UK modern progressive rock leaders Haken have debuted the first single/video and opening track “Prosthetic” off their upcoming album “Virus” which will be released this June 5th via Inside Out Music. The track – which you can watch/listen to below – bridges the two albums where scars of institutional abuse are brought into focus. This 6-minute onslaught of brutal riffing starts the spread of a virus that affects all aspects of our lives, be they biological, psychological, technological, environmental or political. The timing of this lyrical theme and album name is uncanny. We wonder if these guys found one of the long-lost palantir from “The Lord Of The Rings”.
Haken was formed in 2007 by guitarist & keyboardist Richard Henshall and vocalist Ross Jennings, and their sound has evolved from prog-metal to a shape-shifting, kaleidoscopic amalgam of progressive metal, jazz syncopation, hooky electronic pop, and anthemic rock & roll. Since releasing their fifth studio album “Vector” in October 2018, Haken have completed headline tours the world over, played sold-out shows across Europe and North America as support for Devin Townsend and picked up a Prog award for their efforts too! All the while, they have been quietly and secretly working on what is perhaps their most eclectic album to date, entitled “Virus”
If “Vector” was an origin story, “Virus” portrays an ascent to power, tyranny and subsequent endgame. The band comments: “Prosthetic was the first song we completed during the “Virus” writing sessions and we always felt it would be the perfect opener for the album. It’s a very guitar heavy track with its roots in 80s thrash riffing, but with the unconventional rhythmic twists and turns we often like to explore in Haken. We sadly never had a Jeff Hanneman and Robert Fripp collaboration, but this song at least draws on inspiration from them both! Lyrically the song is a bridge between our two albums “Vector” and “Virus”. The message was brilliantly brought to life by video director Vicente Cordero, who also beautifully captured the live energy of the band in a way that both enhances the song, and perfectly sets the scene for what’s to come.”
Drummer Ray Hearne reveals, “Since releasing “The Mountain” in 2013, one question has been asked of us time and time again, ‘who is the Cockroach King?’. This is something we were interested in exploring more deeply too, so we essentially did that through our music; elaborating and expanding upon the intervallic, harmonic, rhythmic and lyrical themes of that song. The end result is in an arc which spans across two albums: “Vector” and “Virus”.
Once again, Adam ‘Nolly’ Getgood has mixed what is perhaps the most eclectic Haken album to date, with the 7 tracks revealing hints of influences from multiple genres, all intertwined with Haken’s own recognizable sound. Guitarist Richard Henshall had this to say about the production, “Using Nolly again was a no-brainer, as we wanted the two albums to be sonically connected. But having just spent a day mixing with him in his studio, it’s obvious that this album will be an evolution of the ‘Vector’ sound. These songs seem to allow a lot more freedom of creativity with the production, so we’re excited to see where it leads”.
“Virus” is the culmination of a musical thought experiment which started with the “Vector” writing sessions in 2017 and holds intriguing potential for the band’s future, as vocalist Ross Jennings explains, “Whilst ‘Virus’ can absolutely be enjoyed as a stand-alone work, it is thematically and conceptually linked with “Vector”, so our intention is to perform both albums back to back for a special performance someday”.
Longtime Haken collaborators, Blacklake, have designed the visuals and artwork and the album will be available as a Limited 2CD, Standard CD, Gatefold 2LP + CD & as Digital Album. Pre-order now here: https://haken.lnk.to/Virus
1.- Prosthetic 5:58
2.- Invasion 6:42
3.- Carousel 10:29
4.- The Strain 5:23
5.- Canary Yellow 4:14
6.- Messiah Complex I: Ivory Tower 3:57
7.- Messiah Complex II: A Glutton for Punishment 3:38
8.- Messiah Complex III: Marigold 2:24
9.- Messiah Complex IV: The Sect 2:02
10.- Messiah Complex V: Ectobius Rex 4:57
11.- Only Stars 2:10
Previous releases include “Aquarius” (2010), “Visions” (2011), “The Mountain” (2013), “Restoration” EP (2014), “Affinity” (2016), “L-1VE” (2018), and “Vector” (2018).