HAGGEN EP- A review

Metal with a taste of tequila!

By: Jonatan Arriaga | Tuesday, 16th July 2013

There have been many interesting releases this year in terms of local/independent metal music in the entire world, and Mexican band Haggen is not the exception. 

Founded not long ago, 2010 to be precise, by guitarist Guillermo Diaz and after a few changes in their line up, the band is starting to develop what we call a rock-solid sound in their first self-entitled delivery 'Haggen EP'. Traces from various influential bands can be heard in their first material, but it is obvious Haggen has successfully started the hard task of finding their own style that will make them standout.  

The album welcomes with a mysterious intro by keyboarder Franco followed by a powerful song 'Inside your heart' with a nice neoclassical touch in its melody. The song then moves around hard rock, and power-progressive metal. Amazing work by Antonio Diaz in vocals, and great solos by Franco in keys and Diaz in guitar. In general, a glorious-sounding song with powerful double drums by drum warrior Carlos Chavez, better known as Agartho.  

"Two Sides of me" gives us a nice welcome with a great riff by Diaz, a riff that made me remember some songs from Dark Tranquility, especially therein, must had been because of that killer flanger effect! Drum warrior shows an amazing job from the very beginning, great vocal work and the bass line by Daniel is killer!    

"Reflection" is an interesting ballad song that breaks and lets the album breathe for a while before continuing with powerful riffs. The catchy melody of its chorus and easy-to-sing lyrics makes this song a great piece in the power ballad world. 

"Until I pass Away" - For me, probably the song that shows what Haggen is all about. I truly feel this is 'the song' from the album. I would have loved to hear a bit more of support from complementary voices in the bridge part, probably just a third up and an octave up to support Tony's voice would had empowered the song even more in that part, especially with the great marching style drums. Great solos, harmonies, melodies, again; a catchy song.

"The hearts are Bleeding" - A powerful riff with a touch of a flanger, powerful tom drums work by Chavez and keys give shape to the intro of this song. A glorious battle themed song with great choruses and changes throughout the song. I personally loved the amazing guitar riff by Diaz used in the bridge towards the solos. The virtuous solos and great vocal lines make of this song another 'sing-along' track on the EP.

The instrumental 'The things that are not' is a great piece too. Probably the only one that combines more progressive parts, lending itself to a perfect combination of styles and genres. The hammond organ sound used by Franco gives it that 'classic rock' touch to this song. This is a piece that is full of great solo work, harmonies and virtuosity, perfect for those lovers of 'progressive' metal.  

In general, I would say that Haggen EP is a great work achieved by these Mexican  metalheads from tequila land. The engineering work and the overall sound of the EP is well achieved by Diaz himself at his well equipped home studio. 

The band is working hard to find that sound that will make them stand out in the world of power progressive metal. I am certain that we will see the full-length material very soon and I am pretty much looking forward to hearing it after a few more months of live work in the stages of Mexico. 

The Band:

Antonio Diaz- Vocals
Guillermo Diaz- Lead & Rythym Guitar
David Franco - Keys
Daniel Garza - Bass Guitar
Carlos Chavez - Drums

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