs on this one recall Devin Townsend, whilst Diego Tejeida goes seriously OTT on the keys/effects, making for one, glorious soundscape.

For a band that have been around for ten years Haken show no sign of running out of or recycling musical ideas, in fact they seem to thrive on pushing themselves into new musical vistas. Bar ‘The Good Doctor’, ‘Vector’ is not as instant as some of their previous albums, however it is one that will grow in stature with repeated plays. ****

Review by Jason Ritchie

 


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