Even after being part of this scene for a few years, my discoveries are never ending. This time around, it was prog metal’s turn to assault my eardrums, and I was rather looking forward to it. While I don’t know as much of Haken’s music as I’d like, I was still rather looking forward to seeing the guys perform some of their new material from last year’s Affinity.
We began the night with Pennsylvania USA’s Next To None (5). As much as I appreciated the band’s interaction with the crowd and the effort they put into their music, their style was not really for me. A few catchy riffs caught my attention, but I cannot say much more. A lively young style with loud and fast keyboards was a bit much for my ears, sadly.
Next up came The Algorithm (10) from France. What can I say? My jaw dropped from the moment this two man band came on until the moment they left. I was initially surprised as I noticed only two members come on stage but then when the music started, they only really needed two to play it due to heavy usage of samples. An out of this world style of keyboard backing accompanied by the ‘always in time’ drummer was an awe-inspiring spectacle. The other musicians on-stage kept switching between so many instruments and at no point lost a beat. Oft-times when musicians switch instruments mid-song, a lack of coherence can be found. This was not the case with these guys and hats off to them!
It was then time for Haken (8) to come on stage and right from the first notes, an atmosphere of prog goodness filled the room. With music flowing from song to song and never losing its vibe and the beautiful vocals from all the band, it was truly a sight to behold. With a fantastic performance of “1985” (Jimmy’s favourite) and a setlist comprised of songs from across their ten years as a band, Haken delivered a truly excellent performance. Even though I may not be the biggest prog metal fan, I can definitely say that I’ll be attending shows like this one in future!