Tuesday, 8 July 2014

Celestial Elixir (Haken, 2010)

In 2013, "The Mountain" CD by Haken surely was a sensation in the small but widespread prog community. But the band already had its own history and fans, as this suite, coming from their first album "Aquarius", can easily prove. This song is one of the best ones in that debut collection, featuring sweet and hard moments, a band's trademark. Unlike many other productions of the years 2010s, "Celestian Elixir" collects many different inspirations and lines up a succession of different moods.

It's a pretty disquieting cover art, isn't it?
More than this: Haken show unusual instrumental skills (see the guitar around minute 10), an excellent taste for unusual arrangements and the old, good wall of sound. Their metal elements are never too pervasive: here, for example, you'll find a traditional progressive rock, vaguely influenced by Dream Theater and maybe some scandinavian bands, and a good fusion between acoustic and electric moments... and even some funny vaudeville touches. They developed a more personal style in the following releases, those guys, but this one still remains as one of their more amazing songs.

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