In just a few days’ time, English progressive metal outfit Haken – whose sound is spearheaded by the dueling guitar exploits of Charlie Griffiths and Richard Henshall – will release Fauna, their seventh studio album and first since 2020’s coincidentally named Virus.
To preview the full-length LP, Haken recently dropped Fauna’s latest single Lovebite, a cinematic opus that sees Griffiths and Henshall go toe-to-toe over some spellbinding six-string sorcery.
Now, the two Haken maestros have picked up their headless electric guitars – and strapped on their finest flowery shirts – for an intimate instrumental playthrough of the track, which will give listeners a new appreciation for Lovebite’s sparring licks and oversized soundscapes.
With their eight-string guitars in tow – a Kiesel Vader 8 for Griffiths and a Strandberg Boden NX 8 Richard Henshall edition for Henshall, of course – the Haken guitarists squeeze out every ounce of tonal power from their axes’ Lundgren 8 pickups, which work alongside Neural DSP plugins.
Over the course of nearly four minutes, the pair juggle lead and rhythm work in a fierce display of their versatile prog-playing powers, hopping from pummeling open-string strums and biting gain-drenched progressions one moment to clean interludes and glass-like chord work the next.
After Henshall takes an extended, two-hand tap-heavy solo effort at the 2:49 mark, the playthrough reaches its awe-inspiring conclusion: a hair-raising six-string tapestry that sound as good as those Hawaiin shirts look.
“Playing this song really puts you in a good mood,” Griffiths said of Lovebite. “There's lots of cool interlocking guitar rhythmic parts in the verses and an epic, heavy Haken feel in the choruses.
“When putting this track together, we were drawing on influences from players like Steve Lukather, Mike Rutherford, Daryl Stuermer and Andy Summers. Those legendary players are in their own league and really know how to compliment the groove and serve the song in a classy way, so it was really a lot of fun to try something similar with this tune.”
Fauna is set to arrive a week today (March 3) and has been boldly labeled the band's “most genre-busting and conceptually fascinating album to date”.
- Fauna is available to preorder now ahead of its release on March 3.