Author Topic: Haken thread v. "Evening With" tour (some set spoilers)  (Read 72537 times)

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Offline ariich

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Re: Haken thread v. Fauna, 3rd March 2023
« Reply #420 on: March 02, 2023, 06:53:38 AM »
By the way, total aside but I am absolutely delighted by how overwhelmingly (if not quite unanimously) positive the critical response to Fauna has been. I hope it ends up being not too far off that with the fans too.

When I first heard the album, I liked it but didn't really have a clue what fans would think, and at the time Pete said the band also didn't have a clue :lol. After maybe 5 listens, I adored it and concluded that while obviously not everyone would like it (the band's fanbase is too varied now for any of their albums to be unanimously popular), on the whole it would probably go down well. So far the reviews have been more glowing that I'd expected, I suppose we'll see where the fanbase ends up.

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Re: Haken thread v. Fauna, 3rd March 2023
« Reply #421 on: March 02, 2023, 06:54:41 AM »
I can ask Pete but I honestly don't know if it makes much or any difference to them.
I'm really curious to know that.

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Re: Haken thread v. Fauna, 3rd March 2023
« Reply #422 on: March 02, 2023, 07:02:16 AM »
By the way, total aside but I am absolutely delighted by how overwhelmingly (if not quite unanimously) positive the critical response to Fauna has been. I hope it ends up being not too far off that with the fans too.

When I first heard the album, I liked it but didn't really have a clue what fans would think, and at the time Pete said the band also didn't have a clue :lol. After maybe 5 listens, I adored it and concluded that while obviously not everyone would like it (the band's fanbase is too varied now for any of their albums to be unanimously popular), on the whole it would probably go down well. So far the reviews have been more glowing that I'd expected, I suppose we'll see where the fanbase ends up.

How would you rank the album at this point?
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Offline The Letter M

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Re: Haken thread v. Fauna, 3rd March 2023
« Reply #423 on: March 02, 2023, 07:16:32 AM »
I *just* got my shipping confirmation email from Burning Shed. Here's hoping I receive in a couple of weeks!

As to the previous question about why people pre-order, part of it for me is to just ensure I'll get a copy at some point. With streaming and downloads usually available on the day of release, I can still listen to an album if I want, as I'm not usually a stickler for listening to my CD version for the first listen. And yeah, another thing is getting pre-order bonuses, and usually in the case with Burning Shed orders, they come with signed postcards. For Haken, I've gotten them for Affinity and and Virus, and one should be coming with Fauna.

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Offline ariich

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Re: Haken thread v. Fauna, 3rd March 2023
« Reply #424 on: March 02, 2023, 07:39:05 AM »
By the way, total aside but I am absolutely delighted by how overwhelmingly (if not quite unanimously) positive the critical response to Fauna has been. I hope it ends up being not too far off that with the fans too.

When I first heard the album, I liked it but didn't really have a clue what fans would think, and at the time Pete said the band also didn't have a clue :lol. After maybe 5 listens, I adored it and concluded that while obviously not everyone would like it (the band's fanbase is too varied now for any of their albums to be unanimously popular), on the whole it would probably go down well. So far the reviews have been more glowing that I'd expected, I suppose we'll see where the fanbase ends up.

How would you rank the album at this point?
It's tussling with The Mountain to be my favourite. Those are definitely my two favourites, but I can't decide between them. I find both magnificent in slightly different (as well as some similar) ways.


As to the previous question about why people pre-order, part of it for me is to just ensure I'll get a copy at some point. With streaming and downloads usually available on the day of release, I can still listen to an album if I want, as I'm not usually a stickler for listening to my CD version for the first listen. And yeah, another thing is getting pre-order bonuses, and usually in the case with Burning Shed orders, they come with signed postcards. For Haken, I've gotten them for Affinity and and Virus, and one should be coming with Fauna.

