[Neo Era Prog #10] Haken

Haken was born in the UK in 2007 from an idea of ​​To-Mera keyboardist Richard Henshall, together with two friends Ross Jennings (singer) and Matthew Marshall (guitars). Thomas MacLean (bass), Peter Jones (keyboards) and Raymond Hearne (drums) complete the lineup, performing in the first live nights and obtaining a good success. In the same year they recorded their first demo containing the songs “Snow” and “Souls” also re-proposed in the second demo of 2008 “Enter The 5th Dimensiuon” with the addition of other 4 new songs. After release, a lineup change sees Marshall and Jones leave the band, replaced by Charles Griffiths (guitars) and Diego Tejada (keyboards). A curiosity, the song “Black Seed,” contained in the second demo, is subsequently included in the compilation “Classic Rock Present Prog: Pgnosis 2” of 2009. Also in the same year they are selected by King’s X as opening band for two of their concerts. in the UK and throughout the year they performed as Bigelf’s shoulder group. In 2010 they released their first album “Aquarius” for Laser’s Edge, which got great feedback and positive reviews, proposing the album at ProgPower, where they shared the stage with Shadow Gallery. The band’s good ideas materialize in November 2011, when they release their second studio album titled “Visions.” A good and intense live activity continues, thanks also to the promising young and emerging band label of the Prog scene and in February 2013 the turning point with the entry into the InsideOut Music stable. In September of the same year for the German label, one of the main of the genre, they released the third album “The Mountain,” with a more accurate sponsorship work and the release of singles and official videos. The live dates continue unabated, and it is at the end of the Prog Stage Festival in Israel that bassist MacLean leaves and his place is taken by Conner Green. A year goes by and in October 2014 they release their first EP “Restoration” containing the redactions of some songs contained in the second demo. At the same time the official announcement that the band is working on the fourth album, announced for the end of 2015. Just in September and October of that year they became the protagonists of a tour as support to Between The Buried And Me, for their “The Coma Ecliptic Tour: II” With the beginning of 2016 the band announces that they have finished the recordings and the fourth album “Affinity” is released in April of the same year. It was a success, thanks also to the 2 tours organized in Europe and Israel and “Affinitour 2.0” in North America, supported by Thank You Scientist. To celebrate 10 years of activity, another tour is launched, “Haken X” followed by the reissue of the first two albums in remastered double CD and double LP editions. In parallel Henshall together with other musicians of the Prog scene give life to a supergroup the Nova Collective, recording “The Further Side.” Also in 2017, together with drummer Mike Portnoy and guitarist Eric Gillette, they perform in a series of concerts between Europe and America playing songs by Dream Theater composed by Portnoy. In 2018 they released the first live album entitled “L-1ve” containing the full recording of the performance in Amsterdam with the addition of 4 bonus tracks of ProgPower 2016. Simultaneously with the release of the live album, work began on the fifth album, which according to the same band, would have presented heavier sounds than the previous ones. “Vector” is then released on October 26 and was self-produced. anticipated by 3 singles, “The Good Doctor,” “Puzzle Box” and “A Cell Divides” and promoted by the tour “North America Entomology 2018.” Both the album and the tour are a huge success, supported in performances by Bent Knee and Leprous, and then extended the tour also in Latin America together with Bent Knee and Vola. Between November and December 2019 they supported Devin Townsend during his European tour, an event that was also repeated in North America between February and March 2020; however, the last dates of this latest tour have been canceled due to the 2019-2020 COVID-19 pandemic. On July 24, 2020, Haken released their sixth album “Virus,” anticipated between April 3 and May 22 by the singles “Prosthetic,” “Canary” “Yellow” and “Invasion.” The disc is the sequel to Vector and tells the subsequent events of the protagonist, the latter revealed to be the cockroach king, introduced seven years earlier with the homonymous track taken from “The Mountain.” Over the years, Haken have proven to be one of the leading groups of modern prog, thanks to both their quality studio albums and their engaging live performances across the globe. Musically their style is varied and includes many nuances, passing from more symphonic pieces to more Heavy, avant-garde traits and others closer to the song. Thanks to the lineup consisting of 6 elements, the sound solutions are so many and different, this has made them one of the most original bands of recent years. Despite being a young band, as they have been in business since 2007, they have earned the fame of an established band with merit, demonstrating that Prog is still alive, thanks also to bands like this, which hold the flag very high. Given the many facets that their sound has, it is difficult to compare them to other bands, this is good as it demonstrates what was said above about the originality of their style. In conclusion, Haken are a band to be followed carefully both in studio and live, a real breath of fresh air in the world of Prog.

Discography

(2010) Aquarius
(2011) Visions
(2013) The Mountain
(2016) Affinity
(2018) Vector
(2018) L-1VE
(2020) Virus

Lineup

Ross Jennings / Vocals (2007-present)
Richard Henshall / Guitar, Keyboard, Backing Vocals (2007-present)
Raymond Hearne / Drums, Percussion, Backing Vocals (2007-present)
Charlie Griffiths / Guitar, Backing Vocals (2008-present)
Diego Tejeida / Keyboard, Keytar, Backing Vocals (2008-present)
Conner Green / Bass, Backing Vocals (2014-present)

Former components
Matthew Marshall / Guitar (2007-2008)
Peter Jones / Keyboard (2007-2008)
Thomas MacLean / Bass, Backing Vocals (2007-2013)

Haken |Official Website|Facebook Page|Twitter|Soundcloud|Spotify|YouTube Channel|

Author: Jacopo Vigezzi

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