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Haken|L-1VE  (Live in Amsterdam 2017)

L-1VE (Live in Amsterdam 2017)

Haken

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With few notable exceptions, it's rare that a live album would provide suitable enough introductions for new listeners and unsuspecting fans. That said, England's Haken prove the exception to the rule on L1ve. They are all arguably better served by this four-disc audio/video package than by any -- or all -- of their four previous studio albums. This set was captured in the Netherlands in April of 2017 during Haken's X tour celebrating their tenth anniversary. Two audio discs contain the entire gig, while the accompanying DVDs adds four additional performances from the previous year's "Prog Power 16" festival gig. While the massive fold-out package is somewhat unwieldy, the music proves anything but. Haken delivers inspired reads of tunes from 2013's The Mountain and 2015's Affinity with a couple of rather lengthy surprises. Disc one kicks off with the latter's title track in medley with the anthemic "Initiate." The basic formula that follows alternates its tracks with selections from the former, all performed with inspiration and in pristine, detailed, audio clarity. The live audio was mixed by Jerry Guidroz (Winery Dogs, Tiles); it allows listeners to discern the proper place of each instrument. After the rave-up opening jam, Haken ratchet down the intensity (somewhat) with "In Memoriam" from The Mountain. While the relative subtlety is short-lived -- the middle section heats up and explodes -- it too serves as an intro to the massive "1985," whose soaring instruments underscore glorious choral voices in the refrain and bridge. "Red Giant" is delivered with a slower, even sinister tension only hinted at in the studio version. The first disc concludes with the 23-minute "Aquamedley" that seamlessly runs through parts of all seven tracks from 2010's Aquarius. Disc two commences with three cuts from the Mountain. "As Death Embraces" -- a mournful ballad with vocalist Ross Jennings offering his sweetest, most forlorn tenor -- segues into "Atlas Stone" where edgy jazz rock tropes emerge as Jennings' near-scatting engages in interplay with Richard Henshall's guitar and keyboard wizardy. "Cockroach King" weds King Crimson-esque prog rock and dissonance to Opethian metal and angular, modal, hard rock. "The Architect" is even longer than its studio version and, with its labyrinth of instrumental twists and turns, delivers a larger reward. It's doubly paranoid and imposing, with cacophonous instrumentation giving way to cinematic drama via crunchy metal. Here too, Haken surprise their audience with a soaring, climactic 23-minute reading of Visions' title track. As for the video element, it sounds great and looks that way for the most part. That said, it could have used more intimate camera work -- some of the footage was shot too far away to be fully appreciated. Given its four startling bonus tracks, however, this is a minor complaint. L1ve serves not only as a killer intro to Haken, but also as the definitive live album for legacy fans.
© Thom Jurek /TiVo

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L-1VE (Live in Amsterdam 2017)

Haken

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1
affinity.exe/Initiate (Live in Amsterdam 2017)
00:06:00

Richard Henshall, Composer - Raymond Hearne, Composer, Lyricist - Diego Tejeida, Composer - Charles Griffiths, Composer - Ross Jennings, Composer, Lyricist - Haken, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Conner Green, Composer

(P) 2018 InsideOutMusic

2
In Memoriam (Live in Amsterdam 2017)
00:04:42

Richard Henshall, Composer - Thomas MacLean, Composer - Raymond Hearne, Composer - Diego Tejeida, Composer - Charles Griffiths, Composer, Lyricist - Ross Jennings, Composer, Lyricist - Haken, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer

(P) 2018 InsideOutMusic

3
1985 (Live in Amsterdam 2017)
00:09:21

Richard Henshall, Composer - Raymond Hearne, Composer - Diego Tejeida, Composer - Charles Griffiths, Composer, Lyricist - Ross Jennings, Composer - Haken, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Conner Green, Composer

(P) 2018 InsideOutMusic

4
Red Giant (Live in Amsterdam 2017)
00:06:31

Richard Henshall, Composer, Lyricist - Raymond Hearne, Composer - Diego Tejeida, Composer - Charles Griffiths, Composer, Lyricist - Ross Jennings, Composer, Lyricist - Haken, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Conner Green, Composer

(P) 2018 InsideOutMusic

5
Aquamedley (Live in Amsterdam 2017)
00:22:28

Richard Henshall, Composer - Raymond Hearne, Composer - Diego Tejeida, Composer - Ross Jennings, Lyricist - Haken, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Charlie Griffiths, Composer