-Marc.
Yeah the bonuses makes sense, and if you don't mind about getting it on day 1 because you're happy for initial listens to be on streaming or download, then I get it. I know some people want their first listen to be with the physical product - the booklet, the lyrics and so on - so if you also want the bonuses from pre-ordering direct from the label rather than somewhere more reliable, that must be quite a frustrating tension.

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Re: Haken thread v. Fauna, 3rd March 2023
« Reply #425 on: March 02, 2023, 07:50:16 AM »
I have to pick up some scans for my dad so I'll stop by the local record store and pick it up.  Funny thing is, my truck doesn't have a CD player so I'll have to stream it even though I'll have my hard copy with me.
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Offline KevShmev

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Re: Haken thread v. Fauna, 3rd March 2023
« Reply #426 on: March 02, 2023, 07:58:38 AM »
What I noticed about this band, and I still notice it, is how solo-happy they aren't, at least relative to a band like Dream Theater, the band they seemed to get compared to a bit.  Haken rarely sees one guy go off with an extended solo.  They might have an extended instrumental section with a bunch of little solos in there, all pretty short, which gives a nice feeling of it being a full band instrumental section rater than DT's "okay, here is the long guitar solo, and now here is the long keyboard solo" method.  And to be clear, I prefer Dream Theater to Haken by a pretty wide margin overall, but that approach is really what I liked about Haken's music in the earlier days.  It just feels like too often now, they are content to just riff away and move from breakneck rhythm to another to demonstrate how in synch they are as a band. Impressive as hell musically, without a doubt, but feels more like a sporting event than a song at times.
Some really interesting observations. So, I can assure you that the suggestions at the end of your post are not at all the intention of the band. They're very focused on composition. To an extent they always have been, but actually more so from The Mountain onwards. Aquarius and the demo - for all their strengths - had quite a few songs that sort of ran from idea to idea without them putting much thought into it. Now, that doesn't mean that what the band finds compositionally interesting/coherent is the same as all fans, and of course they have always thrown in curveballs or sudden shifts (the trad jazz in Celestial Elixir being a top example) not all of which will work for everyone. So I'm not in any way suggesting you're wrong in how you feel/interpret the newer music, I'm only talking about the intention and priorities of the band.

You're spot on about solos though - the first two albums and the demo had more in the way of typically "wanky" prog solo sections, though as you say probably less indulgently than some bands like DT. But again since The Mountain it's not something they've been massively interested in. Linking to the other point about their compositional approach, they tend to focus more on composed lead lines rather than solos, so when they do include more traditional solos (rarely on keys, occasionally on guitar) it's because they think it's what serves the song best.

Again I'm only talking about the band's intentions and interests, no comment on how listeners should respond or interpret the music.

No, no, I get what you are saying, but I think, similar to DT did at times in the 2000s, they have gotten better at playing their instruments and can't help themselves but to show their stuff, even when the intention going in is still to write songs.  By no means do I think they go in and think, "Let's just play crazy stuff and call it a song."

By the way, total aside but I am absolutely delighted by how overwhelmingly (if not quite unanimously) positive the critical response to Fauna has been. I hope it ends up being not too far off that with the fans too.

When I first heard the album, I liked it but didn't really have a clue what fans would think, and at the time Pete said the band also didn't have a clue :lol. After maybe 5 listens, I adored it and concluded that while obviously not everyone would like it (the band's fanbase is too varied now for any of their albums to be unanimously popular), on the whole it would probably go down well. So far the reviews have been more glowing that I'd expected, I suppose we'll see where the fanbase ends up.

