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HEMINA

Progressive Metal • Australia


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Hemina picture
Hemina biography
Hemina is a Progressive Rock/Metal band formed in 2008 by Douglas Skene. The band's goal was to write an interesting take on Progressive Metal combining the sonic extremities and musical virtuosity of the genre whilst preserving the artistic edge, forward-thinking philosophy and dynamic subtleties found in Progressive Rock.

In July of 2010, Hemina released an EP entitled 'As We Know It' featuring 3 tracks from their upcoming album 'Synthetic'. The band played 15+ shows within Australia which has gained them a substantial following within their year on the live scene.

This 79 minute cinematic concept album is now here and ready to be released with impressionistic digipak art and the rich sound that Hemina have become known for since their inception. The album is to be released in October 2011 for launch shows with Voyager, Arcane and more.

With pristine sound mixed and mastered by Tommy Hansen at Jailhouse Studios (Redemption, Circus Maximus, Seventh Wonder, Jorn, Helloween), the album is a powerful, emotional adventure perfectly segueing track-by-track into a sumptuous and inviting world of Progressive Music.

Hemina's sound is a fine balance of mood, texture and dynamics in order to sculpt a vast musical journey for its listeners. The band experiments with intricate harmony (both vocally and instrumentally), thundering rhythms and intense appreciation for melody which will certainly encapsulate the attention of a great multitude of fans.

Hemina have also written a 70+ minute concept album to follow up 'Synthetic' entitled 'Venus' which shall be released some time in 2013.


(Bio kindly provided by Dougie Skene and edited by progmetalhead)


www.facebook.com/heminamusic
www.myspace.com/heminaaus

HEMINA are preparing for the release of their third album, "Venus", on November 11. Venus is an 80 minute concept album detailing and examining domestic violence, relationships, and individuality in the 21st century with a narrative arc to accompany and elaborate on their previous conceptual output. The bands first two albums "Synthetic" (2011) and "Nebulae" (2014) were met with critical acclaim traversing two different sides of the band's sonic spectrum from the complex and dark, to the concise and uplifting.

Venus sees that spectrum expand, offering flavours of what fans have come to expect in the past as well as a new palette and range of expression never before heard from the group. From thei...
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Hemina official website

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Buy HEMINA Music


SyntheticSynthetic
Nightmare 2012
Audio CD$5.49
$8.45 (used)
NebulaeNebulae
Import
Imports 2014
Audio CD$15.05
$15.04 (used)
Nebulae by Hemina (2014-08-03)Nebulae by Hemina (2014-08-03)
Imports
Audio CD$75.62
Synthetic by Hemina (2012-03-27)Synthetic by Hemina (2012-03-27)
Nightmare
Audio CD$44.18
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HEMINA discography


Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help Progarchives.com to complete the discography and add albums

HEMINA top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.94 | 217 ratings
Synthetic
2012
3.87 | 129 ratings
Nebulae
2014
4.79 | 17 ratings
Venus
2016

HEMINA Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

HEMINA Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

HEMINA Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

HEMINA Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

3.78 | 21 ratings
As We Know It
2010
4.00 | 3 ratings
Haunting Me!
2012
5.00 | 1 ratings
Freedom
2014
4.00 | 2 ratings
Waikiki
2015

HEMINA Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Venus by HEMINA album cover Studio Album, 2016
4.79 | 17 ratings

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Venus
Hemina Progressive Metal

Review by Progrussia

4 stars If there is a female prog metal demographic, Hemina got it cornered. But this is no Nightwish. If a word comes to mind, it's oversaturation. Not in a negative sense - you come back from listening feeling like a kid who ate too much Halloween candy. After the relative streamlineness of Nebulae, they come back to the sprawlingness of Synthetic, with four 10- minute songs and a threesome of seven-minutes. Not only have you got those very loud odd-time "gjenty" riffs, but ample shredding on top of that and even an occasional sax. Vocals mostly sugary, but throwing in deep crooning and screaming as well (although they seem too processed to me). And just as you think a bridge in a song is over, you get hit with 3 more. I think the guys were trying to show that they can do it all. An impressive effort, to be sure, but too crammed. Unlie previous efforts, this one requires multiple spins to sort out the melodies beheath the bombast.
 Venus by HEMINA album cover Studio Album, 2016
4.79 | 17 ratings

