Haken – Virus

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The London-based sextet HAKEN are bringing us a new one, Virus. Who thought that the album title has something to do with the current situation in the world, it’s just a coincidence. The title was already chosen over more than a year ago, at least that’s what they told us. What we do know is that the concept of the album revolves around who is the Cockroach King? , something Haken-theorists were asking themselves after The Mountain in 2013, which was the basis of the concept behind Vector and now Virus.

Prosthetic opens up the album with an intense energy that has some Fear Factory as well as Devin Townsend influences, as the song continues the catchy, more mellow chorus kicks in. The song moves to the end with another thrashy riff .What a song to open up the album.

With Invasion they are stepping away somehow from the dynamics of the first song. The boys did a nice job with the rhythmic verses that align with the layered vocal harmonies and blending it into a mix of progressive rock and metal. Ross Jennings’s gentle  vocals are serving as a nice contrast against the brutal, technical riffing and rhythmic section. Where his vocals are a strong point in Haken‘s music, for some people, me included, his voice is somehow difficult to listen to for a long time.

As all good progressive bands there has to be a 10-minute long song on it. Something Haken doesn’t disappoints in, with Carousel they made a master-piece which demonstrates how well they can combine heavier parts with light and darker sections. This a song that will do well within the prog scene.

But hey, it’s not over yet, we are spoiled with The Messiah Complex, which is a track divided in 5 sub tracks. No beating around the bush , The Messiah Complex is a nicely musically composition with a lot of references to Cockroach King as well as Vector. The Sect is a part of it mentioning worth with its combination of  aggressive technical riffs, video game-styled music, and many motives taken from Vector.

Virus is again an excellent album from HAKEN , which will pleases their already growing fan base. The future is bright in the world of prog rock. Be sure to catch them when they are touring, as Virus is linked to Vector they have the intention to perform both albums back to back.

Release Date : July 10th, 2020
Label : Inside Out Music
Tracklist :

  1. Prosthetic (05:58)
  2. Invasion (06:40)
  3. Carousel (10:30)
  4. The Strain (05:35)
  5. Canary Yellow (04:10)
  6. Messiah Complex i: Ivory Tower (03:59)
  7. Messiah Complex ii: A Glutton for Punishment (03:38)
  8. Messiah Complex iii: Marigold (02:25)
  9. Messiah Complex iv: The Sect (02:02)
  10. Messiah Complex v: Ectobius Rex (04:51)
  11. Only Stars (02:05)


  • Music8/10
  • Lyrics/Vocals8/10
  • Production/Mix8/10
  • Artwork9/10
  • Originality8/10
8.2With Virus, Haken created once again a very enjoyable progressive album with a conceptual link to Vector.
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