Visions

Haken

Visions

October 25, 2011

Heavy Metal

While still owing aesthetic debt to Dream Theater, Stratovarius, and Symphony X, the high standards here remind listeners that this genre sandbox is big enough for everyone to play in. This date clearly shows musical growth over the previous year's Aquarius, offering tightened arrangements and a sharpened balance between songwriting acumen and displays of instrumental prowess.

- Eduardo Rivadavia

Aladdin

Rotary Connection

Aladdin

1968

Psychedelic Soul

Aladdin ushered in a bigger and bolder Rotary Connection. The proper follow-up to their debut is also more streamlined and less scatterbrained without shedding the limitless approach that made its predecessor such an intrepid undertaking. Crisp drum breaks, punching horns, and soaring strings are all a part of Rotary Connection's fusion of rock and soul, which shows a greater degree of focus and a decreased reliance on psychedelic flourishes.

- Andy Kellman