The third album from Haken once again demonstrates why they are at the forefront of the progressive metal scene. The first two albums Aquarius and Visions are quite different. Aquarius is a much quirkier album - lots of twists and turns that kept you off balance through out. It had more of a prog rock feel and some real oddball approaches that resulted in some reviewers referring to it as circus meteal. Visions was quite different. It was much more linear and clearly defined in terms of content. It was a prog metal album and wonderful one at that.
The Mountain is the first release for the band's new home at Inside Out. The direction of the band takes a bit of a u-turn. The music falls somewhere in between the first two. There is a quirky, prog rock vibe but you get the heaviness and complexity of prog metal. One particular track I keep going back to is "Cockroach King" which essentially pays homage to Gentle Giant's counterpoint vocals. Regardless of which direction you preferred, The Mountain has enough diversity to go please everyone.
If you want to keep track of where progressive metal is headed then climb the mountain - this is where its at. Highly recommended.
US jewel box edition with the same two bonus tracks included on the import digipak.