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NIGHT ECHOES

Hemina

Progressive Metal


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Hemina Night Echoes album cover
4.36 | 15 ratings | 4 reviews | 40% 5 stars

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Studio Album, released in 2019

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. The Only Way (5:27)
2. What's the Catch? (3:24)
3. We Will (4:04)
4. One Short (3:52)
5. Flat (5:39)
6. Everything Unsaid (1:39)
7. Nostalgia (5:57)
8. In Technicolour (9:33)
9. Flicker (6:07)

Total Time: 45:42

Line-up / Musicians

- Douglas Skene / vocals, guitar, keyboards, production & mixing
- Mitch Coull / guitar, vocals
- Jessica Martin / bass, vocals
- Nathan McMahon / drums, percussion, vocals

With:
- Phill Eltakchi / vocals (4)
- Selin Akbaşoğulları / vocals (6)
- Tom de Wit, Shane Ian Leadbeater, Harrisen Walden, Mairead Walden, Lachlan Arvidson, Simon Bowles, Luke Delbridge, Radina Dimcheva, Jay Orr, Jevginiy Kasputin, Rico Kallirgos, Daniel Straka, Mark Ashby, Fernando Segundo, Bart Sluis and Aaron Austin / gang vocals
- Reece Denton / xylophone & ocarina (5), gang vocals
- Dean Bennison / slide guitar (9)
- Anthony Stewart / musical box (8), gang vocals

Releases information

Artwork: Dominique van Helsen

Self-Released on August 9, 2019

Available at https://hemina.bandcamp.com

Thanks to black_diamond for the addition
and to TCat for the last updates
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Buy HEMINA Night Echoes Music


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NebulaeNebulae
Bird's Robe Records 2014
$14.16
SyntheticSynthetic
Nightmare 2012
$17.98
$12.00 (used)
VenusVenus
JFK 2016
$22.95


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HEMINA Night Echoes ratings distribution


4.36
(15 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(40%)
40%
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(40%)
40%
Good, but non-essential (7%)
7%
Collectors/fans only (13%)
13%
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)
0%

HEMINA Night Echoes reviews


Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by TCat
COLLABORATOR Eclectic Team
4 stars "Hemina" is a progressive metal band from Australia formed in 2008 by Douglas Skene. As of August of 2009, the have released 4 full length albums and a few EPs. In August of 2019, their fourth album "Night Echoes" was released. Skene (vocals, guitar, keyboards) remains with the band from the first album along with Mitch Coull (guitar and vocals) and Jessica Martin (bass, vocals). Joining them is Natahn McMahon on drums, percussion and vocals). There are several guests supplying "gang vocals" and a few other guests including past member Phill Eltakchi doing vocals for one of the tracks. The album is a concept album involving a story of a young man dealing with the death of his father while trying to get through adolescence. There are 9 tracks and the album has a total run time of over 45 minutes.

"The Only Way" (5:27) paves the way for the album with the complex, heavy, and guitar laden sound that you expect from a progressive metal band, the tempo upbeat and a nice complexity that isn't overbearing. The use of the "gang" vocals is a good addition as it really adds to the story well. The vocals are very good and emotional, with a section where they come near to screaming, but don't quite reach that point. "What's the Catch?" (3:24) continues this same sound, but is less complex and more straightforward, but the upbeat, heavy sound continues, while "We Will" (4:04) brings back more complexity and also adds a nice layer of synths. The vocals continue to be emotional and some shouting is involved in the heavier sections of the track.

"One Short" (3:02) features the vocals of past member Phill Eltakchi on the only track he is featured on in this album. This track has a poppier feel to it, but the layers of vocals are nice and I find that gang chorus that appears in several of the tracks a nice addition that really helps the story move along and really ties the tracks together. "Flat" (5:39) begins by taking out all of the heavy noise and simply using soft acoustic guitar, atmospheric percussion (mostly cymbal rolls, etc.) and softer vocals. A two minutes, the ballad style continues, but the full band comes in with added heaviness of guitars. The vocals reach an emotional high before the instrumental break adds in a nice guitar solo, then more of the gang chorus comes in before the music pulls back again to the softer sound. "Everything Unsaid" (1:39) features a guest vocalist adding harmony to the regular vocalist with accompanying acoustic guitar. It's a nice intermediary track.

"Nostalgia" (5:57) brings back some complexity to the melody, but stays away from full bore heaviness with the guitars content to just add riff driven back ground to the lyric heavy track. When it does reach an instrumental break, things stay pretty safe as a short guitar solo soon brings back the vocals. "In Technicolour" (9:33) starts with a soft keyboard passage which is soon interrupted with some heavier guitars and some nice development eventually bringing in the vocals. Jessica's vocals are quite apparent in certain sections as her vocals stand out in the chorus sections on this track, and that along with the gang vocal section adds some more depth to the album. "Flicker" (6:07) brings back some of the energy in the vocals and a bit more heaviness, but still seems somewhat lightweight for a metal sound. Jessica's vocals also stand out on this track at certain points and the track is a bit more progressive, but it lacks that "umph factor" that you would hope for in a ending track, and it kind of leaves you hanging.

