Progressive metal band Haken have re-released their second album, Visions, after working alongside Jens Bogren to reinvigorate and raise the standard up to the band’s current production, in which Bogren also worked on.
Visions is eight tracks long with a total run time of nearly sixty-three minutes, a full eleven minutes shorter than their debut album Aquarius [which has had the same going-over as Visions, also recently re-released] despite the fact it ends on the title track which is a simply staggering twenty-two minutes long. By comparison, the albums shortest track is ‘The Mind’s Eye’ at a more modest four minutes. But let’s think about that for just one moment. Four minutes is a regular song length for many, many bands out there today, some not even managing to get to that mark, let alone with the sheer volume of instrumental variety that Haken provide their audience with in each song.
Haken seem to have a knack for creating songs that sound like they belong on a sound track, perhaps as scores to a Tim Burton film and I do write that with the upmost respect. They’re diverse, quirky, emotive and with ever-shifting styles. They’re busy, rammed packed with different styles and yet there’s a steady pace – you don’t get the impression that six piece have deliberately tried to cram as much in as possible, there are natural progressions throughout each track.
Amongst clearly being excellent musicians, they also claim rights to an unusual award. If you’re not very aware of this London band then I highly doubt you would ever be able to guess what they won an award for. Go ahead, try. No, it’s not that. Nope, not that either. Okay, okay I’ll tell you. They won an award for the ‘Best Use of Hot Tub’. How you ask? Well as you may be aware each year cruise ships are hired out to play shows or small festivals. In 2014 whilst on Progressive Nation At Sea, drummer Raymond Hearn decided to stop playing his kit part way through playing Visions and took a little break in the nearest hot tub on the ship and made it back in time to chim in with the harmonies. That’s pretty rock n’ roll.
A) Previously a fan
B) Just happened to stumble across them because of this review
C) You’ve liked what you’ve heard, or
D) You happen to be planning a trip State-side
then you may be pleased to know that Haken are playing Visions live in full at Prog Power USA this coming September. Visions the remastered album is out now in a two-disc special edition, 180g Gatefold two LP [including the album on cd] and as a digital download.