First of all, let me clarify, with great joy and relief, that this band has nothing to do with the horrible English band called Hadouken! Massachusetts based six-piece Hadoken play a blend of experimental post-rock. Some may consider post-rock a dirty word, but the music that Hadoken create is far from tired and worn.
Their debut album, The Ancient Machine, flows beautifully and does not just sit neatly in the background. The music takes you on various journeys whilst soothing and invigorating the senses. Album opener “Pulsa diNura” is a fine example of some of the brilliant work that has been created. The track opens brightly with flowing light instrumentation such as is common to this genre of music. However, Hadoken do not follow the rulebook like so many other post-rock bands, and soon the music takes you away. After building to a mountainous crescendo the music falls away as a piercing violin riff, which would not be out of place on Metallica’s S&M, rips through the silence. The rest of the band follow and then take the riff into a whole new passage of music. Just as you think the song has crashed to an almighty end, the band switches to a soothing section laden with violin and soft guitar work that feeds delicately into the following song.
The use of violin in the music is a master stroke by the band which allows sharp staccato notes to be fed through the rumbling bass and neat guitar work. The songs on the album have a very varied feel to them with plenty of different sounds and patterns being created around you.
Hadoken have the ability to take you with them through songs which are sometimes dark and moody but always with a ray of glimmering light peeking through. Some of the bigger bands, such as Explosions in the Sky, take just one song to go somewhere building up to a loud eventful finish. Hadoken rise and fall and twist and turn throughout their songs, never taking things too far but with an eye well trained towards progress; this creates a sense of something fresh in an otherwise saturated genre.
If you like music that is dark and brooding, yet bold and shimmering then you can do worse than have a listen to The Ancient Machine by Hadoken. Recommended for fans of Explosions in the Sky, Yndi Halda, Caspian and The Ascent of Everest.