The album has a certain amount of depth that helps to retain one's interest through the album, and the vocals are also well done, and that keeps the album moving along. Whether this interest carries through after repeated listenings is the question. While the album is definitely well written and contains some great music, it isn't highly progressive, though there are some progressive traits to it, only time will tell if it can continue to hold interest over a year or two of repeated plays. Both Prog and Metal lovers might end up wishing for a little bit of both aspects, yet those aspects are there. As for this album, it probably leans more in the Heavy Prog or Crossover Prog genres. Still, the biggest question is whether it has the staying power for most people. For now, it seems to fall around 3.5 stars, but can be rounded up to 4 because of the great production and the depth brought on by the gang vocal sections.

Review by Second Life Syndrome
PROG REVIEWER
5 stars 9/10: Originally written for theprogmind.com

I have been following Hemina since their 2012 debut "Synthetic", and what a ride it has been! I honestly have a hard time believing it has been that long. The band is back with a stylish new album entitled "Night Echoes", and, even considering the quality of all their releases, this album is definitely going to be the one that I return to the most. The album releases on August 9th.

Hemina hails from Australia, and they are part of the lively prog scene down under. The line up includes Douglas Skene on vocals, guitars, and keyboards; Mitch Coull on guitars and vocals; Jessica Martin on bass and vocals; and Nathan McMahon on drums, percussion, and vocals. You will notice that all four members are credited with vocals, and we will explore that later.

The music here is progressive metal, though there are plenty of curve balls, too. Hemina has always offered a highly cinematic, highly melodic progressive metal with lush vocal harmonies. Some of their albums feel like films, complete with climaxes and loads of depth. This album continues that tradition, but feels even more influenced by pop, funk, soul, blues, and even electronic music. While the cover might make it seem like Hemina has gone 70s/80s on us, I would argue that they have already been there since the beginning, at least in the vocal melodies, but I would also point out that the 80s tropes you might expect are not present. This album is far more creative and masterfully crafted than to resort to clichés.

"Night Echoes", then, has plenty of riffs for the metalheads, and they are deep and dark riffs, too. But the album has so much more to offer than that. It is also catchy, quirky, and beautiful. It focuses less on mind-bending time signatures this time, and more on rich composition. You can hear the abundance of the melodies hanging in the air around you while you listen. The band often pairs these towering melodies with shadowy vox and dark riffs to fantastic effect, too.

Douglas proves once again that he is one of my favorite vocalists. His vocals are rich no matter the tone, and his high range is absolutely insane! However, like with their other albums but also somehow more noticeably here, the rest of the band sings and produces harmonies that really make this album what it is. Whether it is crowd singing, funk harmonies, or balladic duets, this album is made even more poetic and sophisticated by the interplay between the band's voices.

"Night Echoes" addresses the story of a boy who is living through his adolescent years after the suicidal death of his father. You can hear the pain, the memories, and the longing throughout the album, and I think the title is fitting. It is also their shortest album, to my knowledge, clocking in at about 44 minutes in length. I believe that is a good thing and makes this album even stronger.

There are many songs that deserve mention here. Some just have a fantastic chorus and are simply fun to hear. "The Only Way" and "We Will" are both great examples of that, as well as of the wonderful melodies the band is offering this time. Other songs have a distinct funk vibe to them, as Hemina has done somewhat in the past. "One Short" and "Nostalgia" fall into that category, and I love hearing them.

My favorites, though, are "Flat", "In Technicolour", and "Flicker". "Flat" starts as a gorgeous ballad that feels incredibly lush and melodic, and it transitions with some wonderful vocal fireworks into soulful solos and atmospheric synth. "In Technicolour" has a giant sound with myriad tones, fantastic atmosphere, and a bit of an 80s power ballad feeling to it. "Flicker" ends the album superbly. We get to hear a high-energy song that ends with Douglas' irresistible vocal musings that are both haunting and striking.

Overall, Hemina really went out on a limb with this one, and it pays off well. I absolutely love the melodies, the approachability, and the genius pairing of various textures and tones. Hemina has simultaneously become more accessible and also more complex and eclectic. It seems like the band is gelling more and more as time passes, and so I only expect even greater things from them in the future.

Review by AtomicCrimsonRush
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Symphonic Team
4 stars

Australian prog rockers Hemina have released in 2019 their fourth album "Night Echoes" and it is a welcome return to the heavier sound of their back catalogue. Previous releases are "Synthetic" 2011, "Nebulae" 2014, and "Venus" 2016, all of which are excellent examples of Heavy Prog at its finest. The Australian quartet consist of Douglas Skene, Vocals, Guitars and Keyboards; Mitch Coull, Guitars and Vocals; Jessica Martin, Bass and Vocals; and Nathan McMahon, Drums, Percussion and Vocals. Their influences are as diverse as the music, but you can expect sounds along the vein of Pain of Salvation, and Haken. Hemina have toured with an incredible array of prog giants such as Uriah Heep, Kamelot, Apocalyptica, Queensryche, and will be opening for Haken. They have shared the stage with Australian legends Caligula's Horse, Breaking Orbit and Divine Ascension, among others.

