Author Topic: Haken thread v. "Evening With" tour (some set spoilers)  (Read 71343 times)

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Online The Letter M

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Re: Haken thread v. Fauna, 3rd March 2023
« Reply #525 on: March 05, 2023, 01:45:59 PM »
There’s just a couple of things I would’ve changed, those being the weird Mickey Mouse vocals in Beneath the White Rainbow, the solos in Island in the Clouds and Sempiternal Beings (which feel really out of place to me) and the heavier sections in Eyes of Ebony. The softer parts of that track are so good, especially when you know the context of the lyrics, and the heavier parts seem a bit out of place in that track.

You mean the ones at 4:34 that I find kind of grating? Well now that I've read this, I can't NOT think of Mickey Mouse screaming them through a megaphone, and it's gone from annoying and grating to hilariously comedic. I'm not sure if that's better or worse.  :rollin

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Offline nobloodyname

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Re: Haken thread v. Fauna, 3rd March 2023
« Reply #526 on: March 05, 2023, 02:11:38 PM »
Hmm... have to say, this is a really good album. I'm actually finding Ross okay on this release.
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Re: Haken thread v. Fauna, 3rd March 2023
« Reply #527 on: March 05, 2023, 02:36:17 PM »
Hmm... have to say, this is a really good album. I'm actually finding Ross okay on this release.
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Re: Haken thread v. Fauna, 3rd March 2023
« Reply #528 on: March 05, 2023, 03:34:15 PM »
I know I will be in the minority, but I like Vector/Virus much more than the new album.  Maybe I will like the songs better live.

My early thoughts are that Fauna is better than Virus (low bar to clear, for me), but not better than Vector.  I am not a big fan of Vector, but at least it does have Puzzle Box and Host, both of which are pretty great.  I am not hearing anything on the new album I like as much as either of those two songs, but time will tell.

For my money, the three last albums are all miles below the surface of the first four.  YMMV.

Offline nick_z

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Re: Haken thread v. Fauna, 3rd March 2023
« Reply #529 on: March 05, 2023, 05:01:31 PM »
Two listens in, a few of random thoughts...

For context, I had only listened to Nightingale and Taurus once, and skipped the pre-releases of The Alphabet of Me and Lovebite. For now, I do echo the sentiment expressed here that the album appears to gain some momentum in the second half. Also, my appreciation of Fauna already had a pretty giant leap from the first to the second run, so that's promising  :)

Lots of cool moments and ideas all over, and a plenty to unpack, obviously. My favorite Haken is Affinity, and I find the melodies in Lovebite the most Affinity-esque, so it's not surprising I enjoyed that tune so much. It's also the shortest and (relatively) most straightforward song so, again, not too surprising. The vocal melodies (not so much the sound) seem to have somewhat of a synthwave influence too, and I love that.

The current favorite is probably Elephants Never Forget - not because it's the "epic", by the way. It's just that it's a fantastic combo of early and "modern" Haken to my ears (I know, it's kind of funny to think of the band that way...it's not like they've been around forever) and the chorus melody is one of the moments in the record that struck me the most. Also beautiful reprise at the end of the song too. In fact, if there is one thing I kept thinking as I listened, is I wished there were more of these types of moments/melodies. Like the last minute or so of Island in the Clouds, especially when the rhythm changes to a straight beat. Fantastic stuff. Affinity had a TON of that.

Anyway, obviously early to say where it will land in my rankings. Just looking at their more recent output: of the Vector/Virus combo, I prefer the latter by some margin (I like Vector, but it is probably my least favorite of theirs, while I though Virus had a little more "color" to it, despite being obviously cut from the same, or similar, cloth)...I think Fauna has the potential to be above both, but it will depend on how the melodies and songs will reveal themselves over repeated listens.


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Re: Haken thread v. Fauna, 3rd March 2023
« Reply #530 on: March 05, 2023, 05:41:54 PM »
Album ranking time. (With vague ratings to show the margins between them)

1. The Mountain 5/5
2. Affinity 5/5
3. Fauna 4/5
4. Aquarius 4/5
5. Vector 3/5
6. Visions 3/5
7. Virus 2/5

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Re: Haken thread v. Fauna, 3rd March 2023
« Reply #531 on: March 05, 2023, 05:42:54 PM »
I know I will be in the minority, but I like Vector/Virus much more than the new album.  Maybe I will like the songs better live.

