|Past members||Thomas MacLean|
Haken (//) are an English progressive metal band formed in 2007 by multi-instrumentalist Richard Henshall, guitarist Matthew Marshall, and vocalist Ross Jennings. While Henshall, Marshall, and Jennings first had the idea of forming Haken in 2004, they opted to pursue their instruments and songwriting first. Upon recruiting other members three years later, they eventually released the demo Enter the 5th Dimension in 2008, signing with Sensory Records and releasing their first album Aquarius in 2010. As of 2020[update], they have released six studio albums, an EP, and two live albums.
Richard Henshall, Matthew Marshall, and Ross Jennings had grown up as friends in their teenage years and first had the idea to form Haken in 2004, when they would regularly play together in "casual bedroom jams". Henshall mentioned on some occasions that "Haken" was the name of a fictional character he and some friends came up with in their school days, under the influence of alcohol or weed. At the time the three considered the jams as a hobby, but they eventually chose to focus on studying their instruments and rejoined three years later to form the band. They completed their lineup with a keyboardist they met on an online forum, Peter Jones, as well as Jones' close friend Raymond Hearne. To-Mera guitarist Thomas MacLean became the band's bassist.
Haken recorded a demo in 2007, followed by a full-length demo titled Enter the 5th Dimension in 2008. Later that year, Marshall and Jones left the band to pursue other careers.
Charlie Griffiths, the guitarist for the band Linear Sphere and Anchorhead, became a full-time member of the band. Griffiths parted ways with Linear Sphere because he wanted to go in a different direction musically. Keyboardist Diego Tejeida auditioned and eventually joined the band in late 2008 as well.
Aquarius, Visions, and The Mountain
Ken Golden of Sensory Records offered them a record deal after a referral. They began recording for their debut album, Aquarius, soon after and released it in March 2010. Haken released their second album, Visions, in October 2011.
Haken announced their third album, The Mountain, on 20 June 2013. The album, released on 2 September by Inside Out Music, was mixed and mastered by Jens Bogren. On 25 September, Haken announced that MacLean would be leaving the band after completing the Prog Stage Festival in Israel in October 2013. After a series of auditions, his position was filled by Conner Green.
Restoration EP and Affinity
Haken then released Restoration on 27 October 2014. This EP contained three reworked tracks from Enter the 5th Dimension. "Darkest Light", a reworked version of "Blind", was released with a music video featuring footage from the recording process of Restoration on 24 September. Shortly before, the band announced on Facebook that they had begun writing their fourth album.
On 9 February 2016, a press release along with a micro site called "Haken OS 4.0.1" was released with information of Affinity. To promote the album, a long series of teasers had been posted by the band, jokingly referring to the new album as Verbatim. The official music video for the lead single, "Initiate", was released online on 18 March 2016. It was released on Inside Out Music on 29 April 2016. Affinity is seen as the first release where all members of the band contributed towards its songwriting. During this period, Jennings formed the side project Novena which released the EP Secondary Genesis in 2016.
Haken band began to tour with former Dream Theater drummer Mike Portnoy and Neal Morse Band guitarist Eric Gillette in 2017, performing the Twelve-step Suite in its entirety (among other Dream Theater songs), the outfit named Mike Portnoy's Shattered Fortress. They also reissued their first two albums that year.
Vector and Virus
On 13 April 2018, the band announced the release of their first ever live album, titled L-1VE. It was recorded and filmed on 13 April 2017, at the Melkweg venue in Amsterdam during their tenth anniversary tour. The live audio was mixed by Neal Morse and The Winery Dogs alumnus Jerry Guidroz. The album was released on 22 June 2018.
Haken also revealed that they started work on their fifth studio album:
We're currently getting our teeth stuck into the writing process for Album 5 and great ideas are forming and evolving as we speak. It's still early days but there is a sense among us that Haken may take a darker path with this one. However, the playing field is still wide open and the direction this record takes could alter at any point. One thing is certain: We will endeavor to stick to our mandate of strong melodies and Killer riffs!
Vector was then released on 26 October 2018 with positive reviews. The second album by Jennings's side project Novena, Eleventh Hour, was released on 6 March 2020. In August 2019, Henshall released a solo album titled The Cocoon, featuring Jennings on vocals in one song. After some delays, Haken's sixth studio album Virus (which is linked to Vector) was released on 24 July 2020.
On 26 August 2020, A Japanese-exclusive version of Virus was released, including, as a bonus track, an acoustic version of the song "Canary Yellow" featuring Bent Knee vocalist Courtney Swain who provides backing and chorus vocals. Jennings announced his own upcoming solo album that same month.
Haken is known to occasionally release short videos of rehearsals and writing sessions on the members respective public social media accounts. The following was asked to the members during a Reddit "Ask Us Anything" in May 2014:
My question is what is the writing process like for you guys? Do you all write as a group or write alone and bring your ideas to the table?
