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HEMINA

Progressive Metal • Australia


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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)


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SyntheticSynthetic
Nightmare 2012
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HEMINA discography


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

3.97 | 202 ratings
Synthetic
2012

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)

3.76 | 19 ratings
As We Know It
2010
4.00 | 1 ratings
Haunting Me!
2012

HEMINA Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Synthetic by HEMINA album cover Studio Album, 2012
3.97 | 202 ratings

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Synthetic
Hemina Progressive Metal

Review by praj912

4 stars I hate to name drop, but sometimes that gets people interested.... Hemina's first album is an excellent blend of most of the good prog metal bands from the last 10 years. Pain of Salvation, Symphony X, Kamelot, etc, but they don't really sound like any of them. Before I go on, I love the guitar solos on this album. Most are exemplary and rank up there with anything. It keeps me coming back. Quality. There's a lot of of atmospehrics, but also a lot of interesting riffs which really keep things interesting. Dougie's vocals on this are great, he sounds a bit young-ish, but the range is there and the tone will only get better. The album starts strong with "To Conceive a Plan", an 11 minute epic with everthing you need, speed, riffs, melody, solos. "The Boy is Dead" starts ominously before grinding into a heavy riff, very powerful, with a flurry of keyboards over the top. The song is a mix of heavy and epheral interludes which just adds to the impact. There's a nice harmony solos before a tasty lead and climactic ending. "For All the Wrong Reasons" is a mostly acoustic ballad and has a great melody, again building to a powerful ending and tasteful solo. "And Now to Find a Friend" cranks it up again, it has all the trademarks of progressive speed metal before slowing to an atmospheeric interlude with a great keyboard solo. The song then kicks off again with a great riff. "With What I See" is a great little power metal riffing rocker, tasty riffs and complexity with a relatively simple rhythm. Great solo. "Hunting is for Women" is different track, computerised, syncopated, driven by melody. "Even in Heaven" brings back the speed and kicks out some great solos, guitar and keyboard. The interlude "Conduit to the Sky" leads into "Haunted Me" which is the main single. A strong track with a lot going on for a single, nice harmony solo and harmonies. "Divine" finishes the album in style, a crunching 13 minute epic, with lots of changes, speed metal, atmospheric metal, lots of superb solos.

Great album, there's a lot of talent in this band, they will probably progress beyond the metal a bit more in their next album, but there's lots of things worthwhile listening to on this one,

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 Synthetic by HEMINA album cover Studio Album, 2012
3.97 | 202 ratings

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Synthetic
Hemina Progressive Metal

Review by bonestorm

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.

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 Synthetic by HEMINA album cover Studio Album, 2012
3.97 | 202 ratings

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Synthetic
Hemina Progressive Metal

Review by Conor Fynes
Prog Reviewer

4 stars 'Synthetic' - Hemina (8/10)

Hemina are part of what I might call the 'progressive metal revival'. Sure, the genre has enjoyed a steady supply of new albums each year, but it's only been relatively lately where I've noticed some of the younger bands stepping up to the plate and coming out with some really excellent music. Among others, Haken from the UK, Circus Maximus from Norway, and Distorted Harmony from Israel come to mind. Along with Caligula's Horse, Hemina is the Australian continent's contribution to this trend, and while it may not be a complete toppling of what has come before in progressive metal, there is no mistaking this style's rejuvenated modernity. "Synthetic" suffers from a few of the setbacks that generally come with an ambitious band first spreading their wings on a full length, but listeners can expect to hear some remarkable progressive metal from Hemina, now and in the coming years.

Hemina was first noticed by the progressive metal community with their self-released EP, "For All We Know". It wasn't long before they started making waves and sowed anticipation among listeners. Fans of that debut will recognize a few songs on "Synthetic"; "For All Wrong Reasons", "With What I See", and "And Now to Find a Friend" have each been given a new layer of shine for this full length. Despite a relatively short two year gap, Hemina have really widened the scope of their sound. Although their somewhat-trademark blend of Dream Theater-style prog metal and emotionally driven power metal is here, Hemina throw in electronic ambiance and even some jazz into what they do on "Synthetic".

