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  HAKEN/LEPROUS/MASCHINE
Assembly, Leamington Spa
24th October 2014


Ian Sutherland

ian sutherland



haken

Being a three band full on progressive Metal bill things start early to fit all the long songs in and the hall is pretty empty when Brighton based Maschine hit the stage.

All you can do is carry on though and that they do with aplomb. They totally prove their prog credentials by only managing to squeeze three songs into a thirty minute set and one of those was an edit of the full length version.

They sound very impressive with complex arrangements and lots of melody with Luke Machin's flowing solos and James Stewarts's very impressive drumming catching the eyes and ears. By the end of their set they had the full attention of all those present and certainly look like band to keep an eye on in this genre.

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Norwegians Leprous are next and they have no problem with getting audience attention. With a couple of video screens showing obscure Hipgnosis style images they introduce themselves with the stop start drama of 'Foe' with its multi layered vocal refrains and immediately they say we are different, look at us.

Dressed more like A-Ha than Dimmu Borgir (I can't remember the last band I saw where two of the musicians were wearing ties) they can be gentle and atmospheric and haunting one minute then batter you into submission with power and energy another. When they rock out like on sections of the epic and uplifting 'Chronic' they easily show they can blow your head off but the song has so much light and shade as well as a section where bass player Martin Skrebegerne makes some amazing sounding riffs.

haken

You would think that it's not easy to be a band frontman behind a keyboard set up but vocalist Einar Solberg somehow manages to dominate the stage with his dramatic hand gestures, intensity and amazing vocals. He hits notes which would make most other singers need to have a lie down but keeps going to hit some more.

This being almost like a co-headlining tour Leprous got to play for seventy minutes and the quality and sheer epic melodrama never let up for a second. They get compared to Muse at times and there are some similarities but this performance showed me that they are really a very unique band and one that deserve to be on a bigger stage than this. Fantastic stuff.

haken

I thought headliners Haken from London might struggle to match the intensity of the Leprous show and for me they did but they are a different beast entirely and so weren't competing to be as dramatic. They play a mellower but still powerful version of progressive metal with the edge on the progressive.

In vocalist Ross Jennings they have an old fashioned rock front man, there to sing and get the crowd involved and make sure everyone has a good time, even if he has to exit stage left during some of the longer instrumental passages.

haken

They are touring to promote their new EP 'Restoration' and showcase some new songs but the crowd's biggest cheers are for the older songs like 'Cockroach King'. This is an epic song and to me typifies where Haken like to be musically being a lengthy epic sounding a bit like a cross between Dream Theatre and Genesis in places.

There was some superb musicianship on display, lots of extra strings on the guitars and bass and these young looking guys show a reverence for their older influences like Pink Floyd etc while giving progressive rock/metal a modern edge which is interesting.

haken

The audience here wasn't huge which is such a shame for a quality bill like this but those that were there enthusiastically gave Haken the biggest ovation of the night and called them back for an encore. However for me personally Leprous were the winners here with an electric performance which makes me want to see them again soon.

Online:
http://www.maschineuk.com/index.html
https://www.facebook.com/maschineuk

http://www.leprous.net/
https://www.facebook.com/leprousband

http://www.hakenmusic.com/
https://www.facebook.com/HakenOfficial



haken

haken

haken


Maschine

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Leprous

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Haken

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31.10.14











 


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