To which Richard Henshall replied;
I usually write the initial arrangements for each track using MIDI, we then take the songs to the rehearsal room twist things around a little till we're all happy.
Publicity and reception
Haken has been featured on the Classic Rock Magazine subsidiary "Classic Rock Presents Prog" a few times. At first, the magazine presented a song from the first Haken demo on their free CD. They have opened for a few notable progressive outfits, such as King's X and Bigelf. The band's debut album has received positive reviews from Allmusic, ProgArchives and Classic Rock Magazine. Additionally, the band hosted an "ask me anything" on Reddit in 2014.
- Restoration (2014)
- Enter the 5th Dimension (2008)
- Schetter, Michael (1 August 2011). "Haken/To-Mera interview with Richard Henshall and Tom MacLean". ProgSphere.com. Sankt Goarshausen. Retrieved 15 November 2014.
- Henshall, Richard (18 January 2019). "The guitarguitar Interview: Haken". guitarguitar (Interview). Retrieved 13 February 2019.
- Francis, Basil. "Haken (Richard Henshall)". Dutch Progressive Rock Page. Archived from the original on 22 June 2018. Retrieved 15 November 2014.
- Henshall, Richard (10 May 2010). "Interview with Prog-Rock's Newest Sensations, Haken". Sea of Tranquility (Interview). Interviewed by Pete Pardo. Retrieved 13 February 2019.
- Rivadavia, Eduardo. "Haken". AllMusic. Retrieved 24 January 2017.
- Griffith, Charlie (6 November 2011). "Haken's Charlie Griffiths Talks About the New CD Visions". Sea of Tranquility (Interview). Interviewed by Pete Pardo. Retrieved 13 February 2019.
- Rivadavia, Eduardo. "Allmusic: Aquarius (overview)". Allmusic. Retrieved 18 August 2010.
- "Time to share: The Mountain! Out 2.9.13". Twitter. Retrieved 23 June 2013.
- "Haken Get Ready To Tackle The Mountain". Prog Magazine. Retrieved 23 June 2013.
- "Haken Part Ways With Bassist! - News - Prog Magazine". 25 September 2013. Archived from the original on 25 September 2013. Retrieved 4 July 2018.
- "Haken announcing new bassist". Facebook. 8 March 2014. Retrieved 8 March 2014.
- Martin, Kielty (8 September 2014). "Haken detail Restoration EP". Prog. Team Rock Limited. Retrieved 8 September 2014.
- "HAKEN | Darkest Light video released | HAKEN". Hakenmusic.com. Retrieved 24 January 2017.
- "Facebook post". Haken's official Facebook page. Facebook. 8 September 2014. Retrieved 8 September 2014.
- "HAKEN OS v4.0.1". HakenMusic.com. 12 February 2016. Archived from the original on 12 February 2016. Retrieved 4 July 2018.
- "Facebook". Facebook. Retrieved 24 January 2017.
- "Haken - Initiate (Official Video)". YouTube. 18 March 2016. Retrieved 24 January 2017.
- "Novena, featuring Haken's Ross Jennings, announce new album". Metal, but Grater. 16 January 2020. Retrieved 16 October 2020.
- Divita, Joe (13 February 2017). "Mike Portnoy Peforms [sic] Dream Theater's '12 Step Suite' Live on Cruise to the Edge". Noisecreep. Retrieved 13 February 2019.
- "Haken: launch remastered version of "Streams"; look back on Aquarius". Inside Out Music. 27 January 2017. Retrieved 13 February 2019.
- "HAKEN announce 'L-1VE' album & work on next studio album". Hakenmusic.com. Retrieved 4 July 2018.
- July 2019, Jerry Ewing15. "Richard Henshall premieres new solo track Twisted Shadows with Prog". Prog Magazine. Retrieved 6 October 2020.
- "HAKEN". Facebook.com. Retrieved 15 October 2020.
- [dead link]
- "Instagram post by ＲＯＳＳ ＪＥＮＮＩＮＧＳ • Oct 3, 2020 at 4:06pm UTC". Instagram. Retrieved 6 October 2020.
- "Hi! We're Richard, Charlie, and Conner from Haken. Ask us anything!". reddit.com/r/progmetal.
- "Track Of The Day: Haken". Classic Rock Magazine. 15 April 2010. Retrieved 17 August 2010.
- Atavachron, David. "HAKEN music, discography, MP3, videos and reviews". Prog Archives. Retrieved 18 August 2010.
- "HAKEN To Release Virus Album In June; "Prosthetic" Music Video Posted". Brave Words & Bloody Knuckles. 3 April 2020. Retrieved 3 April 2020.
- "Discover our music | HAKEN". Hakenmusic.com. 15 October 2014. Archived from the original on 19 April 2014. Retrieved 24 January 2017.