It’s hard to review reissues, even if some might be remixed and other might be flat out re-recordings. So rather than try to analyze each and every nuance, I thought it made more sense to address each of these under one review. Yeah I am lazy. 🙂
Haken is finally re-issuing their first two albums, “Aquarius” and “Visions.” Rather than just repackage the same album, their current label InsideOut and the band got renowned producer and mixer Jens Borgen to remix both albums. Each release has a bonus disc of instrumental versions of each album. Many people missed out on “Aquarius” since it’s been out of print for a while now. So this is a chance for those fans to pick up a STELLAR debut album. But Borgen makes each remixed album very worthwhile but giving each the proverbial “sonic facelift.” In short, both sound even better than ever.
AFM Records has taken a different approach with two of their bands. They are reissuing Vanishing Point‘s second album “Tangled in a Dream” and adding a bonus disc of various rarities which is great for the die hard fans that bought the album 16 years ago. The album still sounds fresh but I think it might have benefited from a remix as well.
For Borealis’ debut album “World Of Silence,” the band and AFM decided to re-record it rather than just re-issue it. While this might upset some fans who are “purists,” I think the performance on this re-recording actually sounds better than ever. To be honest, I’d rather the band return to their more prog roots rather than walk that line between power metal and prog metal.
So there’s really something for all prog metal fans here. If you missed out on any of the initial releases of these albums, each has something “new” to offer and each album is really good. Of course, my personal preference is Haken and both of those albums are masterpieces. “Tangled in a Dream” starts off well but loses the plot as it goes on. And again, I like Borealis‘ decision to re-record their debut album. Maybe 2017 is the year of the reissue?