My early thoughts are that Fauna is better than Virus (low bar to clear, for me), but not better than Vector.  I am not a big fan of Vector, but at least it does have Puzzle Box and Host, both of which are pretty great.  I am not hearing anything on the new album I like as much as either of those two songs, but time will tell.

For my money, the three last albums are all miles below the surface of the first four.  YMMV.
I feel similarly at this point, except that I do think Vector is pretty good overall. A step down from the previous albums, but I definitely prefer it to Virus and Fauna.

Still plenty of time for Fauna to grow on me though.
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Re: Haken thread v. Fauna, 3rd March 2023
« Reply #532 on: March 05, 2023, 08:29:32 PM »
I’ve always felt in the minority and the fact that I thought the Virus was a big improvement over Vector
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Re: Haken thread v. Fauna, 3rd March 2023
« Reply #533 on: March 05, 2023, 08:39:47 PM »
I’ve always felt in the minority and the fact that I thought the Virus was a big improvement over Vector

Virus is so much better IMO.  You are not alone.  I would say Virus contends for my favorite Haken album. I need more listens to Fauna, but right now, it's probably in the bottom half of albums, maybe closer to the bottom.  That's not to say I dislike it, it's just that I like the others more.

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Re: Haken thread v. Fauna, 3rd March 2023
« Reply #534 on: March 05, 2023, 09:48:30 PM »
I'm loving the album more with every listen. Never gonna beat my #1(Affinity), but it's better than Vector and Virus combined.

Still debating on going to that DC show in May. I put together a playlist of a setlist I'd love to see.

Taurus
Invasion
The Alphabet of Me
Beneath the White Rainbow
Darkest Light
Canary Yellow
Sempiternal Beings
Falling Back to Earth (10th anniversary of The Mountain)
Lovebite
Nil by Mouth (to give Ross a break)
As Death Embraces (to give the rest of the band a break. except Pete. you're just gonna have to hold it, bud)
Elephants Never Forget
Messiah Complex
Bound By Gravity (Having seen one the only two live performances of this song, it's magical live)

107 minutes

On an unrelated note, someone is selling a copy of the Enter the 5th Dimension demo on Discogs for $900. I'm sure it's rare, but that seems excessive.  :lol
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Offline jammindude

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Re: Haken thread v. Fauna, 3rd March 2023
« Reply #535 on: March 05, 2023, 09:56:33 PM »
Someone with the band would mail them out for almost nothing. I seem to recall they sent me two.

I would have to go back and listen to recall exactly where, but I seem to remember there is a very slight digital “glitch” somewhere. It was in both copies, so I have to assume it was from the original. But I was never 100% sure about that.
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Re: Haken thread v. Fauna, 3rd March 2023
« Reply #536 on: March 05, 2023, 11:35:28 PM »
I’ve always felt in the minority and the fact that I thought the Virus was a big improvement over Vector
Definitely not in the minority, it's a common view balancing out those that prefer Vector. Indeed, they have an identical average rating on RYM (not that that's the be all and end all, but as an indicator).


On an unrelated note, someone is selling a copy of the Enter the 5th Dimension demo on Discogs for $900. I'm sure it's rare, but that seems excessive.  :lol
https://www.discogs.com/sell/release/4075958?ev=rb
The "official" release was just a homemade CD-R (printed, so it looked ok) with a home-printed insert. Anyone who buys that is an idiot. :lol

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Re: Haken thread v. Fauna, 3rd March 2023
« Reply #537 on: March 06, 2023, 12:03:07 AM »
I'm not sure how informative the RYM metric is when the rating range across the discography is .15 (in other words, each album has a pretty similar rating). Visions and The Mountain also have identical ratings as well but I doubt the fanbase is evenly split that way on those two albums.

I would definitely be curious about what the split between Virus and Vector is. When I listened to the two back to back, I was pretty struck by how dissimilar they really were. Other than conceptual links, each album really has its own identity and I would say Virus is a little bit more off the beaten path for them than the other albums. Much heavier, much more guitar-centric, a little bit more direct.
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Re: Haken thread v. Fauna, 3rd March 2023
« Reply #538 on: March 06, 2023, 01:09:59 AM »
I'm not sure how informative the RYM metric is when the rating range across the discography is .15 (in other words, each album has a pretty similar rating). Visions and The Mountain also have identical ratings as well but I doubt the fanbase is evenly split that way on those two albums.

