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HEMINA

Progressive Metal • Australia


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Hemina picture
Hemina biography
Founded in Sydney, Australia in 2008

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 ...
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NebulaeNebulae
Bird's Robe Records 2014
$19.29
$37.58 (used)
VenusVenus
JFK 2016
$22.95
SyntheticSynthetic
Nightmare 2012
$12.98
$10.26 (used)
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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)

3.95 | 231 ratings
Synthetic
2012
3.93 | 141 ratings
Nebulae
2014
3.89 | 97 ratings
Venus
2016
4.62 | 6 ratings
Night Echoes
2019

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 | 4 ratings
Haunting Me!
2012
4.50 | 2 ratings
Freedom
2014
5.00 | 2 ratings
Waikiki
2015
0.00 | 0 ratings
We Will
2019

HEMINA Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Night Echoes by HEMINA album cover Studio Album, 2019
4.62 | 6 ratings

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Night Echoes
Hemina Progressive Metal

Review by Toxteth Toaster

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 metal with a pop touch, some brooding and emotional acoustic laced music and a 3 song prog challenge to end the album. Despite it being not such a "prog" album, it holds up with Venus very well if you want a different flavour.

Kinda like Voyager meets Crosby, Stills and Nash.

Best track: In Technicolor

 Night Echoes by HEMINA album cover Studio Album, 2019
4.62 | 6 ratings

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Night Echoes
Hemina Progressive Metal

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.

 Night Echoes by HEMINA album cover Studio Album, 2019
4.62 | 6 ratings

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Night Echoes
Hemina Progressive Metal

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.

 Venus by HEMINA album cover Studio Album, 2016
3.89 | 97 ratings

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Venus
Hemina Progressive Metal

Review by lizzard

3 stars In my humble opinion, this album is too hard for prog rock. I am not the biggest fan of hard rock, but i believe it should also be based on some attractive themes if not melodies. Probably this topic is not the best target classification for this album and it is very likely that it deserves a 5 star rate in "hard core" or the like, but again I cannot get it as far as the prog rock is concerned. Please don't blame me for it, i have tried it twice - but no results, i simply cannot get it. I might be wrong, but even Rammstein have their core pieces where one can clearly see the pulsing nerve of the melody.
 Venus by HEMINA album cover Studio Album, 2016
3.89 | 97 ratings

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Venus
Hemina Progressive Metal

Review by BrufordFreak
Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

3 stars Not unlike the sounds and quick-change tempos of AN ENDLESS SPORADIC, this is over-processed, artifice in which manual performance or virtuosity seems to be virtually eliminated by computer programming, sequencing and editing. Horrible treatment of sound, voice and music. The heavily treated, digitally truncated and manipulated sound here grates my nerves and ears like the music of KANSAS, RUSH or HAKEN. I'm tired of being duped by modern production technologies. I can't tell if these musicians are accomplished or not because their sound is so manipulated. Give me the real thing, please!

Best songs: the diverse and interesting, 5. "Venus" (11:12) (9/10); the djenty, melodic, 8. "Starbreeze" (3:24) (9/10), and; the Jem Godfrey/FROST*-like 11. "Down Will Come Baby" (12:10) (8/10).

A solid three star album; good but non-essential.

 Venus by HEMINA album cover Studio Album, 2016
3.89 | 97 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
3.89 | 97 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
3.89 | 97 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
3.89 | 97 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
3.89 | 97 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.

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

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