Led by Anubis guitarist Douglas Skene, Hemina delivers their first full length epic, Synthetic. Here's nearly 80 minutes of traditional melodic progressive metal from the land down under.
Wading through this lengthy album may be a challenge for some, especially those who are easily put off by prog's excess or extravagance. Those who venture on will be rewarded with, yes, extravagant, but also impressive and entertaining music. A point in case is the lush anthem For All Wrong Reasons. It has that certain texture and melody encourages repeated spins.
Of course, with prog, big is always better, usually. Synthetic offer three massive songs: To Conceive a Plan, And Now to Find a Friend, and the closer Divine. These things offer the typical Dream Theater-style grandeur and glory. Well that's rather expected on a trad prog project, some of the best pieces are the shorter ones such as Even in Heaven, Haunting Me, and The Boy is Dead, although later still clocks in a nine minutes.
Notable is the musicianship, especially the stunning guitar work by Skene and Mitch Coull. Even better is the breadth and depth of the vocal arrangements, with every band member contributing. Bassist Jessica Martin's voice adds delightful timbre to many songs, especially the aforementioned For All Wrong Reasons. Finally, and perhaps the best characteristic, there's no attempts at modern nuances like adding death vocals.
Hemina's Synthetic may be massive and extravagant, but that simple makes it a tour-de-force of melodic progressive metal. Quite recommended.