Well, not trying to be negative again here (I swear!), but I am not sure how much faith we can put in reviews anymore.  Most prog sites have certain artists that get great reviews every time no matter what. For example, as much as I love Neal Morse's music, there are sites where almost everything he releases gets a great review, and you are telling me everything he does is 4 1/2 or 5 stars out of 5??  With such easy access to musicians now for interviews, reviewers don't want to lose access, and negative reviews could piss off musicians and make them not want to do future interviews with you, so it is in their best interests to write super positive reviews. Not saying people don't like the albums they review, but it is hard to trust most of them nowadays.  One of the biggest prog sites has a guy who works for Radiant Records (Neal's company) who has literally written reviews for Neal's records.  I mean, seriously?

Offline ariich

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Re: Haken thread v. Fauna, 3rd March 2023
« Reply #427 on: March 02, 2023, 09:09:58 AM »
Oh yeah for sure there are definitely sites like that. Some of the reviews, while I like them in terms of positivity and accurate descriptions, come across as someone who was always likely to love it. And I've never put much truck in individual reviews anyway, because taste is so subjective. So I always knew there'd be reviews like that, but I was expecting more of a mixed picture than we've had so far. Almost no negative reviews, and even sites/podcasts etc. that have been lukewarm on recent Haken albums are incredibly positive (for example I saw one video review from two guys who at the time rated Virus 4 stars and 3.5 stars, and they both gave Fauna 5 stars). Like I say it's not about individual opinions, but the balance of opinion so far that has pleasantly surprised me.

No, no, I get what you are saying, but I think, similar to DT did at times in the 2000s, they have gotten better at playing their instruments and can't help themselves but to show their stuff, even when the intention going in is still to write songs.  By no means do I think they go in and think, "Let's just play crazy stuff and call it a song."
Hmm, I definitely see that with DT, but not sure it applies that much to Haken, or at least not quite in the way you've described it. Ross's vocals and Ray's drumming have definitely improved over the years. Maybe Charlie has got a little tighter, but Hen's guitar skills were always ludicrous, and I don't think the lineup changes on bass and keys have resulted in a material change in technical proficiency. So I don't think it's so much a case of "hey we can do this now so let's show off a bit" as I think for the most part they always could have played this stuff on a technical level - I think it's more a case of 1. finding it more exciting and dynamic to try new things and push themselves a bit, and 2. having more confidence to do so.

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Re: Haken thread v. Fauna, 3rd March 2023
« Reply #428 on: March 02, 2023, 09:06:31 PM »
Really enjoying this album so far. The standouts of the rest of the tracks are Sempiternal Beings and Eyes of Ebony, the latter of which really gets me choked up. Can't wait to hear some of these songs live.

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Re: Haken thread v. Fauna, 3rd March 2023
« Reply #429 on: March 02, 2023, 09:59:31 PM »


No, no, I get what you are saying, but I think, similar to DT did at times in the 2000s, they have gotten better at playing their instruments and can't help themselves but to show their stuff, even when the intention going in is still to write songs.  By no means do I think they go in and think, "Let's just play crazy stuff and call it a song."
Hmm, I definitely see that with DT, but not sure it applies that much to Haken, or at least not quite in the way you've described it. Ross's vocals and Ray's drumming have definitely improved over the years. Maybe Charlie has got a little tighter, but Hen's guitar skills were always ludicrous, and I don't think the lineup changes on bass and keys have resulted in a material change in technical proficiency. So I don't think it's so much a case of "hey we can do this now so let's show off a bit" as I think for the most part they always could have played this stuff on a technical level - I think it's more a case of 1. finding it more exciting and dynamic to try new things and push themselves a bit, and 2. having more confidence to do so.

Fair points.  They definitely all had mad skills from the start.   :tup :tup

I'd be lying if I said Diego's departure wasn't a big loss for this fan.  Just listening to a lot of their first four albums this week was a reminder that he really was the secret sauce. 

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Re: Haken thread v. Fauna, 3rd March 2023
« Reply #430 on: March 02, 2023, 10:08:42 PM »
Itís a bit ironic to me that Diego seemed (and this is 90% speculation) like he was feeling crowded out over the last two albums and now Fauna seems to highlight keyboards quite a bit from what little Iíve heard.

