Haken
The Mountain


5.0
classic

Review

by Matthew Hopkins USER (44 Reviews)
September 4th, 2013 | 368 replies | 46,639 views


Release Date: 09/02/2013 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Showing the world that progressive music can still have feeling.

29 of 31 thought this review was well written

Whilst Mount Everest might be the tallest mountain on Earth, every mountaineer worth their salt will tell you that it is K2 which holds the title of the hardest mountain to climb. K2 has never been conquered during the winter months, and one in five people who attempt to climb the dreaded peak die in the attempt. In a way, progressive metal is similar to that terrible mountain, many of the bands that try to make it to the top simply flounder and fail to last.

Haken are relative newcomers to the progressive genre, having only released their first album in 2010. The Mountain is the follow-up to their previous album Visions, which was released in 2011. The Mountain may seem self-explanatory, about a man climbing an indestructible edifice of ancient, twisted rock, but the truth is far different. This album is about life; how everyone has to try to climb their own mountain.

This journey, much like trying to climb K2, doesn’t come without cost. It is a long and hard process, but Haken pull it off without a single fault. The vocal work is perfect, with the band using styles that haven’t been seen properly since Gentle Giant left the music scene. Haken have their fair share of influences, and this album is their tribute to those acts. There are parts that sound like ELP, Beardfish, Threshold, Dream Theater, Steven Wilson and Porcupine Tree to name a few, but this album isn’t composed entirely of stolen sound, the music is definitely Haken from start to finish.

The Mountain is an album full of feelings, from the first opening seconds of ‘The Path’, a beautiful post-rock sounding track with a wonderful piano lead, you can tell that the album is seeping with potential, which Haken lap up like thirsty travellers at an oasis. Haken manage to mix together several different styles of music as the album goes on. The song ‘Pareidolia’ is much heavier than the rest of the album, and has a large Eastern influence in the sound. Whereas ‘As Death Embraces’ is much quieter and darker, able to bring the sternest, coldest heart to the brink of tears.

Haken’s album is not for the faint hearted, over half the tracks are longer than seven and a half minutes in length. But the music doesn’t drag an inch, whether it is the brilliant drumming from Raymond Hearne, or the excellent and adaptive guitars of Richard Henshall and Charlie Griffiths. But even with all this excellent music behind Haken, it is truly Ross Jennings who steals the show with his exceptional vocal work, especially on the tracks ‘Atlas Stone’ and ‘Cockroach King’.

‘Cockroach King’ is the summit of the album, with its excellent catchy vocal, guitar work and quirky style of music. It sounds as if it could be picked straight off a Gentle Giant album with its complex vocal work. It is a perfect example of what every band in the progressive rock genre should strive to achieve, and there are few songs in the progressive genre that can match it.

If The Mountain has any weakness, it would be that the bass is sometimes forgotten amongst the rest of the sounds of the album, but when you do catch sound of that bass guitar, you can tell that it is excellently put together. Jennings’ vocals might not be everyone’s taste, but they are akin to fine brandy, something to be taken lightly and patiently, not binged on like cheap lager.

The Mountain might well end up being the progressive album of the year, perhaps even the decade. This album is undeniable proof that whilst the progressive metal genre appears to be in its twilight years, it is still capable of producing an album of such stellar quality that everything else seems moot. Haken have not just climbed K2, they have defeated the Savage Mountain. This is the summit of their career so far, there is no greater force in the universe.



Recent reviews by this author
Transatlantic KaleidoscopeHawkwind Onward
Hawkwind Blood of the EarthMotorhead Aftershock
Hawkwind Take Me to Your FutureHawkwind Take Me to Your Leader
user ratings (375)
Chart.
4.1
excellent
other reviews of this album
Joseph Newcomer (4.5)
"Adapt to this world, It's a chance we must take, We'll play our hand"...

Michael (5)
Bursting at the seams with creativity, The Mountain nails the fragility of the human condition while...

Adam (4.5)
Haken have reached the summit....