Sure, I'd imagine most veteran prog metallers would be rolling their eyes around the time Dream Theater is mentioned as an influence, but Hemina come across as a relatively fresh-sounding act. Like many of their contemporaries in this prog metal 'renaissance', Hemina make their mark by incorporating powerful melodies, not in the traditionally bland 'arena rock' sort of way, but rather in the same sense that a classical composer would paint a hook into his craft. Vocalist Douglas Skene's voice fits the sound perfectly; I'd compare him (favourably) to Roy Kahn's quasi-operatic tenor in Kamelot. With the exception of drummer Andrew Craig (who is presumably too busy backing up the band with his intricate rhythms), every member of the band offers vocals in some capacity. Sadly, the prospect of a heavy metal barbershop quartet is wasted, but the warm voicework in Hemina gives "Synthetic" a warmth that helps bridge that gap between the logical and emotional sides of appreciation that progressive metal infamously so often foregoes.

"Synthetic" has some great songs on it- "And Now to Find a Friend" sounded great on the EP, and it sounds even better here- a prog metal powerhouse with plenty of twists and emotion to it. "For All Wrong Reasons" is a nice melodic reprieve from the otherwise prog- heavy bombast. However, while "Synthetic" is generally consistent and lacks anything I'd call 'filler', the near-eighty minute length feels like it could have used some cutting down. For all of its melodic sensibility, Hemina are a fairly cerebral experience, and taking in so much in one sitting can serve to take away from the enjoyment. Although Hemina have sharpened up their studio craft since "For All We Know", the production here still sounds a little dull; the atmospheric keyboards sound somewhat hollow in parts, and the guitars don't always sound like they're given the proper air to breathe. Luckily, Hemina focus largely on their greatest strength- the vocal aspect. "Synthetic" is a powerful mix of technical riffs and beautiful melodies, and it's no surprise that these guys have been receiving such good press in the prog world lately. At this point, Hemina feel like a band with much to offer, perhaps too much for their own good so early in the game. With this debut, they have delivered enough to get me excited, yet left enough room for improvement to make whatever second album that may come an even greater feat. I'm looking forward to it!

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 Synthetic by HEMINA album cover Studio Album, 2012
3.97 | 202 ratings

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Synthetic
Hemina Progressive Metal

Review by Warthur
Prog Reviewer

4 stars On their debut album Hemina offer a novel variety of progressive metal which provides the band with a unique sound. It draws on both symphonic prog-inspired and space rock- influenced varieties of progressive metal, but it's more sonically aggressive than Dream Theater or Fates Warning and more theatrical than post-In Absentia Porcupine Tree. Carving out their own little niche, Hemina take us through a wild and varied ride which crucially shows them to be masters of atmosphere and emotional resonance as well as technical chops, which saves them from falling into the trap of producing overproduced and emotionally sterile material which is always a danger in the prog metal field. I wouldn't call it the instant classic others have proclaimed it as, but it's certainly a high-quality debut which has made me excited about prog metal again - and in particular, excited to see what Hemina do next.

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 Synthetic by HEMINA album cover Studio Album, 2012
3.97 | 202 ratings

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Synthetic
Hemina Progressive Metal

Review by J-Man
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Hailing from Australia is Hemina, a five-piece progressive metal act that strikes an impressive balance between classic prog metal, heavy modern influences, and dynamic touches reminiscent of the best progressive music from the seventies'. The band gained some attention for their 2010 EP, As We Know It, but their 2012 full-length, Synthetic, has actually received quite a bit of hype and recognition from the progressive rock and metal communities. And with good reason, I might add. Clocking in at roughly 80 minutes, this ambitious concept album is jam-packed with absolutely killer and surprisingly unique prog metal; Synthetic is the sort of album that fans of the genre will not want to pass up on. This is just a damn good album across the board, and I have a feeling that we'll be hearing a lot more from Hemina in the future.