Hemina prefer to let their music tell the story but they present a conceptual framework and all their albums bring forth a narrative that grabs the listener and seems to unfold on subsequent listens like an existential adventure. The main protagonists differ with each album and are nameless, perhaps due to the fact that they may represent us as we delve into the soundscape, and we can relate to certain aspects of the characters in some way. The characters undertake some personal trauma and we come along with them on the journey from darkness to light. From isolation to inner conflict, the characters are prisoners and victims of abuse, but they are given a mode of escape with the hope of a new accepting family. The Female protagonist on "Nebulae" and "Venus" is indeed the wife of the central character from "Synthetic", so there is a definite connection to all the albums. "Night Echoes" continues to echo these themes. It is ten years following the tragic suicide of the protagonist's father, and he is finding it difficult to cope with the past, lapsing into a manic depressive state, and a loss of identity. On the borderlands of a breakdown, the adolescent struggles with self esteem and the closure he desires and need to break away from this prison of guilt seems further and further out of reach. These are heavy dark themes but the hope for redemption or reconciliation is always there, but will it be too late for the protagonist or will they find an escape from this crisis?

Out of the gates, The Only Way introduces a melodic metal guitar and some mesmirising vocals with clean harmonies that sweep us along at the beginning of the journey. This is followed by a fractured riff on What's The Catch? "Are you waiting?" is the question asked. A blistering lead break augments the atmosphere and soars into a high register till it cuts out suddenly. We Will follows with a spacey synthwave sound till it is joined by a crunching riff and aggressive vocals. There are some death metal growls on this too to enhance the aggression, sounding like Devin Townsend. The guitars are choppy and the rhythm breaks and jolts. A definite highlight on the album, We Will has some intense time sig changes and a superb melody that kicks it along.

One Short is a genuine oddity, with a blues flavour intro, until it unleashes into a metal guitar riff. I really like the vocals as you can hear the words and it helps to grab hold of the conceptual story; "Most folks I know like to try before they buy, its just a fact of life." Guitarist Mitch Coull states, "The standout tracks... are ones such as The Only Way, which blends that 90's rock sound within the progressions and One Short with that pure soul emphasis. One might say it's a departure from the sounds of "Venus" but, at the very essence of it all, the grooving metal is still there."

Flat opens with sparse acoustic vibrations and a soft soulful vocal. This is a gentle breeze after the more intense blasts of metal. Percussion joins with bass and synth washes to generate a calming atmosphere. It finally unloads into heavier distorted guitars and fast double kick drums, with screeching vocals and a scorching lead break. For me this is another highlight on the album, featuring some powerhouse vocals and a complex rhythmic structure.

Everything Unsaid is an acoustic piece with strong harmonies, short and to the point. Nostalgia soon follows, with atmospheric keys and then a catchy riff; the vocals here remind me of the Dream Theater style. The protagonist reminisces about the good times in the past; "I have been guilty of living in the past" to the simpler times. But will that be enough to get him out of the present situation? It is unlikely but the hope remains. There are some great drum flourishes before a lead break takes over, then some bass soloing; a genuine instrumental workout by Hemina in full flight.

In Technicolour opens with a creepy music box and what sounds like a vinyl record playing in its end groove. A strong metal guitar riff smashes through and some 80s retro synth lines. Then it locks into a broken rhythm and a lead guitar intro. The contemplative vocals are again clean and speak of the break in the father and son connection, and the need for closure "If I could only just say goodbye". The outro is beautiful harmonies over acoustics, "In a world full of colour, a boy without a father." Another outstanding track from Hemina is the result.

Flicker closes the album with a melodic metal sound, and a syncopated rhythm that switches time signatures throughout, perhaps one of the more complex songs on offer. It is always nice to hear Jessica's vocals too as she adds so much depth to the harmonies. More great lead breaks from Skene are woven into the tapestry, and it changes mood from urgent to emotionally spent, echoing the mood swings of the protagonist who is trying to come to terms with his identity crisis. The vocals are incredible, with hurt cries of mercy and soulful pleadings that bring the album to an end.

"Night Echoes" is another solid release from Hemina and the songs grow on you with each listen. The musicianship is excellent and there are some outstanding tracks aforementioned. There are no lengthy suites this time around and the album is less intricate or complex in structure, and it a shorter album than their lengthy opus, "Venus". Perhaps that makes this album more accessible for the average rock fan which may not be a bad thing, depending on how you like your prog served up. However I longed for more of the instrumental workouts and progressive wizardry of masterful "Venus" and "Nebulae". This album comes recommended for those who enjoy melodic prog metal, and for those who love to delve headlong into concept albums. I look forward to further albums from this great Australian Prog metal band, Hemina.

Latest members reviews

5 stars Another record from my favourite Australian group. I am always on the promo list which makes me excited as a little surprise every 2 years or so. This album cuts out some of the long prog epics which I am a bit sad about but it is replaced by an album with 3 distinct movements of upbeat prog met ... (read more)

Report this review (#2243517) | Posted by Toxteth Toaster | Tuesday, August 13, 2019 | Review Permanlink

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