Comments:Add a Comment 
Hoppoman
September 4th 2013



634 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Originally posted here.

http://meltingalbumreviews.com/2013/09/05/haken-the-mountain/

My first 5 review, album really blew me away.


Mongi123
Contributing Reviewer
September 4th 2013



9559 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Great review bro I forgot a new Haken was coming out.

By the way, most prog I've listened to has feeling idk what you've been listening to. Just my view of it.

Hoppoman
September 4th 2013



634 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Some stuff have excellent mood to it, but recently there have been a lot more duds than before. It's like the 80s all ove again.

llll
September 4th 2013



34 Comments


lol this is funny from what i've heard on the atlas stone
gonna check it out despite not really being into this genre

nice review : )

JokineAugustus
September 4th 2013



5846 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

Really exception album and review. Love the mention of Gentle Giant in here.

Digging: Renaissance - Scheherazade and Other Stories

Mongi123
Contributing Reviewer
September 4th 2013



9559 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Hoppoman, Examples? I'm really curious now cause I love lots of modern stuff.

Hoppoman
September 4th 2013



634 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

I love Gentle Giant, I was glad to hear a band which shows off a similar style and pulls it off to perfection.

Hoppoman
September 4th 2013



634 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Things like recent DT, Opeth and Symphony X. Bands like Porcupine Tree not firing on all cylinders and then them breaking up. That and we haven't seen a new massive progressive metal band in many years.

Mongi123
Contributing Reviewer
September 4th 2013



9559 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Yea Heritage was kinda so-so. And I see what you mean about PT's The Incident def not they're best work. But In Absentia? Damn what an album. And Karnivool's new album is really average so RECENT recent stuff yea I agree. But older early 2000's stuff, no I don't agree

I can't wait to listen to this now.

Hoppoman
September 4th 2013



634 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

You really should, oh I will take any recs becuase I would loved to be proven wrong on modern prog, I generally don't listen to anything released after 31st December 1979.

Mongi123
Contributing Reviewer
September 4th 2013



9559 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Try these:

Karnivool- Sound Awake (New Day will change your opinion on no feeling definitely)
Porcupine Tree- In Absentia
Rishloo- Eidolon
Tool- Lateralus

Idk what you've listened to but some of the modern prog that I listen to.


CaptainDooRight
September 4th 2013



28755 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Have a pos bro and I'll request a feature for you.

Digging: Tukaaria - Raw to the Rapine

Mongi123
Contributing Reviewer
September 4th 2013



9559 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Yea dude this will get featured I think it was really well done.

Also if you want better production try out Rishloo's Feathergun first. Production on Eidolon is so-so
but I got over that quickly it's amazing. Just went through your ratings and looks like you've heard
all my rec's except Rishloo haha try those albums man.

Hoppoman
September 4th 2013



634 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

I would like a feature, I've never had one before. :P

JokineAugustus
September 4th 2013



5846 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

I hope you do, because this is one of the best reviews I've seen in a while.

Hoppoman
September 4th 2013



634 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Your kind words soften my heart.

Voivod
Staff Reviewer
September 4th 2013



5990 Comments


Excellent review, pos.

Heard one song off the album, it is excellent, as probably the whole album too.


One suggestion:

and adaptable guitars

adaptive

Digging: Lisa Gerrard - Twilight Kingdom

Hoppoman
September 4th 2013



634 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Thank you kindly, that does sound better.

Notaflower
September 4th 2013



134 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

great album. Also can anyone tell me how a review gets featured? Just curious to know the process.

Mongi123
Contributing Reviewer
September 4th 2013



9559 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I'm kinda curious too. And also can any album and not just a new one get featured?



You have to be logged in to post a comment. Login | Create a Profile





FAQ // STAFF & CONTRIBUTORS // SITE FORUM // CONTACT US

Bands: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z


Site Copyright 2005-2014 Sputnikmusic.com
All Album Reviews Displayed With Permission of Authors | Privacy Policy