The majority of the music that's played on Synthetic is what I tend to look for in modern progressive metal - dynamic songwriting, stunning instrumentals, memorable choruses, and killer riffs. Hemina provides the listener with all of these things, but they do so in a way that is entirely their own. Rather than borrowing all of these tricks from established veterans like Dream Theater, Fates Warning, and Ayreon, Hemina puts these key traits in a more unique setting that sets them apart from other progressive metal acts. The end result is an album that sounds familiar and accessible to any prog metal veteran, but still contains enough original twists to keep it from feeling like a re-hash of something already done twenty years ago. Hemina leans towards the more theatrical and dynamic style of progressive metal played by acts like Pain of Salvation, Ayreon, Vanden Plas, and Evergrey, but you should also expect plenty of Dream Theater-influenced virtuosity, spacey sections reminiscent of Pink Floyd, melodic prog metal in the vein of Anubis Gate, and even some influences from modern thrash and power metal. Synthetic is not the kind of album that will sound polarizing to any progressive metal listener, but it packs enough variety to feel fresh and unique.

Of course, none of this would mean anything if Hemina didn't also impress from a compositional standpoint, but the band also excels on this front. For an album that's nearly eighty minutes long, it's a bit surprising that Synthetic is entirely void of any filler tracks. The ten-plus minute epic tracks like "To Conceive A Plan", "And Now To Find a Friend", and "Divine" may steal the show for some listeners, but many of the shorter songs are also masterpieces in their own right. Songs like "With What I See" or "Hunting Is For Women" especially strike me as an exceptional prog metal pieces that veer on the shorter side. In terms of musicianship, Hemina also delivers much more than expected; the band is exceptionally talented across the board, and some of the guitar solos (especially the one in "Divine") are just jaw-dropping. I could see Douglas Skene's vocals being an acquired taste for some, but I personally love his singing style. He sounds a bit like Ray Alder (of Fates Warning and Redemption fame) to these ears, which is definitely not a bad thing in my opinion.

The only minor complaint I have with the album is that the production is less than ideal - the mix feels a bit compressed, and (pardon the pun) the drums also have a 'synthetic' sound to them. A slightly less overdone production style would have impressed me, but this is the sort of flaw that's really easy to overlook in favor of excellent music. Synthetic is a virtually faultless debut album from Hemina; certainly not the kind of album that's easy to follow up. I'll be eagerly awaiting the band's next move, and in the meantime, I'll recommend this stunning debut to anybody who enjoy bands like Pain of Salvation, Ayreon, Redemption, Anubis Gate, Evergrey, Vanden Plas, and Dream Theater. Synthetic is undoubtedly one of the best debut efforts to come out within the last few years.

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 Synthetic by HEMINA album cover Studio Album, 2012
3.97 | 202 ratings

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Synthetic
Hemina Progressive Metal

Review by voliveira

5 stars 10/10

A promising band that presents a nice and fresh material from progressive metal!

I'm happy to gain access to the band's debut album Hemina, entitled Synthetic - mainly because I do not disappoint! The truth is that not long ago I heard a piece of progressive metal so good and convincing, and the same can be said of Ephemeral Sunīs album intitled Harvest Aorta, which I heard a lot these days too. Immediately point out that what is being offered here is not 100% original - many places will send the listener to known names with Dream Theater, Symphony X, Ayreon, Pink Floyd - but Hemin offers us a sound so powerful and creative you have to admire your effort.

It is rare to see a brilliant debut album as well, but Synthetic is a exception. The band leader is Douglas Skeene, the neo-prog band Anubis (which also got curious about), here is the vocalist, lead guitarist and keyboardist occasionally. I have deep admiration for this man,his guitar work is strong, your vocals are great (especially in the treble) and keyboard (in union with keyboardist di facto Phil Eltakchi) and fills the atmosphere of this album, with strong and varied solos , which are probably my preferred embodiment here!

There are some negatives, I inform. I personally hate growls though they are scarce and can not really like them. And at times the album seems to lack ideas and drags a bit, which is evidenced in Hunting for Women and Even in Heaven. These however are some exceptions. Overall Synthetic is fabulous and inspired, and all songs are excellent (there are positives in even the two I mentioned). The absolute highlights are the epic To Conceive a Plan, And Now to Find a Friend and Divine, and The Boy is fantastic and exciting To All Dead Wrong Reasons (my gateway to the universe of Hemina).

5 stars for this masterpiece! 2012 promises to be a great year!

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 Synthetic by HEMINA album cover Studio Album, 2012
3.97 | 202 ratings

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Synthetic
Hemina Progressive Metal

Review by Proglizzard

5 stars ..."and not every album you enjoy will be a perfect masterpiece" warns the pop up after I assign a 5 star rating. Indeed that is true yet this album is a indeed a masterpiece. It's just simply perfect.

