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Customer reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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on 22 May 2017
I bought this after buying, and enjoying, The Mountain on a whim. I was intrigued by reviews and Amazon comments about this group and thought I would take a chance. I'm glad I did. The Mountain has rarely been out of my CD player as I have marvelled at the complexity of the arrangements, the gorgeous harmonies and the beefy guitar solos. Sooooo, I thought I'd go back in time and find out what one of their earlier albums sounded like. The answer is: not a great deal different. But that's not a criticism; Haken are still making their way in the world and developing their own sound - sumptuous prog, a dash of metal to add (sorry about this) a little steel and spirited lyrics and singing. Some have compared Haken to Dream Theater, which many would say is a massive compliment. I'm sure the guys would be delighted to have even half the global following DT enjoys! In conclusion, Visions perfectly complements The Mountain: it is high-quality prog, extremely listenable and fuses the best elements of the past (I'm not the only one to spot Gentle Giant in their harmonies) with modern recoeding techniques.
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on 12 March 2017
Superb album - but just listen to that stunningly tasteful guitar solo in Visions at 13:40. And what he does when the vocals come back in....
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on 23 October 2017
Excellent !!!
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on 6 August 2014
Haken's Second album after the excellent Aquarius, Visions carries on from where that album left off, but has a definate sent of refinement over that first album. The guitars take the lead more on this album, which really allows the two guitarists to spread their. wings. The riffs on this album are awesome.

Like a lot of "Prog Metal" Dream Theater is an obvious reference point, but this is not just a Dream Theater clone. They have less of the mechanical technicality of Dream Theater, but have a degree of warmth and feel that calls more to bands like Porcupine Tree or Tool. This gives the album a real sense of depth and emotion that can be lacking in more technical prog music.

Highlights of the album are the final two tracks - 'Deathless' and the 22 minute epic 'Vision. Both these songs really showcase the musical ability of this band, from the precussion through to the guitars and vocals. It's great to see a band that has ambition to try something complex and different in a musical landscape of sameyness.

It's not perfect - 'Shapeshifter' is easily the weakest song on the album, and while not bad is just a bit plodding and doesn't really go anywhere. And at times the precussion seems a little low down in the mix, which removes some of the heavyness from the album. But these are small nigggles on an otherwise great album, and considering this is only album #2, I can see great things ahead for this band.
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on 9 December 2011
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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on 5 March 2012
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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on 15 January 2012
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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on 28 October 2011
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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on 15 October 2013
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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on 26 October 2011
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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