Fauna calls also the return of keyboardist Peter Jones who was part of Haken in their demo time and left them to pursue his academic studies. Vocalist Ross Jennings says Jones return made a big impact on this record.
“It’s always a new dynamic when there’s a change in personnel, and this is a fresh and reviving one.”
With the opener Taurus, which was also released as one of the first songs of the new album, we get one of the record’s most streamlined one at just under five minutes that consists of syncopated djenty rhythms shifting to melodic sections with smooth, melodic singing from Jennings. Djent is not the main style that Haken is known for though, this record is a whole representation of all the stuff they made previously. A classic Haken song is Nightingale while with The Alphabet Of Me they push their sound in new directions. That’s what these British proggers make them so different, they have a sort of accessible sound, let’s call it almost radio friendly while not forgetting their progressive counterparts.
Heavier moments can be found in Beneath The White Rainbow where Ross shows what his voice is capable of. Lovers of the more ambient sound will be happy with Islands In The Clouds. With their eighties themed Lovebite, they deliver a melodic and upbeat sounding song which you can sing along to when you’re showering. Elephants Never Forget is an 11-minute piece where every member of the band has the chance to display their capabilities. The album closes with Eyes of Ebony, an emotional song that links to the death guitarist Richard Henshall‘s father and the near-extinct of the northern white rhino.
Haken has done quite a good job with Fauna, a very diverse album from djent to singalong songs to more mellow jazz lounge music. As most progressive albums you will have to take it a couple of spins to discover all the elements Fauna has to offer.
- Music / Songwriting 9/10
- Vocals / Lyrics 8/10
- Mix / Production 9/10
- Artwork & Packaging 9/10
- Originality 8/10
Haken delivered once again an album with quite diverse songs, songs that will be loved by the true die hard progressive metal fans. With their animal themed album this is quite a refreshing approach to concept albums. Let this take a ride and discover all the stuff Haken has to offer.
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