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Venus
Hemina Progressive Metal

Review by ProgolateCookie

5 stars Theres something in the Aussies' water. I have to admit that I have been completely bored by prog metal in the last few years but somehow I seem to enjoy each of these Hemina albums more than the last. They are in great company with bands like Glass Ocean, Caligulas Horse, Voyager and sleepmakeswaves in that they approach their genre with grace and a freshness which must be from the distance from everywhere else. High Kite Ride is the one of the songs of the year with a great balance between instrumentals and melodic vocals with not much screaming (thank god). The album sounds like modern groove based prog metal but it's almost like a softer version. Think Periphery or Meshuggah in some of the riffs but with a touch of Dream Theatre with more melody and solos. Best prog metal album this year for sure.
 Venus by HEMINA album cover Studio Album, 2016
4.79 | 17 ratings

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Venus
Hemina Progressive Metal

Review by Saralgam

5 stars Mind blowing album!I was captured by the first sound on Fantasy track...great guitar riff and awesome production, and after a while the majestic vocals are coming to fill the space with power and life.Yes it's djent-like,but not in the way of exhausting your ears by using multi rhythm equations upon the same riff,but as a path of composing with diversity and inspiration.This djentish orientation in combination with the amazing and melodic vocal lines,great guitar playing and all of the above been engulfed by genuine prog metal surprises,make this album brilliant.In Venus the discrete use of keys is full of meaning without covering the real feel of heavy sound.There are also here jazz-fusion influences with beautiful use of sax and trumpet themes,giving a special and diverse note to the overall of the album.This element of surprise,which for me is the cornerstone of Prog metal genre seems to be easily,almost without any effort,been handled, by Hemina.And yes ,once more the vocals(best by far for many years)captivate the listener and make Venus the closest thing to a masterpiece these days.Prog metal still lives in 2016!Probably,best album of the year.Give this true gem the value it worths.
 Venus by HEMINA album cover Studio Album, 2016
4.79 | 17 ratings

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Venus
Hemina Progressive Metal

Review by ProgressiveMetaller

5 stars Another masterpiece from my favourite Sydney band. The band takes a bit from the scope of "Synthetic" and some of the song craft from "Nebulae" with some emotional crossover and djent fusion and builds this whopping huge chunk of melodic prog. Brilliant vocals with the whole band singing in harmony especially on track 2. Lush with amazing grooves, thrashy beats, lots of solos and beautiful lyrics. My album of the year. I am excited to get something every 2 years or so from these guys in my promo email and they didn't let me down. Best song is Down will come baby and Collective Unconscious.
 Venus by HEMINA album cover Studio Album, 2016
4.79 | 17 ratings

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Venus
Hemina Progressive Metal

Review by AtomicCrimsonRush
Special Collaborator Symphonic Team

5 stars Here comes Hemina once again, who began life as a fully fledged prog metal group with "Synthetic" followed by "Nebulae", both masterful in their own rights. Following up on these, is yet another album with a one word title "Venus". It may be their best album to date.

The album cover is a work of art like other Hemina albums, this time depicting an isolated girl longing for freedom encased in some kind of abandoned room. The window beckons her freedom, as her golden hair waves in the breeze, but this girl is a victim of abuse at the hands of a trusted loved one. Her partner is over protective of her out of distrust so locks her away from the world or from the gaze of other men. Her past is one of turmoil and suffering but there are rays of light that signify her redemption is nearing. She is later shown free and happy in the booklet. Herein lies a clue to the content of the album. It is a concept album with very complex ideas that may only become apparent after studying the lyrics in the booklet. An online discussion with vocalist, guitarist, keyboardist, founder of the group Douglas Skene certainly sheds some light on these ideas. Skene stated that the album is centred around trust and infidelity, and a certain sense of one cannot come back from this, and knowing when enough is enough in a relationship. When trust is betrayed, things rarely work, and furthermore a good person can be transformed by the negative experience into abusive behaviour brought on by the extreme stress of abuse. The album paints a picture of the cheater in a relationship later becoming the victim; a vicious cycle that occurs in abusive relationships.