I would definitely be curious about what the split between Virus and Vector is. When I listened to the two back to back, I was pretty struck by how dissimilar they really were. Other than conceptual links, each album really has its own identity and I would say Virus is a little bit more off the beaten path for them than the other albums. Much heavier, much more guitar-centric, a little bit more direct.
For sure and I did caveat my post as it only being an indication that neither is hugely more popular than the other. Obviously people rating their albums on RYM has overlap with, but is not the same as, Haken's main fanbase. For example on your Visions vs Mountain comparison, the latter has nearly twice as many ratings. It was their breakthrough (and to this day overall most acclaimed) album and so likely garnered extra ratings from people who checked it out and decided not to explore Haken further.

But yes I do find it remarkable how close all their average ratings are to each other (demo aside). I see that as demonstrating 1. how consistent they are in terms of general quality, and 2. how for every fan who much prefers one subset of albums to another, there's another who feels the other way round. It's the same on sputnikmusic.

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Re: Haken thread v. Fauna, 3rd March 2023
« Reply #539 on: March 06, 2023, 03:45:24 AM »
The final chorus of Eyes of Ebony with the additional flourishes is just incredible.

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Re: Haken thread v. Fauna, 3rd March 2023
« Reply #540 on: March 06, 2023, 06:27:47 AM »
I'm not sure how informative the RYM metric is when the rating range across the discography is .15 (in other words, each album has a pretty similar rating). Visions and The Mountain also have identical ratings as well but I doubt the fanbase is evenly split that way on those two albums.

I would definitely be curious about what the split between Virus and Vector is. When I listened to the two back to back, I was pretty struck by how dissimilar they really were. Other than conceptual links, each album really has its own identity and I would say Virus is a little bit more off the beaten path for them than the other albums. Much heavier, much more guitar-centric, a little bit more direct.
For sure and I did caveat my post as it only being an indication that neither is hugely more popular than the other. Obviously people rating their albums on RYM has overlap with, but is not the same as, Haken's main fanbase. For example on your Visions vs Mountain comparison, the latter has nearly twice as many ratings. It was their breakthrough (and to this day overall most acclaimed) album and so likely garnered extra ratings from people who checked it out and decided not to explore Haken further.

But yes I do find it remarkable how close all their average ratings are to each other (demo aside). I see that as demonstrating 1. how consistent they are in terms of general quality, and 2. how for every fan who much prefers one subset of albums to another, there's another who feels the other way round. It's the same on sputnikmusic.

 ??? ??? ???

While everyone isn't hardcore music fans like most of us here, I cannot imagine hearing an album by a band that I like so much that I take the time to write a review for it online and then not exploring the band further.

I think it is really is as simple as The Mountain is their best album.  :tup :tup

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Re: Haken thread v. Fauna, 3rd March 2023
« Reply #541 on: March 06, 2023, 06:44:35 AM »
I’ve always felt in the minority and the fact that I thought the Virus was a big improvement over Vector

As I said above, I'm with you on that one...

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Re: Haken thread v. Fauna, 3rd March 2023
« Reply #542 on: March 06, 2023, 07:02:59 AM »
For me, Virus was a small improvement over Vector, but I love both.

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Re: Haken thread v. Fauna, 3rd March 2023
« Reply #543 on: March 06, 2023, 07:11:43 AM »
I slightly prefer Vector over Virus though, it has a few more songs that I like. That three song stretch of The Good Doctor -> Puzzle Box -> Veil is pretty nice.
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Re: Haken thread v. Fauna, 3rd March 2023
« Reply #544 on: March 06, 2023, 07:32:51 AM »
I slightly prefer Vector over Virus though, it has a few more songs that I like. That three song stretch of The Good Doctor -> Puzzle Box -> Veil is pretty nice.
That's their best stretch of songs in my opinion. Truly spectacular.  :hefdaddy

I'm still processing the new album, there's so much to digest. It truly is a complex record with subtle melodies, so it will take a while, but it's an intriguing listen so far.

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Re: Haken thread v. Fauna, 3rd March 2023
« Reply #545 on: March 06, 2023, 07:38:25 AM »
I'm not sure how informative the RYM metric is when the rating range across the discography is .15 (in other words, each album has a pretty similar rating). Visions and The Mountain also have identical ratings as well but I doubt the fanbase is evenly split that way on those two albums.

