Progarchives, the progressive rock ultimate discography
Hemina - Synthetic CD (album) cover




Progressive Metal

3.94 | 233 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

5 stars As far as debut albums go, there's not many that are more ambitious than Hemina with their 2012 release "Synthetic". Clocking in at just under 80 minutes, this sweeping epic features dazzling technical prowess, memorable melodies and great atmospherics, all wrapped in the guise of a concept album.

Frontman Douglas Skene should be no stranger to prog fans due to his work with Anubis. Although Hemina is musically quite different, there are certainly commonalities that are instantly apparent: great production values, songwriting and atmospherics. Right from the opening track, the haunting "This Hour of Ours", there's a wonderful immersive quality that draws the listener into the album.

In terms of musicianship, all the facets of Hemina are very strong. But really, it's the guitars that steal the show. This is primarily a metal album and as such, there's a plethora of great chugging riffs that drive the album's momentum. In addition, the lead guitar is superb, alternating between melodic and frenetic where required.

There are more introspective moments such as "For All Wrong Reasons" and "Conduit To The Sky" where acoustic melodies take prominence, and these provide a nice change of pace as the narrative ebbs and flows. Speaking of which, the story that plays out throughout "Synthetic" is a dark and intriguing affair. It is clear that a celestial being is banished to Earth, condemned to live the tragic life of a man only to die again. From there, it's really up to the listener to fill in the blanks. This is a compelling way to draw the listener in again and again, as one tries to piece it all together.

Of particular note is the album closer "Divine". At over 13 minutes, it has just about everything one could want in a prog metal song. Vocal melodies are great, with phrases like "Welcome home, I've been here" really sticking in the memory long after the album has ended. Awesome shredding lead guitar gives way to a gorgeous melodic passage, and this really strikes an emotive chord that provides a perfect ending to the album. Overall this is a brilliantly conceived and executed finale.

Even with it's long running time, I can't pinpoint a weak spot on this album. All of the songs are well crafted and find their place within the narrative, working well individually and also as a whole. I'm hoping we'll see more albums of this quality from Hemina in the near future.

bonestorm | 5/5 |


As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Forum user
Forum password

Share this HEMINA review

Social review comments () BETA

Review related links

Copyright Prog Archives, All rights reserved. | Legal Notice | Privacy Policy | Advertise | RSS + syndications

Other sites in the MAC network: — jazz music reviews and archives | — metal music reviews and archives

Donate monthly and keep PA fast-loading and ad-free forever.