A little over a year ago, I reviewed Haken's stunning album 'The Mountain', and they are back with their new EP, 'Restoration'. This may only be three tracks but, at nearly thirty five minutes, it could almost be seen as an album in its own right; it is certainly value for money. This time around Haken, along with new bassist Conner Green, have completely reworked tracks that appeared on their original demo back in 2007/2008. This is something they have apparently wanted to do for some time and fans have been asking for it as well. They have pulled these three songs completely apart and started again. I haven't had the pleasure of hearing the demo recordings so I don't know how much these versions differ, but what I do know is that Haken have once again served up a delectable listening experience. This is prog rock/metal of the highest order.
As I said in my previous album review, Haken are a pretty difficult band to categorise but that's no bad thing. You really don't know what you're going to get but it's always good. This time around, not only do these songs sound modern (latter day Dream Theater) and have a beautiful production, they also evoke classic 70s and 80s Yes. There are some very odd time and chord changes which sound a little disjointed on first listen, but give 'Restoration' some time to sink in and it all makes wonderful and beautiful sense.
None of these three songs stand out over the others, that's only because they are all so good, but I do have to mention the near twenty minute brilliance of 'Crystallised'. Many more modern prog bands just cannot keep my attention over the course of a longer song but Haken invade your brain with so much talent and beauty that it's difficult not to sit there in total awe of what they achieve. You never stop discovering things when listening.
'Restoration' is like a painting, the deeper you look, the more you see and Haken themselves are like a troubled painter, unsure of what colours to use, but when the brush touches the canvas what you get is brilliance. Rather than a step back, this is an incredible follow up to 'The Mountain' and I cannot wait to see where the picture takes us next!
Review by Rick Tilley
27th Oct 2014
1) Darkest Light
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN:
"Rather than a step back, this is an incredible follow up to 'The Mountain'..."