With their two albums "Aquarius" (2010) and "Visions" (2011) the London band Haken documented their amazing variety of styles. With these she quickly became a secret underground tip. Two great gigs at the "Night Of The Prog" festival also contributed to putting the band on the radar screens of demanding prog fans. Already on "Visions" hooks sounded incredibly mature, determined and stylistically confident, but with "The Mountain" the British sextet has undoubtedly delivered its masterpiece. Once again singer Ross Jennings and his troupe have turned the right screws and developed a much more compact album, which still shows the complete range of styles of the band. Violent progmetal riffs stand next to cultivated retro prog, ethereal jazz interludes, choir and orchestra colour swabs as well as polyphonic vocals (e.g. in the intro to the fat Hammond Groover "Cockroach King"). Haken convince with their songwriting, captivating arrangements, technically exciting instrumental descents and significant melodies, which Jennings, who in the meantime has become one of the most variable singers of the scene, interprets brilliantly (e.g. in the sacred songs "The Path" and "Because Itʼs There"). The longtracks "Falling Back To Earth" and "Pareidolia" are perfectly staged emotional strips, and with "In Memoriam" Haken Muse fuse with Metal. The melancholy of the highly emotional piano ballad "As Death Embraces" also makes you fall in love right away. With the great melancholic "Somebody", which leads into an epic thundering finale, Haken let an album fade away, which size you simply have to bow to. Considering how many fans proudly presented their hook bodies at the "Night Of The Prog" this year, one can only advise the organizers to invite this great band for the third time next year. And since she also took the next step at the right time from a business point of view and docked with the German prog label InsideOut, she should be able to climb the career ladder quickly. For "The Mountain", which at the end of the day will be one of the big clearers of the year 2013, we applaud at this point standing by. A fantastic piece of music that bridges the gap between progmetal and atmospheric rock!
Top track: Pareidolia