Haven of Echoes – The Indifferent Stars

Some musicians can’t seem to miss, and it astounds me.  One such musician is Andreas Hack, an artist I’ve discussed many times.  His new project is called Haven of Echoes, and it continues a very long string of amazing albums with Andreas involved.  The album is called The Indifferent Stars, and it released on October 7th.

You may know Andreas Hack from Frequency Drift and last year’s Feeling of Presence.  This time, he is joining forces with Paul Sadler of progressive metal band Spires.  I confess that I don’t know much about Spires, so I came into this record primarily because of Andreas.  The lineup on this album is Paul Sadler on vocals and guitars, Nerissa Schwarz on electric harp and keys, Wolfgang Ostermann on drums, and Andreas Hack on everything else.

The band is clearly offering us a modern progressive rock with a sense of dynamism and soul, not to mention impactful melodies.  You will hear some familiar sounds due to Nerissa and Wolfgang’s involvement, as they are Andreas’ longtime partners in crime.  And it is no wonder: Nerissa’s harp provides some spine-tingling moments that cut through the rock sound, and Wolfgang’s layered drumming is always nigh unto perfection.

There is more to the band’s sound than that, though.  As with Feeling of Presence, Haven of Echoes is rather cinematic, haunting, and dark.  I would say there is a good balance of light and dark here, foreboding and hopeful.  There are some deeply interesting segments of ambient texture or hefty percussion, and so the band likes to add appealing accents to each song.

There are two more important elements.  First, Paul’s voice is a real highlight.  I don’t normally like to compare singers to other vocalists, but Paul’s voice consistently reminds me of a cross between David Fremberg of Andromeda and Devon Graves in his Dead Soul Tribe setting.  So, Paul has the ghostly and poetic vocal movements of Devon, but also the surging, astonishing, semi-harsh style of David.  The combination makes for a fascinating performance.

Second, the lyrics are important.  I don’t know the full story or themes at play here, but time and again I was impressed with how expressive and graceful the lyrics are.  They are well-written and tightly edited.  With Paul’s voice singing these words, they are elevated even more.

The Indifferent Stars contains 6 tracks and lasts about 43 minutes.  All of the songs are wonderful.  I would point to my favorites as “Sirensong”, “Endtime”, “The Lord Giveth”, and “Let Them In”.  “The Orator’s Gift” and “Stasis” are both fantastic songs, too, especially with the opening percussive darkness of the former, and addictive melody of the latter.

“Sirensong is the single, and it’s a perfect choice.  The song is emotional and catchy at times, spellbinding and winding in other moments.  I love the vocal theatrics in the last few minutes.  “Endtime” is perhaps the most cinematic of all the tracks with its various transitions and building atmosphere.  I love the ambient portion in the middle along with the eerie keys and hefty rhythms near the end.

“The Lord Giveth” might be my favorite.  It has maybe the most exquisite, expressive chorus of them all, but it is an extremely shadowy, satirical track in some ways, too.  It has a lengthy ambient, textured darkness within it that feels just as meaningful as any lyric, and just feels frightening and burning to some degree.  “Let Them In” is the closing 12-minute epic, and it seems to have more guitar, both in riff and in emotional solo.  I like that it has layers and transitions, moments of gentle grace and heaviness; and it has a sophisticated, neoclassical feeling, too.

Andreas can’t seem to miss, and Paul has impressed me on my first experience with him.  I love the textured, mysterious sound that they have created and the overflowing emotions that spark the experience even more.  I hope that this is a project with some staying power.


Find Haven of Echoes online:





Support The Prog Mind


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.