Friday, March 17, 2023

Haken @ Alhambra, Paris - March 17th, 2023

English Prog-Metal wizards Haken are back in Paris in support of their excellent new album Fauna. We last saw them over three years ago when they were opening for the equally zany Devin Townsend and we're happy to have finally been able to see them play a headline set.
What distinguishes Haken from other Progressive Metal outfits is that while the compositions are quite complex and the execution extremely virtuosic, there is an element of "catchiness" to the whole thing. Some of their melodies are actually pretty hooky and memorable. In fact, the audience spent a good portion of the set singing along to those anthemic choruses.

The focal point of the show is obviously frontman Ross Jennings, with virtuoso guitar hero Richard Henshall and his signature 8-string guitar commanding the loudest cheers from the musos in attendance. Hearing him trade solos with his counterpart Charles Griffiths is worth the price of admission alone.

The small Parisian theater was packed to the gills, proving once again that Metal and Progressive Rock don't need the validation of radio or mainstream media to sustain its existence. As long as there is musical excellence, the audience will show up in force.


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