The Mountain (Best of 2013 — Part 4)

Coming in the #4 slot (in alphabetical order) on my Best of 2013 list is a band that this year really made me sit up and take notice:

Haken

This is prog metal that is so transcendent, and so obviously far above the average genre offering, that I was truly shocked by the staggering magnitude of the excellence on display in this album release.

Kind of like an awesome mountain.

Behold the majesty! How beautiful.

How spectacular!

The first track, “The Path,” pierces right to the heart with its stunningly beautiful theme. (It resurfaces in very satisfying ways later on.)

Continuing on from there, the entire album is non-stop upper-echelon prog.

I want to give a big special thanks to my Progarchy friends, for alerting me to this amazing album, by posting the hilarious “Cockroach King” video back in September.

Perhaps my favorite track is “Pareidolia“; I agree with Thaddeus Wert that this track is sheer perfection.

(But then again, “Falling Back to Earth” is totally epic; and at 11:51 it wins the battle of the prog clock.)

I am pleased to see this album make it onto so many Top Ten lists among all the progarchists. Justice! What more need I say?

Perhaps I should close with a public service announcement, by noting the correct pronunciation of the band’s name. According to the band, it rhymes with bacon. As for the meaning of the name:

There’s no meaning, really. It came from kind of alcohol-fueled gatherings between me and my friend and we thought it’d be a nice name purely from the sound of it. There’s no deep meaning behind it.

How disappointing. But there are conflicting accounts; apparently the name is “actually the name of a fictional character” they once invented.

Well, if I could give the band a piece of advice — now that they have proven themselves to be top-rank masters of prog — I would say that they need to change their story on this, pronto.

Run this past the publicist: Why not officially decide that the band name refers to model Rianne ten Haken? (After all, there is rock precedent for using models’ names for purposes of euphony; I adduce, as my prime example, Nash Kato’s inspired use of Laetitia Casta’s sonorous appellation in “Octoroon.”)

But even more importantly, there has to be an immediate and non-negotiable change in the correct pronunciation of the band’s name:

Haken.

Rhymes with rockin’.

Thoughts?

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