Haken
Restoration


4.0
excellent

Review

by Nick Mongiardo USER (134 Reviews)
November 18th, 2014 | 57 replies


Release Date: 10/27/2014 | Tracklist

Review Summary: With the help of their impressive musicianship, Haken's first EP exists as a worthy follow up to their critically acclaimed predecessor.

Haken exists as one of the most charismatic modern progressive bands around. Armed with their Dream Theater influenced sound and stellar musicianship, they truly stick out like a sore thumb along with the likes of Porcupine Tree, Opeth and Tool. These aspects mentioned above happens to be what made 2013’s The Mountain such a massive critical success. It was epic, confident, well written and showcased occasional instances where cheesiness is refreshingly well placed. However, in Haken’s debut EP, they chose to rework songs from their demo and the band decided to turn the epic dial all the way up to eleven while at the same time dropping the cheese altogether. Admittedly, it proves to be a tiny step downward compared to The Mountain, but their grounded musicianship still remains completely intact and Restoration makes for an awesome half hour listen.

Right off the bat, “Darkest Light” showcases the Dream Theater esque instrumentation to great effect as the keyboards and brooding guitar work rages on. As the epic introduction comes to a halt, Ross Jennings’ exceptional vocals come in and he’s aided by well written lyrics. Over the courses of the track, the band’s exceptional musicianship can easily be seen here and the whole track exists as quite the enjoyable listen. Granted, "Darkest Light" is without a doubt a solid opener, it proves to be nothing compared to its successor. “Earthlings,” the undeniable highlight of Restoration, showcases Haken at their atmospheric best with engrossing guitar work, ambience and masterful lyrics. Heavy on subtle instrumentation and well done harmonies, “Earthlings” is a testament of how amazing Haken can be and as soon as it comes on, the listener can easily get lost in the soaring atmosphere.

After this obvious highlight that is "Earthlings", the EP comes to a close with the highly progressive epic known as “Crystalized.” While the song may start and end with a bang, the band unfortunately delves into the common flaw of progressive music as a whole which would be its length. The song proves to be just too long and the middle section happens to be the biggest offender of this flaw. Granted, the band certainly could have trimmed a bit of the fat here, but nonetheless the song never becomes a bad song because of this. Ross’ vocals remain quite exceptional and the band as a whole unites to really bring this nearly twenty minute epic to a close. As mentioned before, it’s definitely a bit too long, but still quite impressive for what it is.

Even though Restoration has its fair share of flaws, the band found ways for the listener to quickly overcome them quite easily. The band manages to confidently hold their own as they always do every minute of their debut EP with their impressive musicianship, polished production and evidence of them still growing as a band. The progressive scene should be warned because Haken will surely return with a reckless abandon while they are done recording their fourth studio album. If elements of The Mountain and Restoration are expertly combined in the right ways, they could easily create a masterpiece.



Recent reviews by this author
Haken VectorHammock Floating World
Caspian Dust and DisquietAlcest Kodama
Thrice To Be Everywhere Is to Be NowhereHaken The Mountain
user ratings (196)
Chart.
4
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
Mongi123
November 18th 2014


20062 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Can't believe this was overlooked by everyone(myself included). Shame on sput! Any critiques are welcome as usual guys.

RivalSkoomaDealer
November 18th 2014


1611 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Sweet review! Might check this out. Loved The Mountain.

Digging: Soen - Lotus

Gameofmetal
Staff Reviewer
November 18th 2014


10467 Comments


I kinda skim read this because I need to go do some writing like immediately but nice review. Haven't heard all of this yet but the mountain was awesome.

menawati
November 18th 2014


16587 Comments


this lot dont do much for me but nice review mongi

ashcrash9
November 18th 2014


3028 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

holy shit how did I miss this?



The Mountain was awesome and this is as well.

Thanks for reviewing, Mongi.

indigonowhere
Emeritus
November 18th 2014


10727 Comments


this reads like you may not know these songs were revamped from earlier in Haken's discography

Mongi123
November 18th 2014


20062 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Oh really? Well...you're right because I didn't know that. When from their discography?



You think I should mention it somewhere in here?

Mongi123
November 18th 2014


20062 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Oh it's from their demos. Either way they did a good job and I'll try to stick that in the first paragraph. Thanks for saying

something! Btw thanks for the kind words guys.

indigonowhere
Emeritus
November 18th 2014


10727 Comments


as far as i understand, these songs were written awhile ago- they were either previously unreleased older songs of theirs or songs that
were on an older release of theirs. i think the only thing you should really do is think about how that fact changes your opinion on
the release, and if it does (which would make sense,) then you could adjust your review accordingly

edit: yeah you got it!

Mongi123
November 18th 2014


20062 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Ok thanks for the help. I just mentioned where they came from their demos and decided to rework them. My opinion of the music

remains the same though.

Mythodea
November 18th 2014


4271 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Solid but if there were places in The Mountain that they started to drift away from their DT influences, they return to them in this one. I hope their new album has more Haken characteristics, but anyway I trust them. The review is well written, ''pos''.

elcrawfodor
November 18th 2014


1264 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

The Mountain is one of my favorite albums, this one didn't do as much for me but still great overall, especially

considering it's based on stuff they wrote so long ago. Here's to hoping their next LP will be a part of the ultra-creative

high they achieved with The Mountain!

Mongi123
November 18th 2014


20062 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Amen dude though I like this a lot more. I was really surprised by The Mountain considering how boring Visions was. I know they have a masterpiece in them I can feel it.

Mythodea
November 18th 2014


4271 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I once read somewhere that a band's third album usually defines whether it's going to stay or not. If that's the least bit true, then Haken are going to be around for years.

elcrawfodor
November 18th 2014


1264 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

First thing I did on this site was review The Mountain, it's already their masterpiece to me



Interesting theory @Mythodea, although I think it's more interesting to look at a band's second album. It's when they overcome the sophomore slump that you know you've got something special.

Mythodea
November 18th 2014


4271 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Yeah, but Visions is their weakest thus far. Also, this album's cover is their best after The Mountain. Also2, too bad their bassist left the band. He was exceptional.

Mongi123
November 18th 2014


20062 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

So what is their first album like? Visions is good but nothing worth gushing over.

Mythodea
November 18th 2014


4271 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Their first is very weird. Of course it has that DT sound all over it, but it also has a water-y, bubbles-like sound, with weird circus-like passages and bombastic musicianship. It also has heartbreaking, softer songs, like Sun, which is ultimately one of the best songs they've written.

Mongi123
November 18th 2014


20062 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I usually don't mind when bands sound a lot like another band as long as they do it well, but I don't love DT that much so I guess that's why Visions struck me as a boring album. I'll still try that one though eventually.

Mythodea
November 18th 2014


4271 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

They borrow the soloing and instrumental 'fights' that DT have, but they do it more delicately, more

passionately, giving it -imo- more substance that all DT albums of the past 15 years could give. Visions

were more of a cliche prog album, lacking that something that Aquarius had, or the maturity that The

Mountain had to show. Don't forget that it was made qickly after their debut, so it's easily understood why

it was some steps lower in terms of quality.



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





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 2005-2017 Sputnikmusic.com
All Album Reviews Displayed With Permission of Authors | Terms of Use | Privacy Policy