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Hemina - Synthetic CD (album) cover




Progressive Metal

3.94 | 233 ratings

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5 stars All I have to say is when I finished listening to this album by Sydney Progressive Metal band was WOW. The music on this record is truly nothing short of amazing. The power, the melody and the passion for writting a great prog metal song.

I guess I'm lucky enough to live in Australia cause I have seen these guys play live and they are amazing. I would like to focus on a main topic in this review, and that is the amount of singing and layers that are on this album and also so listeners do not get confused on who might be singing in what part. But apart from that, I would like to say just how amazing each instrument is from the memebers in this band. The guitars are pretty much the best thing I have ever heard from an australian metal band. Mitch Coull and Douglas Skene have absolute control of those 6-7 strings. Not only are there fast alternate picking passages(one could listen to the first solo in Divine to understand what I mean) thanks to Douglas Skene but there also very tasty guitars solos lead by Mitch Coull with his nicely controlled, wide vibrato. Much like George Lynch of Dokken. And when these 2 guitars come together in Harmony or twin licks, this is where the real guitar magic happens. Haunting Me! is a perfect example of this.

The next thing from this band that is truly amazing is the keyboard work of Phill Eltakchi with his soothing pad sounds to the ripping keyboard lead tones to the amazingly layered ochestral sections.

The rhythm section is thunderous too lead by a very talented Jessica Martin and Andrew Craig. These 2 get really tight with each other and provide a sphincter tightening delight. The album opens up with This Hour Of Ours and you can hear Douglas' beautiful vocals welcoming us to a beauty that is to come.

The first actual song(one would say) is To Concieve A Plan. This song is an epic that opens up with piano lines and then crashes into chunky guitar riff and double kick drums and then being lifted again by a whaling guitar solo played by Mitch Coull. Its 5 minutes before we hear vocals in this song but thats ok, it is well worth the wait to just hear amazing intrumentation. At 5:40, we hear Mitch Coull's voice enter into the album for the chorus. The song goes back into another verse and chorus before suddenly stopping into a chugging riff that gets picked up by the drums and riffage onslaught that follows before the song ends with 2 guitar solos. Douglas plays the first solo and Mitch plays the second.

The Boy Is Dead is what one might think as being different due to its ambient sound but that doesnt mean it isnt good cause its great. Very tricky time signitures in this song and great vocals that are mainly all lead by Douglas Skene apart from some harmonies. There is one section in this song that would remind us of a cross band if you had TesseracT with Dream Theater, djenty and prog. The song then finishes off with a very soothing and bluesy type solo thanks to Mitch Coull.

For All Wrong Reasons is probably the song that confuses most people as to who is singing in what part. And having seen Hemina live, I can sort this all out for you. Douglas Skene starts off with the vocals in the song, but when you hear the vocal harmony come in(1:00), its actually Mitch Coull that sings the line above Douglas and through out the song. In the second verse, you hear a 4 part harmony and thats made up of Douglas, Mitch, Jessica and Phill and continues that way until the song is finished.

With What I See is like a pounding 80's hard rock song with riffing guitars and kick drums with Mitch and Douglas sharing main vocal lines in the chorus'. The guitar solos in this song whale than any twin guitar dueling band from the 80s(the good ones atleast) with Mitch providing us with the first solo, a duel harmony and Doug dominating the second solo.

Even In Heaven is a personal favourite for me cause its got really heavy parts and real heavenly parts in it aswell and they somehow manage to make it work. Plus it sounds to be a love song and we all like love songs that have soft and heavy sections in the one song!

Haunting Me its just an amazing 3-4 minute, highly melodic song that pounds you from start to finish. Plus this is the song I was talking about earlier that shows that amazing twin lead solo 'thing' that Hemina do. And, they do it well!

But if you could only show a friend one song from this album to try and some up one of your favourite aussie acts, then Divine would be the one you would show. Like all the other songs on this album, the guitar work is very technical and, well, amazing. The song opens up with tight syncopated guitars and drums with a thundering bass underneath and amazing orchestations ontop certisy of Phill. So incase you might of been wondering who is singing the first verse of Divine, this is sung by a very passionate Mitch Coull who delivers a bit of a different approach to Douglas. Douglas has wonderful runs and an amazing vocal range. Whereas Mitch has alot of power and 'volume' in his voice that with every line he sings, you know he believes in what he says.

The highlights for me on this song are; the first guitar solo played by Douglas who uses the alternate picking technique to oblitorate our ears(in a very good way), Mitch's main vocal verse where you really get to hear what the guy can do with his voice, the intertwining guitar signiture riff that comes in at 6:30 and finally Mitch's blistering guitar solo that comes in towards the end of the song at 9:14. This is a great solo to show example of what I was talking about before regarding controlled wide vibratos. This song as a whole is one of THE best songs I've heard in quite some time. It has it all, the heaviness, the fastness, the softness and the sound of a song well contructed and written.

Hemina are just a fantastic all round Progressive Metal band that has it all and does things in all the right places. I hope to see these guys out my way again soon to see yet another great show. These guys may be young with only 2 and a bit years on the live scene but with the way they are going, they are doing really well with themselves. Good on you Guys and Girl!

metal_shred | 5/5 |


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