All of the elements that I love about progressive music are present in this album; the cinematic feel, the complicated songs full of twists, the solos and the dark back story. This album has all of these elements but does not over indulge in any of them, thus making is epic and interesting without ever sounding cheesy.

The songs vary significantly over the 80 minute effort from heavy, dark sounding riffs of Even in heaven to acoustic interludes of For all the wrong reasons. Douglas Skene's vocals go up like an eagle (or a pigeon to the blade to be more specific) and down to the smothering bass of Peter Steele. Both of the guitarists are fantastic, very technically proficient, without loosing emotion even in the fastest of sections. The drums patterns are interesting and the bass breaks away from the mentality of "just follow the guitar" and creates interesting counter melodies. Finally, the mixing of this album is crystal clear and well defined. The guitar tone is warm and organic, the snare drum is to die for the keyboards are fantastic both at the clear defined synth and the ambient atmospheric sounds and the bass is nice and high in the mix.

This is the best prog album that has left the shores of Australia. A must listen, you will not regret this purchase.

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 As We Know It by HEMINA album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 2010
3.76 | 19 ratings

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As We Know It
Hemina Progressive Metal

Review by Epignosis
Special Collaborator Eclectic Prog Team

4 stars Following a brisk atmospheric opening with thick, surprising vocal harmonies, one may expect a progressive metal onslaught, but this doesn't happen outright, as the band teases with a bright acoustic passage first. The band relies on a charging rhythm section, dual electric guitars, and a typical synthesizer lead. The proper metal music, particularly the vocals, makes me think of Blue Oyster Cult if they were a progressive metal band. The bass guitarist makes her presence known- I love the tone and the performance. The dual lead guitar is satisfying, as are all the guitars. The male vocalist reminds me of Incubus. The third song is acoustic and almost Enchant-like, as the vocalist is similar to Ted Leonard. The fourth is a more typical progressive metal song, but nonetheless engaging. The lead guitar playing is extremely tasteful, not indulgent, but not boring either, and once again, knowledgeable about dual lead in an impressive way. The last piece is a Neo-prog lullaby. Frankly, this is a dynamic and eclectic progressive metal EP that is extremely well-crafted; I like this as well as Dream Theater, for what it's worth.

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 Synthetic by HEMINA album cover Studio Album, 2012
3.97 | 202 ratings

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Synthetic
Hemina Progressive Metal

Review by PearlJus

5 stars I'm really glad to see all the positive hype this album is getting. I am new to the review game and it's rare to find the marriage between Classic Prog and Metal like this in 2012. I get tired of all the busy riffing that counterparts of the genre bring nowadays. I was especially disappointed by the Arch Matheos project which had such possibility but was ruined with pretentious odd meter riffs that sound recyled from Awake-era Dream Theater.

Hemina doesn't mess about with anything too technical (and I could imagine this would bring them down at times in some peoples eyes) and you really have to sit it out and let the CD take you away. Sure this album might not be for fans of modern metal who just like to be slammed in the chest, this is Metal at its most artistic. I don't really know any other Progressive bands from Australia other than Unitopia, however I think I must be checking out this band Arcane which is the only band to be trumping them on the archives at the moment.

I have had this on repeat with TMV's new one since I got them. Brilliant stuff!

*****

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 Synthetic by HEMINA album cover Studio Album, 2012
3.97 | 202 ratings

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Synthetic
Hemina Progressive Metal

Review by BugsyEdwards

5 stars I totally agree with what the 5 star reviewers have already said about Hemina What I want to do is add a different point. What I REALLY like about this album is the feeling of being 'in' on these guys from the beginning. There's going to be a whole raft of people climbing on board the momentum that Hemina are going to build. You watch, there'll be good people raving about album 3, album 4, and we will ask them - newly converted - if they remember when Synthetic came out?

You and me will. Think of all the guys you wish you'd tracked from the start. Then keep an eye on Hemina.

In fact, make sure you're across the EP that heralded this album. The magnificent and mighty opener 'Lonesome Angel' does not appear on Synthetic and it's a 'must have'. And it just shows that these guys have "sauce in the bottle" to spare (thank you Jack Black).

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Thanks to Dougie Skene and progmetalhead for the artist addition.

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