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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A superb musical journey
Released roughly one year and a half after Haken's debut Aquarius, Visions is a tighter, more guitar-focused album. Like its predecessor, it is a musical journey well worth taking, though the concept behind it is rather obscure and hard to make sense of (something about a boy who has a vision of his own death)
A little bit about Haken's music: they oscillate between...
Published on 9 Dec 2011 by Stefano D. C. Pachi

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0 of 8 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Vision Impaired
I Guess all albums need a fair review, this is it.
Well actually no, three stars is too much, 2.5 is more like it.
It's just not that good. Modern day supposed prog-metal filth.
I wasted my money so you don't have to.

No need to thank me.
Published 15 months ago by Pesto Fingeration


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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A superb musical journey, 9 Dec 2011
By 
Stefano D. C. Pachi (Heidelberg, Germany) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Visions (Audio CD)
Released roughly one year and a half after Haken's debut Aquarius, Visions is a tighter, more guitar-focused album. Like its predecessor, it is a musical journey well worth taking, though the concept behind it is rather obscure and hard to make sense of (something about a boy who has a vision of his own death)
A little bit about Haken's music: they oscillate between heavy and melodic parts, with solos and some experimental moments thrown in. It reminded me of Symphony X and Dream Theater, but their style is very recognizably their own. As a consequence of their originality and complex compositions, their albums might take a few listens to love and a whole lot more to truly appreciate all that the band has achieved in it.
One of the such achievement is how structured and balanced the album is. Listening to the whole album at once is a much more enjoyable experience than simply listening to individual songs.

1- Premonition - The album's overture, a joy to listen to.
2- Nocturnal Conspiracy - One out of many album highlights, an epic with some extremely melodic moments.
3- Insomnia - A good song, releases the steam after Nocturnal Conspiracy.
(Tracks 4 to 6 are a suite of sorts)
4- The Mind's Eye - Catchy, inspired and with great progression.
5- Portals - Instrumental, guitar-focused, somewhat hypnotic.
6- Shapeshifter - The album's weakest song. Still, it has some memorable moments.
7- Deathless - Absolutely beautiful. A soft, perfect song.
8- Visions - 22-minute epic, a magnificent conclusion to this amazing album. After listening to this song about 15 times in the past week, there's nothing that I would change in it. The brilliant ending just makes you want to start the album all over again.

To sum it up: Vision's is an amazing album. Its few shortcomings are easily overlooked when faced with its sheer brilliance. If you're at all interested in prog, metal or simply great music, this an album that cannot be overlooked.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Thoroughly enjoyable!, 15 Jan 2012
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This review is from: Visions (Audio CD)
Firstly I'm some what surprised that there are not more reviews of this wonderful CD. The music flows
beautifully-is melodic,edgy,soaring-certainly grabs you. I've played this Cd several times now and the enjoyment factor never diminishes on the contrary it gets better. I also got their first CD Aquarius which was also excellent, however, I prefer Visions. To me it's more mature and has a togetherness which I felt Aquarius lacked some what. This is stunning music played by highly talented and creative musicians.
Go ahead buy, and enjoy!
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Stunning Second Album, 28 Oct 2011
This review is from: Visions (Audio CD)
I am going to try and be as impartial and objective on this review as possible (but I will most likely epically fail as I go along). I am not normally driven to write reviews but having known of this band for a little while, and very much liking their first major effort, Aquarius, I feel I have no choice. Quite simply Visions is a stunning album. The highlights are simply too many to mention, and after my second listen I am continuing to find more, such is the complexity and intricacy of this album. That said I think it is a more accessible album than Aquarius, and to me that is a huge compliment as to make an album that will appeal to die hard fans of the genre as well as the more casual listener shows that all involved are demonstrating an immense talent in both musicianship and song writing. If pushed on a favourite track at this stage it would be 'The Mind's Eye', some of the riffs and guitar work from Charlie Griffiths and Richard Henshall are quite frankly epic. And throughout the album you have some beautiful keys work from Diego and simply one of the best bass and drum/percussion combinations in Tom Maclean and Raymond Hearne that I have heard in a very long time (up there with some of the best, Tool, Dream Theater, you name it). Combine those elements with inspired use of a string and horn section and wonderfully judged and delivered vocals from Ross Jennings and you have an album that will continue to reward you listen after listen. Lastly there has to be a mention on the production and mixing of this album: superb. Listen to this through good headphones or speakers and it will stun you.

