RATINGS: A = must own B = buy it C= average D = yawn F = puke

Haken – The Mountain
InsideOut Music

Rating: A

Rarely do I come across a band that impresses me so much, that I have to keep going back their music on an almost daily basis, just because the music is so damned infectious. This is exactly the impression that was left upon me with the new album The Mountain by British Prog / Metal outfit Haken.

Formed in the UK in 2007, the band has released two albums prior to this one, however I must confess that The Mountain marks my first exposure to this supremely talented band. Clocking in at just over an hour, this sextet delivers a truly captivating and mind blowing listening experience that will surely leave a lasting impact on any true prog / metal fan. Gorgeously layered vocal harmonies, coupled with blazing guitar and keyboard runs, along with a heaping amount of varying and complex time signatures are the key ingredients to the band’s sound. There is a perfect amount of light and shade elements to be found within these eleven compositions. The longer tracks “Cockroach King”, “Falling Back To Earth”, “Pareidolia” and “Somebody”, reveal that not only are these guys word class musicians, but perhaps more importantly, that they’ve seemingly also mastered the art of how to create engaging, multi-dimensional compositions, which in the sometimes fickle progressive rock world, goes a long way to ensuring long term success.

Do yourself a favor and seek this one out. After being totally blown away by The Mountain, it seems that I’ve got some catching up to do, so I’m going to check out Haken’s first two albums pronto!

By Ryan Sparks