HAKEN - Affinity
Label: Inside - Out Music
Reviewer: Mohammad Lahham - 2016-07-23
Haken is and will always be one of the bands that brought Something new to the table .
They are one progressive metal's most promising acts , Their sound is unique , different and completely original ,
The use of theatrical music through out the years made them get the attention of international acts such as Ex dream theatre drummer : Mike portnoy .
He called them one of the most interesting acts of the decade .
Portnoy sure is attracted to young progressive acts very often , but this one , is by far .. the best band he got his eyes on.
He guested on their 2014 EP ( restoration ) on the three tracks they recorded, and he did a fine job to an already excellent effort .
Fast Forward To 2016 , When Haken's Most anticipated Album was released , Affinity.
And oh boy , We fan boys were in for a treat.
The Album is an excellent record , well structured songs , Highly professional and tasty riffs and Ross's vocals are on point.
It is safe to say that Affinity is Haken's Best work to date .
The album got the 80's Vibe in its atmosphere , and not in the cheesy way , but in a catchy and most nostalgic way to that era's musical greats .
The album Starts with an intro that got vibrating and static noise along then comes a marching beat on the drums , that hypes the listener into the biggest opening of an album they could ever hear .
Then The Exploding Entrance of ( Initiate ) builds up to the Hype of the intro before it ,
Fantastic riffage and amazing bass lines from Connor Green , With the Drums play loudly and very synced with the keyboard atmosphere , and Ross Sure got his singing Pipes cleaned up and fired up at us !
his vocal range sure got better with time , Like Wine .. It ages Well With Time !
The most 80's Song on the Album is Non Other than ( 1985 ) Duh ! obviously !
The song got its 80's vibe in the keyboard playing and the use of the synth , again , totally not in a cheesy way , but more in a an attactive way !
It is one of the most , interesting songs On The Album !
Then Comes ( Lapse ) ,
this song is like hitting the breaks on a very speeding Wagon of prog and steal !
The song is one of the slow and more melodic tunes on The Album , Highly melodic , vocal and beautiful !
If you are not a Haken Fan , And Found this Album , Start With This one , A Great One Indeed.
Then comes The Monster , The Stand Out Track On the Entire Album !
All Hail ( The Architect ) ,
The Architect is the 15 plus Minutes monster That defines What it is to be Haken :
Progressive Metal at its finest , Fantastic composition , amazing riff plays and the Vocal harmonies on its chorus Is one Of their finest in their Entire Career.
And it is the first track That Uses Growls In Vocals In Their Album , And They Do not disappoint !
They sure surprise the listener for the first time , since the Haken fan base is not used to growls in the music , But it is one good surprise .
Especially That The Growls Are Handed To A special Guest Vocalist , Leprous's Super Front Man ( Einer Solberg ) , And then the song goes into the monster Mega instrumental That Makes Us music Fans Feel Unworthy Of Our Instruments !
On the next Track , We hop again on the 80's Feel with the track ( Earthrise ) , Where the guitars and general atmosphere is an 80's nostalgic moment ,
It got the melodic voice of Ross , the Melodies Plays by The Guitars .
On the Next Track , ( The Red Gaint ) Is it a Synth / Bass Based Song , Where It be The weakest Link in this album , Where The Vocals Are Only interesting thing about the entire song .
( The endless Knot ) , Is An Attempt To Great Another Part Of ( The Architect ) , And As much As The song Is Enjoyable , It is No Match For The Monster That It Tried to Succeed , But The Use Of Keyboards In This Song , Like a ( Dubstep / electornic ) Mash up Is Sure an interesting Move From Haken , yet It Sure did not Feel Badly Needed At all .
The Ending Track , Is One Of the Most Beautiful , Ambient / Acoustic tracks That Use the Electric Guitar In The Most , Beautiful Melodic way .
This song is a great example , how to end a wild journey That went For Long And want To Lay The Thing To Rest .
The Vocals Are Haunting , and Mesmerizing !
And it is one of The best tracks on The Album .
In General , Haken Sure know to make interesting Music, complex Composition and fantastic prog music , This album will be Hailed As A Classic In 30 years , just Like Dark side Of The Moon For Pink Floyd , Or the Raven That Refused To Sing For Seven Wilson and Of Course .. In The Court Of Crimson King By Non other ... King Crimson !
It Is a Very fantastic Record , and In General it is a Must Have .