I would definitely be curious about what the split between Virus and Vector is. When I listened to the two back to back, I was pretty struck by how dissimilar they really were. Other than conceptual links, each album really has its own identity and I would say Virus is a little bit more off the beaten path for them than the other albums. Much heavier, much more guitar-centric, a little bit more direct.
For sure and I did caveat my post as it only being an indication that neither is hugely more popular than the other. Obviously people rating their albums on RYM has overlap with, but is not the same as, Haken's main fanbase. For example on your Visions vs Mountain comparison, the latter has nearly twice as many ratings. It was their breakthrough (and to this day overall most acclaimed) album and so likely garnered extra ratings from people who checked it out and decided not to explore Haken further.

But yes I do find it remarkable how close all their average ratings are to each other (demo aside). I see that as demonstrating 1. how consistent they are in terms of general quality, and 2. how for every fan who much prefers one subset of albums to another, there's another who feels the other way round. It's the same on sputnikmusic.

 ??? ??? ???

While everyone isn't hardcore music fans like most of us here, I cannot imagine hearing an album by a band that I like so much that I take the time to write a review for it online and then not exploring the band further.

I think it is really is as simple as The Mountain is their best album.  :tup :tup
Oh yes I agree, I probably wasn't clear but I meant the other way round. Of those people who only checked out The Mountain but didn't explore further because it wasn't for them, they'll likely have rated it lower and therefore brought the average down, which will have happened less to their other albums which are less likely to have been checked out ad-hoc like that.

Obviously if someone checked it out, liked it and gave it a high rating, it would be bizarre if they didn't then explore at least some other Haken albums.

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Offline KevShmev

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Re: Haken thread v. Fauna, 3rd March 2023
« Reply #546 on: March 06, 2023, 08:33:20 AM »
Oh yes I agree, I probably wasn't clear but I meant the other way round. Of those people who only checked out The Mountain but didn't explore further because it wasn't for them, they'll likely have rated it lower and therefore brought the average down, which will have happened less to their other albums which are less likely to have been checked out ad-hoc like that.

Obviously if someone checked it out, liked it and gave it a high rating, it would be bizarre if they didn't then explore at least some other Haken albums.

Gotcha, that makes sense.  :tup :tup

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Re: Haken thread v. Fauna, 3rd March 2023
« Reply #547 on: March 06, 2023, 09:39:20 AM »
Mixed bag for me after 2.5 listens. I really love the first few songs, and then it really just starts to drag and sound pretty boring to me. Some of the zanier stuff toward the end does pique my interest though.

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Re: Haken thread v. Fauna, 3rd March 2023
« Reply #548 on: March 06, 2023, 10:22:43 AM »
Someone with the band would mail them out for almost nothing. I seem to recall they sent me two.

I would have to go back and listen to recall exactly where, but I seem to remember there is a very slight digital “glitch” somewhere. It was in both copies, so I have to assume it was from the original. But I was never 100% sure about that.

Hmmm? I have an original, so I will listen closely today and let you know.

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Re: Haken thread v. Fauna, 3rd March 2023
« Reply #549 on: March 06, 2023, 12:31:52 PM »
There’s just a couple of things I would’ve changed, those being the weird Mickey Mouse vocals in Beneath the White Rainbow, the solos in Island in the Clouds and Sempiternal Beings (which feel really out of place to me) and the heavier sections in Eyes of Ebony. The softer parts of that track are so good, especially when you know the context of the lyrics, and the heavier parts seem a bit out of place in that track.

You mean the ones at 4:34 that I find kind of grating? Well now that I've read this, I can't NOT think of Mickey Mouse screaming them through a megaphone, and it's gone from annoying and grating to hilariously comedic. I'm not sure if that's better or worse.  :rollin

-Marc.

Came to post this too. What the fuck were they thinking here, that section is the most annoying Ross has ever sounded in the history of the band. :lol
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Re: Haken thread v. Fauna, 3rd March 2023
« Reply #550 on: March 06, 2023, 12:37:53 PM »
Yeah I’m not digging that section either. I’m considering splicing out that section and replacing it with the section from the Instrumental version.