(P) 2018 InsideOutMusic

6
As Death Embraces (Live in Amsterdam 2017)
00:03:50

Diego Tejeida, Composer, Lyricist - Haken, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer

(P) 2018 InsideOutMusic

7
Atlas Stone (Live in Amsterdam 2017)
00:07:12

Richard Henshall, Composer - Thomas MacLean, Composer - Raymond Hearne, Composer, Lyricist - Diego Tejeida, Composer - Charles Griffiths, Composer, Lyricist - Ross Jennings, Composer, Lyricist - Haken, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer

(P) 2018 InsideOutMusic

8
Cockroach King (Live in Amsterdam 2017)
00:08:17

Richard Henshall, Composer, Lyricist - Thomas MacLean, Composer - Raymond Hearne, Composer - Diego Tejeida, Composer - Charles Griffiths, Composer - Ross Jennings, Composer - Haken, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer

(P) 2018 InsideOutMusic

9
The Architect (Live in Amsterdam 2017)
00:15:59

Richard Henshall, Composer - Raymond Hearne, Composer - Diego Tejeida, Composer - Charles Griffiths, Composer, Lyricist - Ross Jennings, Composer - Haken, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Conner Green, Composer

(P) 2018 InsideOutMusic

10
The Endless Knot (Live in Amsterdam 2017)
00:06:34

Richard Henshall, Composer, Lyricist - Raymond Hearne, Composer - Diego Tejeida, Composer - Charles Griffiths, Composer, Lyricist - Ross Jennings, Composer, Lyricist - Haken, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Conner Green, Composer

(P) 2018 InsideOutMusic

11
Visions (Live in Amsterdam 2017)
00:23:34

Richard Henshall, Composer - Raymond Hearne, Composer - Diego Tejeida, Composer - Ross Jennings, Lyricist - Haken, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Charlie Griffiths, Composer

(P) 2018 InsideOutMusic

Album Description

With few notable exceptions, it's rare that a live album would provide suitable enough introductions for new listeners and unsuspecting fans. That said, England's Haken prove the exception to the rule on L1ve. They are all arguably better served by this four-disc audio/video package than by any -- or all -- of their four previous studio albums. This set was captured in the Netherlands in April of 2017 during Haken's X tour celebrating their tenth anniversary. Two audio discs contain the entire gig, while the accompanying DVDs adds four additional performances from the previous year's "Prog Power 16" festival gig. While the massive fold-out package is somewhat unwieldy, the music proves anything but. Haken delivers inspired reads of tunes from 2013's The Mountain and 2015's Affinity with a couple of rather lengthy surprises. Disc one kicks off with the latter's title track in medley with the anthemic "Initiate." The basic formula that follows alternates its tracks with selections from the former, all performed with inspiration and in pristine, detailed, audio clarity. The live audio was mixed by Jerry Guidroz (Winery Dogs, Tiles); it allows listeners to discern the proper place of each instrument. After the rave-up opening jam, Haken ratchet down the intensity (somewhat) with "In Memoriam" from The Mountain. While the relative subtlety is short-lived -- the middle section heats up and explodes -- it too serves as an intro to the massive "1985," whose soaring instruments underscore glorious choral voices in the refrain and bridge. "Red Giant" is delivered with a slower, even sinister tension only hinted at in the studio version. The first disc concludes with the 23-minute "Aquamedley" that seamlessly runs through parts of all seven tracks from 2010's Aquarius. Disc two commences with three cuts from the Mountain. "As Death Embraces" -- a mournful ballad with vocalist Ross Jennings offering his sweetest, most forlorn tenor -- segues into "Atlas Stone" where edgy jazz rock tropes emerge as Jennings' near-scatting engages in interplay with Richard Henshall's guitar and keyboard wizardy. "Cockroach King" weds King Crimson-esque prog rock and dissonance to Opethian metal and angular, modal, hard rock. "The Architect" is even longer than its studio version and, with its labyrinth of instrumental twists and turns, delivers a larger reward. It's doubly paranoid and imposing, with cacophonous instrumentation giving way to cinematic drama via crunchy metal. Here too, Haken surprise their audience with a soaring, climactic 23-minute reading of Visions' title track. As for the video element, it sounds great and looks that way for the most part. That said, it could have used more intimate camera work -- some of the footage was shot too far away to be fully appreciated. Given its four startling bonus tracks, however, this is a minor complaint. L1ve serves not only as a killer intro to Haken, but also as the definitive live album for legacy fans.
© Thom Jurek /TiVo

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