You can almost guarantee that every band/artist that has ever made an album or stepped on to a stage can trace their origins back to the humble bedroom, for many budding musicians the bedroom was a refuge where they could try to work out those finger stretching riffs, complex drum patterns and blister creating bass motifs, a place where wannabe vocalists could stand in front of a mirror and practice their mic craft singing into a hairbrush without fear of being mocked or criticised. If said musicians were any good they might, as they progressed in skill, start inviting other budding musicians up to their refuge to jam and from these jams go on to start a band, some might even start creating their own music. All in all the humble bedroom has played a huge part in much of the music we now listen to and is still doing so right up to the present day, all of which brings us nicely around to Hakkon, the Indonesian combo who are the subject of this review.
Hakkon, Ferdian G Maulana (guitar/vocals); Fajar M (bass/backing vocals) and Adrian Fadhil (drums/backing vocals), started out life as a bedroom project but has since moved on to being a fully fledged band, the trio of musicians utilising those skills honed in the bedroom and taking them up to the next level, a fairly impressive level judging by their debut EP release "The Fifth Cessation"(Orange Cliff Records)
Hakkon's groove is rooted in metal but metal in all it's various forms and guises, the band drawing from the wells of prog, stoner, proto and doom, as well some of metals more alternative forms, to create a sound that is a sum of its influences yet still retains its own signature. The first track out of the bag "Tusk" is a perfect example of how Hakkon like to meld their metals, an instrumental number with a galloping NWOBHM gait underscored by elements of both stoner and proto doom, the song may be just under four minutes long but the band pack a hell of a lot into it. "Haunted" follows next and is a nicely balanced mix of riff heavy proto-doom and languid semi acoustic psych, the song also gives us a our first taste of the bands vocals which are delivered clean and melodic by guitarist Maulana, drummer Fadhil and bassist Fajar M complimenting his lilting tones with backing harmonies of an equal quality. The last three tracks "Ashes I", "II" and "III", are essentially one song split into three separate movements "Ashes I" is a beautifully constructed instrumental piece made up of ringing circular guitar arpeggios, liquid bass lines and sympathetically applied percussion, "Ashes II" initially follows a similar path but then adds into the equation those aforementioned lilting vocals plus heavier handed percussion and lot more guitar based crunch,. The band take the later dynamic of "II" into final track "Ashes III" where they expand upon that heavier dynamic and in doing so take things in a much more doomic direction both vocally and musically, albeit fleshing that doom out with elements gleaned from the full spectrum of metal.
Indonesian underground bands are notoriously difficult to track down and Hakkon are no exception, attempting to find any information, other than what can be found on their labels social media pages, has been hard. A photo of the band on the labels Instagram account depicts them as a relatively young band so hopefully they are have not yet become disillusioned with the whole music making process and there will be more from them in the future, here's hoping so because although "The Fifth Cessation" maybe a little raw around the edges and a touch naïve in places it is nonetheless a cracking little debut well worth spending some time with.
Check it out .....
© 2023 Frazer Jones