HEMINA – Romancing the Ether (2023)

HEMINA - Romancing the Ether (2023) - full

HEMINA are a 4 piece progressive metal band from Sydney, Australia. The band’s sound has been described as a unique combination of hard hitting syncopated grooves, lush synth backwashes, multi-part vocal harmonies, memorable leads with a focus on songwriting and emotion.
Romancing the Ether” is their new album released today, their fifth, and after a listen honestly we wonder why they aren’t more popular since they have many features of the much-loved Australian progressive metal scene. This is a greatly elaborated piece of music transcending the prog metal territory, and at places, truly captivating.
The band plays a hefty and technical progressive metal however never boring, always with a surprise – and over all, plenty of melodies and a pristine production / mix. This record is a concise, imaginative, and beautifully conceived version of their sound.

”Romancing the Ether” has an interesting structure, too. It is technically only one track that lasts 35 minutes.
The band has opted to include the 6 portions of the song as individual singles, too, so you get both versions when you buy it. I think that’s smart because there are some huge hooks here that listeners might want to revisit without hearing the whole album.

The first movement is as full of melodies as it is hardened, metal, and the lead guitars sing to you. They use piano, keyboards, guitars, and tender vocals to carry the opening sound.
The second movement ‘Strike Four’ is full of just about everything. Take the meter for example. They are constantly shifting the pace so that you have to listen closer to follow it, and that allows you to take in the full breadth of their musicianship. The music itself has a main line of melody, but explores liberally a juggernaut of various sounds, and everything is enhanced by Douglas Skene’s vast vocal range. Harmonies abound as well, both in the vocals and the guitar leads.

A transition to a more charming sound takes us to the next movement, with an equal dose of vocals from female bassist Jessica Martin and Doug. Take a listen to those keyboards and chugging rhythms as the song transitions to a more aggressive sound. I hear some glorious QUEEN in the vocal harmonies that follow as well.
The transitions from emotional and introspective musings to ardent passages of shredding guitar leads are seamless at times. JOURNEY vibes come through when he sings the lines “show me your love, show me your life,” and chills spontaneously appear. This early crescendo is something snatched out of the innocence of childhood, if you follow me. Another transition is headed our way…as the clouds grey and the mood darkens.

Jessica’s vocals lead the charge, and they are somewhere between psychedelic moans and painful memories of the past. Never content to remain in one place for too long, spacey keyboards and chugging rhythms carry us through some tense moments to the next movement. “I’m pretty sure I don’t believe there’s a God up there in the constellations” they declare, and further add “sheepishly, I look to the sky just to see your star.”
Those vocal harmonies are gorgeous. In comes a more hopeful sounding push to the final movement, and they unleash the full power of glorious melodies, offering the listener a few plates beyond the level of their hunger, which you eagerly ravish. I want these final minutes to last forever.

On “Romancing the Ether,” HEMINA show us intricate and sophisticated songwriting, plenty of melody. The band is much more than prog metal, as said. Yes, the metal is fire here, but you’ll hear New Wave-ish passages, live orchestrations, choral vocals, Middle Eastern vibes, and even an electronic portion that break things up and make everything feel alive and vibrant.
This is an extremely entertaining and yet meaningful release, and I hope new listeners will give it a shot.
Highly Recommended


01 – Romancing the Ether
02 – Intention (Romancing the Ether, Pt. 1)
03 – Strike Four (Romancing the Ether, Pt. 2)
04 – Embraced by Clouds (Romancing the Ether, Pt. 3)
05 – Dissolution (Romancing the Ether, Pt. 4)
06 – Revelations (Romancing the Ether, Pt. 5)
07 – Integration (Romancing the Ether, Pt. 6)

Douglas Skene – Vocals, Guitar, Keyboards
Mitch Coull – Guitar, Vocals
Jessica Martin – Bass, Vocals
Nathan McMahon – Drums, Vocals



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