RICHARD HENSHALL

(UNITED KINGDOM)

THE COCOON

(2019)
LABEL:

INSIDEOUT MUSIC

GENRE:

PROGRESSIVE ROCK

TAGS:
Experimental, Fusion, Guitar-Hero, Technical
"Solo project by Haken's guitarist, "The Cocoon" is a great artist's album, an innovative, eclectic, inspired album, mastered from beginning to end and of a salutary modernity."
NEWF (15.10.2019)  
4/5
(0) opinions (1) comment(s)
Haken, it's him. Richard Henshall is the lead guitarist and founder with singer Ross Jennings. He is also the main composer of the band's first three albums ("Aquarius", "Visions" and "The Mountain") which made the London combo a major reference in progressive music in the early 2010. Then the sextet moved towards a more collaborative composition process for his last two opuses ("Affinity" and "Vector"). Henshall was thus able to free up time to participate in other projects, including the super group Nova Collective, and to produce his first solo album "The Cocoon".

If most of the specialized media, including Music Waves, classify Haken in the progressive metal category, this denomination has always left me doubtful, as British music, "Vector" aside, seems to me much closer to progressive rock than metal. And "The Cocoon" is the perfect demonstration of this. For his first album, Richard Henshall gives us a real lesson in what progressive rock should be in 2019, modern, inventive, with references that are assumed without being heavy or ostentatious.

Surrounded by Nova Collective drummer Matt Lynch and Haken bassist Connor Green, Henshall delivers the perfect synthesis of the music of these two bands by pushing the fusion of styles and atmospheres even further. If some tracks would have found their place without problem on a Haken album, notably the fabulous "Twisted Shadows" sublimated by Ross Jennings on vocals and Jordan Rudess on keyboards, others on the other hand shine by their inventiveness and their risk taking. The emblematic piece of this brilliant fusion of styles is undoubtedly the extraordinary "Lunar Room" which mixes with an impressive virtuosity a rap song interpreted by Ben Levin (Bent Knee), electro loops, a djent rhythmic and atmospheric choruses.

"The Cocoon" is a musical laboratory in which the alchemist Richard Henshall experiments with different musical formulas, mixing polyrhythm, funky bass, jazzy guitar and saxophone ('The Cocoon') or bluesy guitar, piano and atmospheric atmospheres ('Afterglow') to create magical and often surprising musical philtres. The guitarist shows the full extent of his talent for composition but also of course his talent as a guitarist. Modern, nourished by jazz culture and shred technique, his playing is exceptionally rich, both in his mind-blowing solos and in his very personal and contemporary way of working with arpeggios ('Silken Chains','Limbo'), which is not unlike the work of Plini and Disperse.

The only weak point of this excellent album is the vocals. Richard Henshall is not a natural singer. He knows this very well and avoids this obstacle by applying filters to his voice that are sometimes too invasive. However, we must nevertheless welcome his willingness to go all the way because not singing on such a personal album would have hurt his reach and would have made the project much less endearing than it is. Let's make no mistake about it, despite this little downside, "The Cocoon" is indeed a great artist's album. An innovative, eclectic, inspired album, mastered from beginning to end and of a salutary modernity.
- Official website

TRACK LISTING:
01. Pupa
02. Cocoon
03. Silken Chains
04. Limbo
05. Lunar Room
06. Twisted Shadows
07. Afterglow

LINEUP:
Conner Green: Basse
Matt Lynch: Batterie
Richard Henshall: Chant / Guitares / Claviers
Adam Carrillo: Invité / Saxophone
Ben Levin: Chant / Invité
Chris Baum: Invité / Cordes
David Maxim Micic: Guitares / Invité
Jessica Kion: Chant / Invité
Jordan Rudess: Claviers / Invité
Marco Sfogli: Guitares / Invité
Ross Jennings : Chant / Invité
   
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TORPEDO
17/10/2019
  0
Personnellement je n'adhère pas... Trop fouilli, trop "progressif", pas assez porté sur la mélodie.
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