Not sure if that was always planned or if they are just trying to highlight their new (old) member.

I also realize that there were some personal viewpoint issues (in which Diego really came across as an ass, unfortunately) that were probably insurmountable, butÖ

I just hope Peter makes his presence known. And it sounds like he does.
« Last Edit: March 02, 2023, 10:21:11 PM by jammindude »
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Re: Haken thread v. Fauna, 3rd March 2023
« Reply #431 on: March 02, 2023, 10:15:43 PM »
Listening to Vector currently and I'm hearing things quite a bit differently. This album is extremely melodic, and I feel like the keys really mix well with everything else. This one has definitely aged really well for me.
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Re: Haken thread v. Fauna, 3rd March 2023
« Reply #432 on: March 02, 2023, 11:04:46 PM »
Elephants Never Forget is one beast of a song, a juggernaut.
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Re: Haken thread v. Fauna, 3rd March 2023
« Reply #433 on: March 02, 2023, 11:11:52 PM »
I'd be lying if I said Diego's departure wasn't a big loss for this fan.  Just listening to a lot of their first four albums this week was a reminder that he really was the secret sauce. 
On Affinity, definitely. Regardless of what I think of the guy, his sound design on that album was superb and makes it what it is. The first three albums though were almost entirely written by Hen, and to my knowledge there wasn't such a focus (from any of them) on sound design until The Mountain when it was a team effort. But what Diego did on Affinity was pretty special.


Itís a bit ironic to me that Diego seemed (and this is 90% speculation) like he was feeling crowded out over the last two albums and now Fauna seems to highlight keyboards quite a bit from what little Iíve heard.

Not sure if that was always planned or if they are just trying to highlight their new (old) member.

I also realize that there were some personal viewpoint issues (in which Diego really came across as an ass, unfortunately) that were probably insurmountable, butÖ
It's not my place to go into specifics (not least because I don't want to accidentally say something I shouldn't, but also because I've only heard it second hand so there's scope for bias), but I will just reiterate what I've said before - that from early on in his time in the band, at least as far back as the Visions tour, I was hearing of issues with Diego just not pulling his weight or acting like he's part of a group. I've not seen or heard any indication that he was crowded out of the process at any point - Haken is a very collaborative band, so while he was a member of the band he will have been given the opportunity to contribute as much as anyone else.

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Re: Haken thread v. Fauna, 3rd March 2023
« Reply #434 on: March 02, 2023, 11:24:12 PM »
Ariich, the only thing I was basing that on was his public bitching about the mix on Vector during which he posted his version ofÖI think it was Clear???Ö which seemed to be more about him.

The post (and the alternate mix) was pulled down rather quickly IIRC. You are closer to the situation than I am. Iím not fishing for details nor do I claim perfect memory, so I welcome correction if Iím wrong. I just thought I remembered him being rather upset with the mix on Vector and in particular, the fact that he seemed to be not as prominent on the album. (And subsequently, the sequel that followed)
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Re: Haken thread v. Fauna, 3rd March 2023
« Reply #435 on: March 02, 2023, 11:36:21 PM »
Listening to Vector currently and I'm hearing things quite a bit differently. This album is extremely melodic, and I feel like the keys really mix well with everything else. This one has definitely aged really well for me.
On the other hand, I can hear what Kev is talking about on Virus. I think I can safely call this Haken's weakest effort, just not a lot there grabbing me and the (relative) lack of keyboards really sticks out. Lots of riffs, not a lot beyond that. A lot of the melodies that grab my ears are callbacks, especially on Messiah Complex.
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Re: Haken thread v. Fauna, 3rd March 2023
« Reply #436 on: March 03, 2023, 12:01:40 AM »
Ariich, the only thing I was basing that on was his public bitching about the mix on Vector during which he posted his version ofÖI think it was Clear???Ö which seemed to be more about him.