This idea is encompassed in the opening track "Fantasy", where we are introduced to the protagonists in this love nest. The music is an urgent jagged guitar riff, that speeds along at a brisk pace. The guitar is accompanied by sweeping synth lines and the multilayered vocals enter soon harmonised with the endearing melody. The instrumental break is a duel between keys and axe, and both back each other up superbly.

The lovers get married at the end of the song, opening the doorway to the next phase in their relationship; the honeymoon in "Expect the Unexpected". The music transitions to a soft ballad, with deeper vocals and a reflective lyric. A sax solo by Jimmy Garden enhances the soundscape with a melancholy breezy air. There is beauty in the accompanying vocals of Jessica Martin, who is also wonderful on bass throughout this album.

"High Kite Ride" is a killer track with crunching metal riffs, and a broken time sig augmented by chaotic drums by Nathan McMahon. The lyrics speak of a bleak existence like "death alive" as the woman is now buried in her guilt, locked away, after a confrontation that turns her loving man into a psychopath. The track clocks over 9 minutes and has twists and turns signifying the turbulent relationship unfolding. The twin guitar break is mesmirising, Mitch Coull and Skene are masterful guitarists. The shunting rhythms break several times into some complex time signatures that start and stop, generating a disconcerting atmosphere. To top it off there are multiple lead guitar breaks that scream and howl, and even a raspy death vocal adding to the anger of the lyrics. This cut is one of the highlights of the album.

"Moonlight Bride" blusters along with more saxophone, almost a jazz metal feel, and then some high falsetto vocals that speak of the plight of the protagonists. The woman has become a sex object giving into her abuser. The track features some glorious lead breaks that soar beautifully and the romantic sax is always a welcome touch.

The 11 minute "Venus" follows opening with acoustic vibrations, and Skene's soft vocals singing of "shifting the blame to learn and to love". Metal guitar machine gun attacks penetrate the sound as the confusion of unrequited love sinks deeper in. Jessica offers some melancholy tones acting like a conversation between the lovers. One may be reminded of the powerful works of Ayreon. Later we are treated with the sweet tones of Sarah Henderson's flute, such a beautiful moment on the album; acting like the calm before the storm. Skene states that "Venus" depicts the fantasy of an ideal romantic world; a world that does not exist for these lovers. It is a strong, feminine world. The girl is damaged goods now and stares at the sky at Venus; the symbol of escape and innate beauty. The male is now the one who is cheated on, so the question is posed who exactly is the victim; a blurred line of infidelity and distrust. I have to state that "Venus" is one of my favourite tracks on the album due to its complexity and juxtaposition of furious metal guitar fighting against the calm piano and flute.

"The Collective Unconscious" has a chunky distorted guitar crunch as synth lines meander beneath. The lovers have dived into "a dream state of mind, locked in stasis together". Coull and Skene take turns to light up the dark sound with blistering guitar solos. The track is short at 3:30 but it makes its impact, and then gets out of there to make way for the next segment.

"Secrets Safe" has a catchy melodious guitar riff, and very strong vocals by Skene. There are sharp attacks of distortion that crackle with energy, and the synth pads are a constant companion. Lead guitar breaks sweep beautifully and build into heavier rhythms. The story has become more complicated; "Love's out the window, consider yourself a widow".

"Starbreeze" is a very airy diversion with a cool keyboard hook and cosmic soundscape. There are still metal nuances with bouncy chords, and this one has a more science fiction vibe. The lyrics are well written such as "Starry night O night so bright, behold our pixeled cosmic sight, past the solar wind lies a starbreeze, the cooling flame, the lion's gaze, the golden bars on heaven's gates, beyond the glow of Venus , a star is born." It is captivating stuff, and the track is only 3 and a half minutes, showing that less is more at times; certainly in this case.

"I" is over 10 minutes of prog excess and has some of the best vocals with an engaging choral synth providing a Gothic atmosphere. I adored the lead break that is so emotional with its elongated notes whammy barred to perfection, and soaring higher into squeals of anguish. When Jessica sings after this with some multilayered harmonies, it sent chills down my spine. The lead guitar is incredible on this track and then it swings into a new direction with blasts of speed picking twin guitars, and followed by an acoustic river of sound. Another highlight of the album is the result.

