There are some great new releases coming in the next few months - new Mew album, new Prefab Sprout , the first live Genesis box set and, of course, our own little album.
Another CD I'm really looking forward to is the first release by Haken. This is a band I've only just become aware of; they had a track on the sampler CD on Classic Prog 2 which sounded slightly otherwordly, like something PFM might have recorded in their heyday. So, I sought out their only currently available release, a demo featuring 6 songs from 2007 and 2008.
It's a very strong debut. The quality is limited slightly by what I imagine was a restricted recording budget, but like all great demo's, it shows a band reaching for something that they don't quite have the resources to achieve.
When they get there, and most surely they will, Haken will be a force to be reckoned with.
Dream Theater are Haken's self-confessed heroes, but their music shows a wide-ranging set of influences. They are heavy at times, but very comfortable in the quieter sections (many heavy bands seem, to me, to play quiet bits just to make the heavy bits sound louder.) Haken do both piano and forte very well.
They also are capable of writing uncommon, haunting, melody lines and I love the structure of their songs - they are good at getting back, in interesting ways, to choruses or themes, even if they've been on a lengthy instrumental excursion.
Haken is a band to watch out for.