The post (and the alternate mix) was pulled down rather quickly IIRC. You are closer to the situation than I am. Iím not fishing for details nor do I claim perfect memory, so I welcome correction if Iím wrong. I just thought I remembered him being rather upset with the mix on Vector and in particular, the fact that he seemed to be not as prominent on the album. (And subsequently, the sequel that followed)
Some of that was fan speculation. He didn't do any actual bitching (although it definitely came across passive aggressive from what I recall), and it wasn't about the mix. Indeed the keys are mixed pretty prominently on Vector. There was a different arrangement of Clear that he'd worked on, and yeah he put that up online saying something like "here's what Clear would have sounded like if different choices had been made". It wasn't actually that different to the final product, to be honest (which, as far as I know, he also came up with).

I don't actually know anything about that specific track, so I couldn't give anything away anyway. But my reaction to it was very much back to my point about being part of a group. When you're in a collaborative band, it's about balancing the interests and opinions of the group.

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Re: Haken thread v. Fauna, 3rd March 2023
« Reply #437 on: March 03, 2023, 12:24:25 AM »
We all come to Haken from different perspectivesÖ

Beneath the White Rainbow

Other songs are good, but this time thatís the one.

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Re: Haken thread v. Fauna, 3rd March 2023
« Reply #438 on: March 03, 2023, 01:56:12 AM »
Gonna take some time to digest. I'll be riding a wave of beautiful, ear pleasing melody and then, BAM, the wave crashes into a quirky, almost de-tuned sounding section-there for a creative reason I can't yet determine-and then BAM, my surf board is atop another melodic wave with such cool riffs. The juxtapositions are sometimes jarring. If nothing else it's one hell of a ride...just not sure how all the quirkiness will settle in. Fantastic production and an award for best artwork...ever?

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Re: Haken thread v. Fauna, 3rd March 2023
« Reply #439 on: March 03, 2023, 01:58:25 AM »
On my fourth listen, this album is just fantastic. Truly their most eclectic and intense work, technically and emotionally too, Eyes of Ebony is incredible on that standpoint. So far, that one and Sempiternal Beings take the cake, but Beneath the White Rainbow is up there too... wtf is that middle section?!?!
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Re: Haken thread v. Fauna, 3rd March 2023
« Reply #440 on: March 03, 2023, 02:21:24 AM »
Sempiternal Beings and Eyes of Ebony can't be praised enough. The only song I'm not fully convinced by early on is Elephants never forget, it feels somewhat long without feeling epic, maybe it will grow on me. Impressive album nonetheless.

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Re: Haken thread v. Fauna, 3rd March 2023
« Reply #441 on: March 03, 2023, 02:30:27 AM »
The production/mix is excellent, I must point that out.
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Re: Haken thread v. Fauna, 3rd March 2023
« Reply #442 on: March 03, 2023, 02:34:16 AM »
Sempiternal Beings and Eyes of Ebony can't be praised enough. The only song I'm not fully convinced by early on is Elephants never forget, it feels somewhat long without feeling epic, maybe it will grow on me. Impressive album nonetheless.
It does take a few listens. It's quite quirky and eclectic.

The production/mix is excellent, I must point that out.
Yes!

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Re: Haken thread v. Fauna, 3rd March 2023
« Reply #443 on: March 03, 2023, 02:40:15 AM »
I would not mind at all if they played every song from this live.

I am enjoying Sempiternal Beings, Island In The Clouds, and Beneath The White Rainbow the most. Eyes of Ebony and Elephants Never Forget  are up there as well, and I like how at certain parts of both songs it sounds heavy as if something big is walking around. Eyes of Ebony is interesting, it was not what I expected it to be musically, but I love it.