"Dream State of Mind" begins with chimes clanging as a haunting choral layer breathes. The lead guitar flourishes ebb and flow as Skene's vocals enter. An odd time sig is well executed with drum and bass fractured rhythms. There are some bizarre raps and manic laughter that have an unnerving edge. The protagonist has now lapsed into an hallucinatory state; punched home by a lyrical poem that may be influenced by the movie "Liquid Sky" that blurs the line between the fantasy and the real.

"Down Will Come Baby" ends the concept with a final statement that the protagonist is stuck in a limbo, the experience having spiralled them into a loss of sanity, a prison they will never escape. The music is frenetic but tinged with a sense that things are drawing to a conclusion. An upbeat melody is joined by blistering lead breaks and speed drumming. The track clocks some 12 minutes of a prog masterclass. Yet again the track delivers a powerhouse of instrumentation and terrific vocals. As icing on the cake there is a ghost track worth a listen and nice to ponder over called "You", in contrast to "I" it would seem. It's fast and bulges with the thundering hoofs of a metal stampede, that gallop along to conclude the sensory journey.

Overall the album is an 80 minute triumph of metal, jazz, retro synths, and prog time sigs wrapped around a deep, meaningful concept. On the first listen I was convinced the album was worthy of at least 4 stars, but on subsequent listens it just grew on me, finally entwining my subconscious with its complexity and glorious instrumentation. It is one of the discoveries of 2016 and worthy of 5 stars as there is not a dull moment and every track builds powerfully upon the next. The music is passionate and captivating in every sense, and the moments with sax, flute, trumpet and other instruments augments it to being far beyond your average metal album. The complexity of instrumentation is mirrored by the complex concept. In this sense, it delivers exactly what I look for in a prog album and that is a sheer delight to encounter.

 Venus by HEMINA album cover Studio Album, 2016
4.79 | 17 ratings

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Venus
Hemina Progressive Metal

Review by Second Life Syndrome
Prog Reviewer

5 stars 9.5/10 - Originally written for theprogmind.com

Back in 2012, I was floored by an album from Aussie progressive metal band Hemina. Their debut "Synthetic" was so innovative in that it combined psychedelic space rock with prog metal, among other things. Fast forward to 2014, and their second release "Nebulae" saw them focus a bit more, while also expanding their palette. Now, they are back again with the glorious new album "Venus", and I can state without a single doubt that this is their best album yet.

Hemina is one of the most varied and diverse progressive metal bands out there. Each albums sees them trying new things and adding new genres to the mix. They have matured so much over the years. They went from a spacey progressive metal band with this constantly driving riffage on "Synthetic" to a band that can throw in a little funk or soul on "Nebulae" to masters of combining any and all genres with their increasingly heavy sound on "Venus". They do all of this seamlessly.

Their basic sound is a dense, djent-oriented progressive metal that, unlike other bands out there, does not focus on the syncopation or polyrhythms. Instead, these are but a foundation for all their other offerings. On "Venus", you'll hear plenty of jazzy sax and bluesy guitars, symphonic prog sections, huge key-driven orchestral movements, pastoral flute, and more surreal 80's style new wave inspirations. From beginning to end, they make all of this work like few other bands could.

"Venus" is therefore the band's most fully realized, wholly composed album to date. If I had a criticism for their first album, it would be that it was unrelenting in its heaviness and drive, sometimes blurring the songs together. "Nebulae" fixed much of that, but "Venus" has brought their maturation full circle. Each album has oozed more and more delicious musical space. Their djenty riffing can definitely be rather dense and complicated to fathom at points, but the band has clearly begun to understand the amazing feeling of adding space to their music that fully immerses the listener in the journey.

