2.The Good Doctor
3.Puzzle Box
5.Nil By Mouth
7.A Cell Divides

Ross Jennings – Vocals
Charlie Griffiths – Guitar
Rich Henshall – guitar & keys
Diego Tejeida – keys
Conner Green – bass
Raymond Hearne – drums

Aquarius (2010)
Visions (2011)
The Mountain (2013)
Restoration (EP 2014)
Affinity (2016)
L-1VE (2018)


Mixed by Jerry Guidroz

Released 2018-10-26
Reviewed 2018-11-10



In the contemporary era of progressive music, there are few bands who can claim to be as innovative, creative and restively dynamic as Haken – I read this in the press material and asked myself: are they joking? I have figured Haken to be one of the least innovative bands I’ve heard lately. I liked their album Mountain that I reviewed some time ago but have never really gotten into their albums since, they have all been okay but feels like repetitions of a theme – nothing exciting and not as great as some other progressive bands that has done music lately. Here comes another quote from the press material: Haken always look for ways to challenge themselves as musicians and artists, and also to keep the listeners on their collective toes.
“We don't like to make simple music”, laughs vocalist Ross Jennings. “We always aim to defy expectations, and I believe we've surpassed what we aimed to achieve with our new album.” Is that so? I wonder what their expectations for this one was.

After that long first paragraph I can deduce that Vector offers no surprises, kind of the same as Affinity or Restoration in terms of what we get to hear. The music is somewhat heavier and they have moved towards labelmates Leprous in terms of style thanks to that. But Leprous are more original and have a better vocalist, their darker style is also more exciting than what Haken has to offer. The album is shorter than some of their earlier albums, which is positive, as their shorter songs are often better than their long ones. This album has a good melodic sound and really strong production – fans of Haken will recognise their favourites.

This is a good album, but not really a very interesting one as the band isn’t breaking new ground or opening up the puzzle box to find an interesting album in there. They kind of sound like I had expected before even hearing the album, they are kind of the archetype of the progressive rock or metal genre. And I can’t shake the feeling that a lot is down to the singer; perhaps they should find one with a more exciting voice. But if they please their fans it may not be necessary, you don’t have to be interesting or exciting to be successful in music and I am sure that those who like Haken will like this album as well even though I don’t find too much to be impressed about. It is good but not great and I was actually thinking about giving it a lower rating, as it offers nothing exciting.

I have to conclude that this is an album that is more or less what could have been expected from this band – it is one more of their albums that sound kind of the same. They walk their by now well-threaded musical paths and there are no real surprises on Vector, it is just one of those albums that are too good to be bad and too poor to be really good. Perhaps mediocre is a good word for it, or perhaps it is an album that won’t disappoint Haken’s fans – you decide.




Label: InsideOut
Three similar bandws:
Genesis/It Bites/Yes
Rating: HHHHHHH (4/7)
Reviewer: Daniel Källmalm

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