Haken - Vector review



Reviewer:
7.5

88 users:
8.17
Band: Haken
Album: Vector
Release date: October 2018


01. Clear
02. The Good Doctor
03. Puzzle Box
04. Veil
05. Nil By Mouth
06. Host
07. A Cell Divides


Haken have became a household name in progressive metal ever since their breakout album The Mountain, and Affinity proved their willingness to grow beyond being Dream Theater copycats. Where to now?

Before Affinity, I was aware of Haken, mostly as that band that often gets brought up along with Leprous, whom I enjoy immensely. I enjoyed Haken, too, especially The Mountain, but it never really clicked with me. I didn't really feel like Haken had anything new to say that loads of other prog bands hadn't said beforehand. Affinity didn't really blow my mind, but I grew a new appreciation for their music, as it felt that they were on the right path of forging their own sound, albeit in paths already walked by others, but I enjoyed the nods to the '80s and the various electronic elements and I was looking forward to seeing where they would take this sound next. And now we have Vector, to see if the potential of Affinity was delivered. Although it's weird to still talk about potential on a band's 5th release, especially considering their immense popularity, I feel there's still room to grow.

Vector is quite short. At least for a Haken release, where each studio album was at least an hour in length, making Vector's run time closer to that of the Restoration EP than that of the shortest of the studio albums. So we've got a more concise quality-over-quantity thing over here, not that quality was ever much of an issue with Haken. But I'm certain some fans will be let down by the presence of just one epic of over 8 minutes, which doesn't really shine as much as previous epics like "The Architect" and "Celestial Elixir" did, where instead of being blown away I feel more of a "by-the-books" feeling. Perhaps it is a residue from their Shattered Fortress experience, where they played Dream Theater material along with Mike Portnoy, but Haken delving back into Dream Theater worship isn't something I looked forward to particularly.

That isn't to say that the album is a letdown; mostly just the epic and the lead single. "Puzzle Box" and "Nil By Mouth" are both amazing, the first due to its electronic and vocal sections, which do feel like they deliver on the promise of Affinity, and the latter being an instrumental as well as the heaviest song on the album; Griffiths had promised that this would be a more riff-oriented album, though it's on the first of the two songs that this is more obvious. This all leads to "Host", which, to be quite honest, feels like it should have been the album's epic, from the sultry jazzy saxophone opening to the lush and warm vocals and the (excuse the overused but nevertheless accurate adjective) epic increase in tension that the song has, it feels like it ends almost way too suddenly. This might as well have been the best Haken song if it was more developed.

Production-wise, Haken has never sounded better before. The bass-heavy mix does make the lush moments of "Host" more lush and the djentier parts more chuggy. Other than that, Vector is still on the border between victory and letdown, but I'm willing to place it more on the former. There're plenty of developments and great songs, but they still feel a bit held back by their influences and expectations.


Rating breakdown
Performance: 8
Songwriting: 7
Originality: 7
Production: 9


 



Written on 24.10.2018 by My opinion is objective, sorry if you don't agree, but you're wrong.


Comments

Comments: 10   Visited by: 191 users
25.10.2018 - 22:38
FYA
Destroyer
Now we need album 'Chaken by Vektor.
Loading...
28.10.2018 - 04:48
BiffMalibu
This is a tougher and less melodic Haken on my first listen, not bad but not their best.
Loading...
29.10.2018 - 01:18
MetalManic
This is the first time in 10+ years on MetalStorm that I've ever seen a published review's score altered
----
MetalManic
www.MetalManic.com
Loading...
29.10.2018 - 12:10
BloodTears
ANA-thema
Written by MetalManic on 29.10.2018 at 01:18

This is the first time in 10+ years on MetalStorm that I've ever seen a published review's score altered


What?
----
Written by BloodTears on 19.08.2011 at 18:29

Like you could kiss my ass.


My Instagram
Loading...
29.10.2018 - 15:29
RaduP
CertifiedHipster
Written by BloodTears on 29.10.2018 at 12:10

Written by MetalManic on 29.10.2018 at 01:18

This is the first time in 10+ years on MetalStorm that I've ever seen a published review's score altered


What?

Initially rated it as 8.0 and a day later had a change of heart and lowered the rating to what it is now. I know it's pretty unethical, but I feel this score better reflects the review and my feelings for the album, so I thought it'd be better to change it before it's too late.
----
Seinfeld: I can't be with someone like me! I hate myself!
Loading...
29.10.2018 - 16:21
Daniell
_爱情_
Written by MetalManic on 29.10.2018 at 01:18

This is the first time in 10+ years on MetalStorm that I've ever seen a published review's score altered

I changed my initial rating of Opeth's Sorceress. I also remember Lucas chaging his rating of Deathspell Omega's Paracletus.
----
Now loving:
Tribulation - The Lament
Tribulation - Nightbound
Tribulation - Subterranea
Tribulation - The World
Tribulation - Here Be Dragons
Loading...
29.10.2018 - 20:48
MetalManic
Written by Daniell on 29.10.2018 at 16:21

Written by MetalManic on 29.10.2018 at 01:18

This is the first time in 10+ years on MetalStorm that I've ever seen a published review's score altered

I changed my initial rating of Opeth's Sorceress. I also remember Lucas chaging his rating of Deathspell Omega's Paracletus.
Noted. As stated, it was the first time I witnessed it. This doesn't necessarily mean it has never happened.
----
MetalManic
www.MetalManic.com
Loading...
29.10.2018 - 20:49
MetalManic
Written by RaduP on 29.10.2018 at 15:29

Written by BloodTears on 29.10.2018 at 12:10

Written by MetalManic on 29.10.2018 at 01:18

This is the first time in 10+ years on MetalStorm that I've ever seen a published review's score altered


What?

so I thought it'd be better to change it before it's too late.

Good point
----
MetalManic
www.MetalManic.com
Loading...
30.10.2018 - 11:48
BloodTears
ANA-thema
Written by RaduP on 29.10.2018 at 15:29

Written by BloodTears on 29.10.2018 at 12:10

Written by MetalManic on 29.10.2018 at 01:18

This is the first time in 10+ years on MetalStorm that I've ever seen a published review's score altered


What?

Initially rated it as 8.0 and a day later had a change of heart and lowered the rating to what it is now. I know it's pretty unethical, but I feel this score better reflects the review and my feelings for the album, so I thought it'd be better to change it before it's too late.


I don't think it's unethical at all. I was just surprised because I think it has happened before. And Daniel has confirmed it so...

On the album itself, I liked the singles but I still haven't listened to the whole thing.
----
Written by BloodTears on 19.08.2011 at 18:29

Like you could kiss my ass.


My Instagram
Loading...
06.11.2018 - 15:29
Daniell
_爱情_
Haken is, unfortunately, one of these prog bands whose main focus is on displaying instrumental prowess and complicated time signatures. Every time I listen to a Haken song, it's always technique over songwriting, showing-off over delivering memorable melodies/riffs. This album is no different. It's dry, clinical and soulless.
----
Now loving:
Tribulation - The Lament
Tribulation - Nightbound
Tribulation - Subterranea
Tribulation - The World
Tribulation - Here Be Dragons
Loading...

Hits total: 4321 | This month: 1271