Who are these guys (and gal)? Hemina consists of Douglas Skene on lead vocals, guitars, and keys; Mitch Coull on guitars and vocals; Jessica Skene on bass and vocals; and newcomer Nathan McMahon on drums and vocals. Yes, they all sing, though Douglas is the lead singer. There are also various guests who make appearances throughout the album to provide the sax, trumpet, flute, and choirs. Now, the band states in their official promo bio that the lineup is reinvigorated, and I feel it really does show. Their bio wasn't just spewing BS here. The performances are energetic and the songs are all awesome individually due to loads of great ideas and just this feeling like the band is really having fun. One of the more significant changes is that Douglas is now providing the keys and also new member Nathan is handling drums. These changes are vital to this album.

The performances here are second to none. Douglas and Mitch lay down some incredibly mind-blowing guitar work, especially on the unpredictable djent-based riffs. Jessica is a very underappreciated bassist, keeping up handily with the guitars. Nathan's drums do indeed breathe new life into the rhythm section here, and he is very mature in the way he can navigate the genre changes. Finally, despite having a super strong history of keys (including one of my favorite keyboard lines ever on "The Boy is Dead" off their debut), I have to admit that the keys are overall much stronger than they have ever been, thanks to Douglas. My brain picks up on keys very quickly, and I hear all sorts of very memorable lines and solos throughout the album, such as the awesome solo on "I".

The vocals are better than ever. Doug has one of the best voices I've ever heard, and he is super humble about it. "Venus", however, sees him produce his most inventive vocal lines to date, no question. The others sound better than ever, too, including his wife, Jessica; but everyone in the band sings at some point, and the vocal harmonies are too strong to ignore, whether they be creepy deep vocals or even a little rap section on "Dream State of Mind", reminiscent of Pain of Salvation.

Sense of fun or not, the band is tackling a rather somber topic this time by discussing domestic abuse. It's pretty obvious from the lyrics, which sometimes incur righteous wrath in the listener. They are well written and rather blunt at times. The band, however, manages to make them playful at times, too. I'll never forget the line, "I'm feeling sticky, so be my glue." How could I?

When approaching "Venus", the listener might feel a little overwhelmed. With a run time of 80 minutes and all these genres making an appearance, it is natural to feel a little small. "Venus", however, is rather accessible and even catchy. The songs range from heavy, thundering prog metal to psychedelic and weird expressions. Two heavier songs near the beginning of the album, "Fantasy" and "High Kite Ride" are journeys in and of themselves, weaving in and around monstrous grooves. The latter is one of the best songs the band has ever made. "Expect the Unexpected", however, is exactly what its name implies: something different. It's a slower, trudging song with brilliant vocal lines, seductive lyrics, and a weird factor of 10. It honestly reminds me of a Bowie song.

That brings up my primary observation on "Venus". I do believe that what makes this album sound so different is the 80's inspiration that I hear throughout it. You'll mainly hear it in the keys and some of the melodies, but the album overall has this over the top, grandly energetic vibe that matches my assessment of the 80's. Tracks like the absolutely glorious "Dream State of Mind" or even the title track have this proggy structure combined with heavy-soft rhythms that break into excellent instrumentals with very synthy synth and killer hooks. Other songs like "Moonlight Bride" put jazz front and center, but remind me more of Gerry Rafferty than anything else. Yes, I think the 80's are strong with this album, and that is probably why I cannot get enough of it.

My favorite tracks here are definitely "High Kite Ride", "Expect the Unexpected", "Dream State of Mind", and "I". "Venus" is an album, though, that feels like you have so much more to explore. The title track, for instance, will probably be my favorite at some point, as it is so deep musically that I'm still kinda figuring it all out. The tracks that stick out to me initially are the ones with the sublime instrumental portions, especially "I". While this song starts off a little slower, it slowly builds and then releases into one of the best instrumentals I've heard this year; complete with gravy keys, climactic riffs, and a sweet groove.

"Venus", then, cannot be recommended highly enough. It is the complete package: an anomaly in the sometimes stale world of progressive metal. Hemina know how to mix things around a bit and how to transition breathlessly from hefty portions to quiet pastoral musings. This album is a journey that you can feel, and it might even exhaust you due to the wealth of content and ideas. If you can appreciate jazz juxtaposed against djent and 80's fervor next to pastoral flutes, this is the album for you. It's easily one of the best this year.

