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Hemina - Synthetic CD (album) cover

SYNTHETIC

Hemina

 

Progressive Metal

3.94 | 233 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

samvallen
5 stars Last year I was lucky enough to listen to and review Hemina's debut EP "As We Know It". Within I discovered an incredibly mature, complex and emotional collection of music; far more developed and polished than one expects in Australia's burgeoning progressive music scene. Although rough at times in production, the songwriting was profoundly developed and intelligent, and the performances technically flawless.

In my mind Hemina was destined for something very great indeed, and "Synthetic" lives up to everything I imagined the band capable of and much more. The songs are epic, with a dynamic quality often missing in modern prog - harking back to Pain Of Salvation's "Remedy Lane" days: progressive metal with a natural understanding of ebb and flow and also of light and shade; nothing is overplayed and nothing is extended beyond it's welcome, an amazing feat considering the album is 79 minutes in length.

And although great as a whole there are some truly amazing songs that stand out. My personal favourite being "With What I See" (featured on the "As We Know It" EP): a beautiful piece of mid-tempo melodic metal with a powerfully emotive vocal performance, and stupidly catchy melody which flows into a brilliant, economical and very tasty guitar solo, Douglas Skene and Mitch Coull have really outdone themselves in this department; the guitar playing on Synthetic is a perfect combination of chops, taste and tone.

The final song "Divine" is as epic as any progressive metal song I've come across, with a gradual harmonic build atop an intense rhythm section pedal point lead by some of the strongest lead vocals on "Synthetic": Douglas Skene has the range of any progressive rock singer, but his vocals are coated in an honesty and sensitivity rarely heard. The rest of Hemina are no slouches in this department either, with some amazing full band harmonies (and death metal vocals too!) throughout the album.

The production throughout is of the highest calibre with the usual punchy and perfect timing of the style. Although technically flawless and clear from start to finish, it can feel a little sterile at times; the mastering is very intense and in-your-face which certainly sounds powerful, but leaves me personally wanting some space occasionally. The guitar tone is brilliantly crunchy and clear, and the lead tone has a warmth and finesse to it that serves the guitarist's considerable ability perfectly.

And there you have it, Hemina have stepped up to the plate as Australia's leading progressive metal band. Synthetic is a statement: a very serious challenge to the rest of the progressive metal community, both in Australia and internationally to take note. There is an amazing talent at work here, with a vision and a sound of their own. Hemina's debut album is of comparable quality to any classic progressive rock and metal debuts. If you haven't heard of them yet, you will soon!

9.5/10

samvallen | 5/5 |

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