I'm looking forward to the third album and a gig in Dublin, hopefully soon.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Future Of Great British Music, 26 Oct 2011
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This review is from: Visions (Audio CD)
A year or so ago I was quite dissapointed with the quality of modern British music only knowing of Dragonforce. Thankfully I found out about this band in April and bought thier debut masterpiece Aquarius. Thier new album Visions is still very similar to their first but has slightly darker undertones and less experimentation with the keyboards. The main story for the album is about a psychic who has obstacles to overcome that only he can change using his powers. Vocally the songs are pretty good but not spectacular neither are the lyrics spectacular. What really is brilliant though are the instrumentals with the blend of guitars, drums, keyboards and a string quartet. all of the pieces are structured brilliantly but especially the title track visions which is a 22 minute undescribable epic. Like aquarius the album has varying key signatures,time signatures and forms.
The only minor downfall of the album is they sound a little too much like Dream Theater at times and even recognized on one of the first tracks a great similarity to a nightmare to remember. All in All though a brilliant album for anyone who likes heavy and experimental prog music. I'd even go so far as to say that this is a better album than dream theaters new one.
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5.0 out of 5 stars GREAT, 7 May 2014
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This review is from: Visions (Audio CD)
Being fan of Dream Theater, Metallica etc. This CD rocks! Recommended for everyone who likes rock. Best CD I've heard in years.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Progressive forever, 15 Oct 2013
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This review is from: Visions (Audio CD)
This is tha proof that there is progressive life beyond Dream Theater. I recomend this album if you are looking for something good in progressive life.
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5.0 out of 5 stars This is one special band!, 31 Oct 2012
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This review is from: Visions (Audio CD)
Have refrained from reading other's reveiews on this band before writing this as I am sure comparisons will be made to Dream Theater and guess what? I'm going to do it too! I would struggle to find many other bands that fit into the same mould as DT as far as talent, virtuosity and songwriting goes, but these guys have nailed it. Just 2 albums into their career and both are stunning. I can't wait to see them live. Intelligent prog metal at its finest. I really urge anyone who is a fan of DT who has never heard these guys to check them out. It would be unfair to say the band are are a direct clone as their songs are fantastic in their own right, but as I have just proved, comparisons will be made, but as comparisons go, I would be more than proud to be put up there alongside a band such as Dream Theater. Good luck to you Haken. You rock!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Absolute stunner, 9 Sep 2012
This review is from: Visions (Audio CD)
This album is a stunner. It grows on you. Their sound is very reminiscent of DT or dare I say, at some point they sound like the Inception soundtrack, especially the last track... but these guys are definitely in a league of their own, and really accomplished musicians. The songs are great, the vocals are great. Probably one of the best prog i have heard in a long time. Definite 5.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Good band to discover, 15 Jun 2012
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This review is from: Visions (Audio CD)
I bought this album never having heard of the band on the recommendation of a friend. On first listen I was a little unsure but after a few plays it is rarely off the car CD. This Dutch prog rock band are very accomplished. The music is not heavy but just good solid music. There is no track I do not like but the melodic Deathless is superb. Hope they tour here soon
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4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent follow up to Aquarius, 5 Mar 2012
This review is from: Visions (Audio CD)
Very nice album. Excellent tunes, great playing.

All in all, reminiscent of Dream Theater, but with the foot off the gas a bit. And all the better for it as you never feel bludgeoned to death by overpowering drums, or drowning in overly elaborate technicalities. The music shines through and there is much more feeling than you find in a Dream Theater album.

Putting a french horn over the top of the mix gives it all a real epic orchestral feel, nice touch.

Great band, I'm sure they must be fabulous live.
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Visions by Haken (Audio CD - 2011)
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