 Nebulae by HEMINA album cover Studio Album, 2014
3.87 | 129 ratings

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Nebulae
Hemina Progressive Metal

Review by poito

2 stars When I reviewed SYNTHETIC, the first release by this Australian band, I concluded by wishing them to find their own signature in the future. That album consisted in a large blend of arrangements and effects from the Prog Metal catalog, nicely assembled as long tracks, a well-intentioned work, even impressive for a debut, but with little personality, nothing new in the scene. In this second NEBULAE the band did find a signature... but it is not of theirs. It truly seems a different band. They've enrolled in the growing list of Djent sounding bands, with that strong rhythmic line of quaquacks everywhere smashing your ears. All compositional effort they had cultivated so hard in the past is gone. Obviously making quaquacks is easier. Anyone can do that, guys. Too bad. This is music for teenagers of today. Tomorrow it'll vanish. The most interesting track is a sung duet ballad called Soulmates, off the line of the album. Some bits of good taste can still be appreciated in the closing track Otherworldly. What can I wish them for the next? Maybe, going back their steps and start all over again? Pity they turned the clay into a tourist shop figurine.
 Synthetic by HEMINA album cover Studio Album, 2012
3.94 | 217 ratings

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Synthetic
Hemina Progressive Metal

Review by poito

3 stars When listening to this Synthetic one can feel a strong effort in the blending of music derivatives from the Prog Metal shop, good guitar riffs, nice and varied melodies, some keys, enough changes of tempo, but in the end, nothing surprises you. I do not mean the album bores, for sure it doesn't, but you will not remember it for any original addition. The sounds are all in the catalog, so are the riffs, some changes of tempo are artificially brusque and could have been better worked out, the drums are standard rock, and some voices are thrown in the middle of the long tracks because they have to. The overall product is ok, but no fireworks this time. Let's wish Hemina will find a signature in the future, because they have the bricks. 3.5.
 Nebulae by HEMINA album cover Studio Album, 2014
3.87 | 129 ratings

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Nebulae
Hemina Progressive Metal

Review by BrufordFreak
Collaborator Jazz-Rock / Fusion / Canterbury Team

3 stars A return to 1982. Retro classic rock. The lovers of this album must have missed the music of the early 1980s. The sounds and feel of bands like Saga, Styx, Loverboy, 707, Poison, Kiss, Def Leppard, Iron Maiden, Quiet Riot, Megadeth, Van Halen, and, yes, even Michael Jackson are very present here. Granted, "Strength" comes at you from a more recent time with a harder edge to it (though the presence of the ghost of Thin Lizzy is very strong here), but the rest of the album left me waiting for something new, something revelatory of this band's mission. If it's merely to exalt in the glory of the aforementioned bands and/or to revive that approach, then count me out this time around. I liked a lot of it ("Before," "Lust," "Loss" and the epic, "Otherworldly"); I just don't feel the need to hear it anymore. A good album. No more no less. Certainly not essential. Not even something that I would recommend. But, as always, check it out for yourself. I'll be curious to see how many people are listening to this regularly ten years from now.
 Synthetic by HEMINA album cover Studio Album, 2012
3.94 | 217 ratings

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Synthetic
Hemina Progressive Metal

Review by Progrussia

4 stars In the trend to bring prog metal closer to the popular public (see Seventh Wonder, Sun Caged, etc) the Australian band Hemina represents probably the outmost edge, outdoing even the S.Wonder guys. The goal here is to cram as much sugarsweet melodies, teen heartthrob vocals, atmospheric breaks, songs about love-torn angels on top of pummelling riffs as possible with some death shout to boot (it is a strange world today indeed, where death shouts actually make the music more popular than not). The emphasis on melodies is actually kinda curious, since the band leader, Douglas Skene, looks on photos like a Klingon (tough, hairy aliens from Star Trek) :)

Anyway, its impressive still for a debut album to feature five not half bad songs over the 10-minute mark, although the transitions may seem a bit awkward at times, as well as several sugarsweet loud rockers meant to throw your fist in the air while holding on with the other hand to your girlfriend. If you are not allergic to bombast, you might as well check this one out.

Thanks to Dougie Skene and progmetalhead for the artist addition. and to rdtprog for the last updates

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