Fauna is going to end up being my 2nd favorite Haken album the more I listen to it. To me, the album itself is a Fauna of everything I like about Haken, the rhythms, the melodies, the vocal harmonies, and those sort of uplifting, atmospheric moments.
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Re: Haken thread v. Fauna, 3rd March 2023
« Reply #444 on: March 03, 2023, 03:42:22 AM »
Snagged the digital download before my travels today so should have plenty of time to give listens.

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Re: Haken thread v. Fauna, 3rd March 2023
« Reply #445 on: March 03, 2023, 05:36:35 AM »
Apparently the Japanese edition has a bonus track, 'The Last Lullaby'.
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Re: Haken thread v. Fauna, 3rd March 2023
« Reply #446 on: March 03, 2023, 05:52:18 AM »
Apparently the Japanese edition has a bonus track, 'The Last Lullaby'.

Wow, now I need this :o
It sounds like, "ruk, ruk, ruk, ruk, ruk." Instead of the more pleasing kick drum sound of, "gzarruk, gzarruk, gzarruk, gzarruk."

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Re: Haken thread v. Fauna, 3rd March 2023
« Reply #447 on: March 03, 2023, 06:17:14 AM »
Wow, amazing album, hard to surpass The Mountain and Affinity to me, but it's really excellent. This album manages to be cohesive and everywhere at once. The sequence from Nightgale to Elephants Never Forget is truly impressive, being Elephants my favorite off the album. Cool to notice that Island in the Clouds is indeed a perfect blend of Porcupine Tree and Haken. I also hear a bit of Pain of Salvation at the beggining of  Beneath the White Rainbow (after the intro). Great start for Pete, the keyboards are really present, diverses and creating great atmospheres for the songs. My only tiny criticism - just a personal taste, in fact - I wish Haken would go back for a bit more guitar and keyboard solos like in The Mountain and Affinity.
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Re: Haken thread v. Fauna, 3rd March 2023
« Reply #448 on: March 03, 2023, 06:44:46 AM »
Man Haken doesnít miss do they? What a fucking album.
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Re: Haken thread v. Fauna, 3rd March 2023
« Reply #449 on: March 03, 2023, 07:10:16 AM »
Very cool album. Feels like a classic on first listen. Not to say I absolutely love every song, but something about the vibe feels like a prog classic in a way Haken hasn't felt since The Mountain.

Standouts are probably The Alphabet of Me, Sempiternal Beings, and Island In the Clouds.

Elephants is really cool, but a bit too silly for me personally, at least in the beginning.

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Re: Haken thread v. Fauna, 3rd March 2023
« Reply #450 on: March 03, 2023, 07:11:57 AM »
Ariich, thank you for the clarification. I guess it wasnít quite what I thought. I still think the incident (and other public comments he made) made him look like a total prat. But thatís neither here nor there.

Sounds like the album is awesome. Kinda wish I could hear it. Thanks Music Glue!  >:(
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Re: Haken thread v. Fauna, 3rd March 2023
« Reply #451 on: March 03, 2023, 07:14:47 AM »
Elephants is really cool, but a bit too silly for me personally, at least in the beginning.

That section made me chuckle at the first listen, it's sooo Gentle Giant :lol
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Re: Haken thread v. Fauna, 3rd March 2023
« Reply #452 on: March 03, 2023, 07:20:02 AM »
Island in the Clouds is the song I always wanted Porcupine Tree to make.

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Re: Haken thread v. Fauna, 3rd March 2023
« Reply #453 on: March 03, 2023, 07:21:54 AM »
Only had the chance for one listen so far this morning but I am really digging it. Like any other good prog band.....this will take a few listens to really appreciate but I like what I'm hearing.
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Re: Haken thread v. Fauna, 3rd March 2023
« Reply #454 on: March 03, 2023, 08:01:43 AM »
After one listen, the thing that struck me was how well-balanced and melodic the album is.  Not being hyperbolic or anything, but I was just really pleased with it.

Early standouts (other than the single releases) for me were Sempiternal Beings, Elephants Never Forget, and Eyes of Ebony.
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