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Re: Haken thread v. Fauna, 3rd March 2023
« Reply #551 on: March 06, 2023, 12:41:18 PM »
Hey, the band needed their own ANTR Mike Portnoy verse after all this time. Except I still prefer that by comparison. :lol
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Re: Haken thread v. Fauna, 3rd March 2023
« Reply #552 on: March 06, 2023, 01:19:29 PM »
There’s just a couple of things I would’ve changed, those being the weird Mickey Mouse vocals in Beneath the White Rainbow, the solos in Island in the Clouds and Sempiternal Beings (which feel really out of place to me) and the heavier sections in Eyes of Ebony. The softer parts of that track are so good, especially when you know the context of the lyrics, and the heavier parts seem a bit out of place in that track.

You mean the ones at 4:34 that I find kind of grating? Well now that I've read this, I can't NOT think of Mickey Mouse screaming them through a megaphone, and it's gone from annoying and grating to hilariously comedic. I'm not sure if that's better or worse.  :rollin

-Marc.

Came to post this too. What the fuck were they thinking here, that section is the most annoying Ross has ever sounded in the history of the band. :lol

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Re: Haken thread v. Fauna, 3rd March 2023
« Reply #553 on: March 06, 2023, 01:19:37 PM »
I don't love that bit, but I don't hate it either, and I adore the rest of the song so much that it doesn't really bother me.

Oddly enough, some fans absolutely LOVE that bit. Tastes!

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Re: Haken thread v. Fauna, 3rd March 2023
« Reply #554 on: March 06, 2023, 02:45:28 PM »
I too prefer Virus over Vector.  As for Fauna, really digging it so far but way too early for me to rank it.  There's a lot going on, which makes it a challenging listen, but that's exactly what I enjoy in Prog/Prog Metal, so I think that bodes well for Fauna long term for me.

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Re: Haken thread v. Fauna, 3rd March 2023
« Reply #555 on: March 06, 2023, 03:05:09 PM »
I really appreciate that section because it's so different. It's not usually my cup of tea, but when in Rome... I can rock out to it, regardless.

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Re: Haken thread v. Fauna, 3rd March 2023
« Reply #556 on: March 06, 2023, 05:42:40 PM »
I'm not a fan of ross' megaphone

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Re: Haken thread v. Fauna, 3rd March 2023
« Reply #557 on: March 06, 2023, 06:12:00 PM »
I don't love that bit, but I don't hate it either, and I adore the rest of the song so much that it doesn't really bother me.

Oddly enough, some fans absolutely LOVE that bit. Tastes!

Like I said, I'm between the ones that love it! I saw some comparing it with MP vocals on ANTR, but I think it's more like MP vocals on The Test That Stumped Them All (also very cool in my book).
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Re: Haken thread v. Fauna, 3rd March 2023
« Reply #558 on: March 06, 2023, 09:01:23 PM »
Island In The Clouds
Sempiternal Beings
Elephants Never Forget
Lovebite
The Alphabet of Me
Beneath The White Rainbow
Nightingale
Eyes of Ebony
Taurus


The more I listen to this album, the more I am enjoying it's concept. I don't understand how people say this album isn't melodic because this album has some catchy vocal melodies and rhythms. These melodies and rhythms are why those songs are where they are in my as-of-now rankings. Just because Taurus is at the bottom does not mean I do not like the song.

I am one that does enjoy the distorted vocal section of Beneath The White Rainbow. They remind me of the distorted vocals in The Dark Eternal Night. But, I like how they used in this song, and it adds a different characteristic to the entire tone of the song. There's just enough of his main vocals cutting through the distortion that makes Ross's high notes here sound neat to me.
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Re: Haken thread v. Fauna, 3rd March 2023
« Reply #559 on: March 06, 2023, 09:03:09 PM »
Oddly enough, some fans absolutely LOVE that bit.

I have yet to see any amount of these fans. :lol

I think that section isn't just the worst part of the album, it literally jumps and out screams, "look at me, I'm terrible"! And it's a classic case of if I focus on the music underneath, I can dig it, but I know I'll just never enjoy the section because of the vocals.

But enough of the negativity, lots to love as well. Lovebite and The Alphabet of Me remain my favorites. First two tracks are enjoyable enough, but after that there is great stuff in everything. Really looking forward to seeing how some of the stuff comes across live.
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