For Fans Of
It is easy in our endless critiques of heavy music to focus on the abrasive, loud, and angry elements that seemingly make up the metal stereotype. The very definition of the genre is in essence predicated, and equally defined by its confronting, bitter and overt tones. That is why, anything that offers a more ambient, moody and progressive resonance is at times a refreshing change – even an affirming one.
New South Wales quintet Hemina’s debut EP ‘As We Know It’, mixed by Lord Tim of namesake local outfit Lord, in a blanket sense is decent but not faultless. However, are EP’s ever intended to be anything more? Amid weaknesses, we want to see promise and in this case, thankfully there is obvious effort present.
Like most EP’s, ‘As We Know It’ is a little jaded and raw but still contains enough balance and variety not to deter. While the studio album is marked more harshly, an EP is essentially analysed on the virtue of potential rather that output. Using this general rule as a loose guide, we see ‘As We Know It’ as a five track musical assortment that has both its ups and downs. Yes, there are indifferent moments but the beauty here is that the mundane periods are matched by enjoyable and notable moments similarly.
‘With What I See’ is arguably the best presentation of the band’s sound. A piano introduction, swaying rhythm, and dark yet accessible feel makes the song a strong point. Concurrently, ‘And Now to Find a Friend’ is the marathon of the EP clocking in at over ten minutes (as history suggests, it would not be a progressive metal release without a long track). While, contrastively the album is bookended by intro and outro tracks.
Progressive music is inherently a tough game to crack. The technique, level of musicality and subsequent execution is magnified. At times to ridiculous and unattainable levels. Just listen to any Dream Theater or Rush musical passage and you soon realise that inferiority is understandable in comparison to the said acts.
‘As We Know It’ is a more involved listen – not one to crank in brief spurts. Some good bits, some average bits but nevertheless thereabouts. What you take out of it is purely up to individual opinion.
‘As We Know It’ is clear enough to warrant a second listen and bodes well for the band going forward. Fundamentally, though, this EP is intended more as a precursor for future endeavours rather than one planned to have a strong and lasting impact.
1. Lonesome Angel
2. And Now to Find a Friend
3. For All Wrong Reasons
4. With What I See
5. The Hunt