The Zoo, Brisbane QLD
September 28th, 2017
Supports: Archetypes & Kodiak Empire
Since the release of their latest album Affinity, Haken have been at the top of the prog metal scene – gaining themselves one hell of a reputation and catching the attention of some of the greats of the genre. Now following their 10th anniversary, they have graced fans down under with their first Australian headlining tour.
The Affinitour kicked off with an incredible first show in Brisbane with local support coming from Kodiak Empire and Archetypes, both of which set the perfect tone for the night.
Before hearing Kodiak Empires set I had only heard one song by them so I honestly didn’t know what to expect, but what I came to witness blew me away. These guys have such a unique energy about their sound, it’s somewhere between prog/alternative/post rock and has such an uplifting vibe to it. What really caught my attention was the depth they were able to achieve through harmonies between guitars, bass and keys. Definitely a band I would recommend to anyone who is a fan of prog music and I’m really looking forward to seeing what these guys are capable of in the future.
Archetypes were soon to follow bringing heavier riffs, guitar harmonies and truly impressive vocal work. Their songwriting style left a lot of open space for the vocalist to really take charge with some seriously powerful vocals and killer vibrato. They worked some serious magic between riffs with fluent transitions between different styles giving their music a real smooth, natural feel.
It was now time for Haken to take the stage, the crowd started shifting forward in anticipation and the opening of ‘Affinity.exe’ started playing through the monitors. It was one of those exciting moments that gets you thinking “is this really happening?”. The band came out to get right into ‘Initiate’ and instantly frontman Ross started getting the crowd pumped up for what was to come.
‘Initiate‘ was followed up by ‘1985‘ and for this song the lights were dimmed and Ross was wearing a pair of glasses that were lit up with LED lights and would pulsate with the rhythm of the music adding a surreal atmosphere that blended with the 80’s style throughout the song. Diego also came out with a keytar at one point of the song, further adding to the retro vibe.
One thing about Haken that will always amaze me is that every member of the band does vocals. Raymond on drums seemed to be doing most of the harmonies and backup vocals too, which is insane considering how technical the drumming is in their music. Like seriously, is this dude a robot or what!?
During the song ‘The Architect‘ Ross pulled out the growled vocals that are performed by Einar Solberg of Leprous on the album. Ross‘ growls alone were incredible and Diego on keys came in to back him up adding more depth, this was by far my favourite point of their set.
All in all it was a flawless show by the group and they kept things humorous throughout the set with almost constant antics between Diego and Ross. It made for one of the best performances I’ve ever seen and I’m sure many others would agree with me there, definitely a tour you do not want to miss.
Review by Jackson Calcutt
Photo Gallery courtesy of Gethin Hill (Gethin Hill Photography)
Please credit Wall of Sound and Gethin Hill if you repost.
Haken – Affinitour 2017
Sept 29th – 170 Russell, Melbourne
Sept 30th – The Factory, Sydney
Oct 1st – Capitol, Perth