The Mountain

1 The Path
2 Atlas Stone
3 Cockroach King
4 In Memoriam
5 Because It's There
6 Falling Back To Earth
7 As Death Embraces
8 Pareidolia
9 Somebody
Bonus Tracks:
10 The Path Unbeaten
11 Nobody

Ross Jennings (Vocals)
Richard Henshall (Keyboard & Guitar)
Charles Griffiths(Guitar)
Thomas Mac Lean (Bass)
Raymond Hearne (Drums)

Diego Tejeida (Keyboards)

Aquarius (2010)
Visions (2011)


Mixed and mastered by Jens Bogren at Fascination Street Studios

Released 2013-09-02
Reviewed 2013-09-09


British sextet Haken goes for a seventy minute (or sixty two minute) mountain climb with the third album in their fairly short career, the question is wether or not they will manage to get to the summit we see on the artwork. It looks like an exciting peak, maybe worth a visit. Is the album? Well, it seems as though the reviewers think that it is but we of course know that these are often overrating everything so it may be misleading as it usually is. What about this grumpy reviewer? Well, he sees a progressive rock album with many traces back to the pioneers of the genre. It is complex, it is varied, it is excellently performed, it is brilliantly produced to give an excellent sound. As performances goes it is hard to fault anything about this album, albeit the bass disappears for long stints during the playing of this album.

An album that is long, but it has the variation to keep the excitement at a decent level all the way through. A criticism one can have though is the lack of a combining force in the album, it feels a tad incoherent when listening to it. This is no major deal though considering that the songs are quite varied within themselves and amongst them, which makes it less noticeable than it would have been on a more straightforward album. The vocals are quite good, classical progressive rock I think. This is also a criticism some could have, that the album does not really reinvent the progressive wheel, it doesn’t even innovate new tires or rims for said wheel which makes it a little bit predictable. It sounds like fairly typical classic progressive rock, all the elements are there and I cannot notice any elements they introduce or change which can negative to the really critical reviewers.

This album comes highly acclaimed for a reason, it is worth to be sung praises. Maybe not as loud as many have sung though, I think my positive view is a bit more restrictive by the facts that I have previously mentioned. But still, I really like the album but as a reviewer it is my duty to look more critical at things and this is slightly lacking in some areas which I have already alluded to. I like this album, it has depth and it has quality especially in the third track called Cockroach King which is a lovely dark progressive rock tune with excellent vocals harmonies and great melodies and variation. Excellent song that one, it is the highlight of the album, I also like the opening duo of song as well as the ending track before the bonuses called Somebody which is a lovely ending and the album without the bonus tracks being 62 minutes is actually a strong playing time. I have not the version with the bonus track but another eight minutes feels a tad long and Somebody is just the perfect ending. Ending to a really strong album that I can recommend to anyone considering him-/herself a fan of progressive rock.

That returns me to an initial question I have, do they reach the summit of the mountain of progressive rock? Well, they get close, if you look at the cover art you should be able to see them (just kidding) just at the edge of the frame. They are tantalisingly close to this summit, but there is still far to go to get there. That is the thing with mountains and their tops, it seems so close yet there is still so far to go, most of the time. I think however, that they are capable of reaching the summit, their music is good enough but they need to step a little bit outside of the box and really find their own voice completely, if they do that I can imagine that we will see some real brilliance in the future. For all of you who enjoy the progressive rock genre, this album comes well recommended.



Label: InsideOut
Three similar bands: Genesis/It Bites/Yes
Rating: HHHHHHH (5/7)
Reviewer: Daniel Källmalm

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