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NEBULAE

Hemina

Progressive Metal


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Hemina Nebulae album cover
3.87 | 134 ratings | 12 reviews | 16% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection


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Studio Album, released in 2014

Songs / Tracks Listing


1. Before
2. Nightlives
3. Freedom
4. Lust
5. Soulmates
6. Strength
7. Loss
8. Hope
9. Promise
10. Otherworldly



Lyrics

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Music tabs (tablatures)

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Line-up / Musicians



- Douglas Skene / Acoustic and Electric Guitars and Lead Vocals
- Mitch Coull / Acoustic and Electric Guitars and Vocals
- Jessica Martin / Bass Guitar and Vocals
- Phill Eltakchi / Keyboards and Vocals

Thanks to Second Life Syndrome for the addition
and to Conor Fynes for the last updates
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HEMINA Nebulae ratings distribution


3.87
(134 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(16%)
16%
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(27%)
27%
Good, but non-essential (30%)
30%
Collectors/fans only (21%)
21%
Poor. Only for completionists (5%)
5%

HEMINA Nebulae reviews


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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Second Life Syndrome
PROG REVIEWER
5 stars I've heard from several sources that 2014 has been a great year for progressive metal. Yet, I can count the releases I've really enjoyed on one hand! Enter Hemina. This Aussie band released an amazingly complex grower of an album a few years back wherein they combined brutal riffs with incredibly spacey keys. Well, these guys (and gal) are back with "Nebulae", and they have upped their game in every imaginable way, too.

Hemina loves concept albums, and, for the first way they have improved, I feel like their album concept is stronger and particularly more concise. "Nebulae" is a story about apathy and meaninglessness giving way to love and fullness of joy. You can certainly feel the love between the two primary vocalists, Douglas and Jessica (lovers in real life). If there is one emotion that hits the listener hard between the eyes, it is the palpable love that simply flows from the passion and lyrics in this album. I must take a moment, however, and talk about the pure quality of the vocalists here. Douglas has the voice of an angel. Huge highs and groovy lows are nothing for him, and his voice is tinged with a quality that is so sincere and so real. Jessica, his counterpart, also has an extremely melodic voice. Hearing these two sing together is a real treat that no one should miss, especially when their voices are so strong in the mix.

Yet, the music is equally noteworthy. Again, we get brutal, inventive riffs from Douglas and Mitch, plus we are treated to the best keys I've heard so far in 2014. Phill's keys twirl and swirl in, out, and around the guitar play, creating a sense of elation and fullness of sound. On top of this foundation, though, the band goes out on a limb here and there, such as in the amazing song "Lust", which dabbles in 70's funk and also showcases Jessica's great bass skills. From their dark fascinations in "Freedom" and their depictions of shallowness in "Nightlives" to their powerful epic "Strength" and the ballad "Soulmates", this album is endowed with richness, deliberate pacing, and clear inspiration. As "Nebulae" was originally meant to be an EP, the band must have really stumbled onto some great ideas somewhere. It has really paid off in spades.

My favorite tracks are definitely "Lust" and "Strength", and for entirely different reasons. While the former has amazing groove and headbang-ability, the latter has the spacey theatrics that I was truly hoping for in this album. I'm honestly flabbergasted by this album, and I can't really think of anything bad to say about it. If anything, the album could have been a little shorter, but that's nitpicking at best. "Nebulae" has joined the very few progressive metal albums in 2014 that have impressed me at all, and it has joined one other album (Distorted Harmony's "Chain Reaction") in the list of prog metal albums that have been truly outstanding this year. This is a must-hear for metal fans and rock fans alike, as both will find complexity, melody, and memorability herein. Thanks to the band for the promotional copy.

4.5 stars

Review by AtomicCrimsonRush
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Symphonic Team
5 stars Hemina, Australia's answer to Dream Theater, have released their second album and it is a genuine delight. Hemina released an excellent album in 2012 "Synthetic" that really impressed me with its blend of metal and spacey musicianship. It is an album I would recommend to the prog metal fan who does not like to be constantly bombarded with speedy riffs, over produced complexity or death growls, and recommended for those who love haunting atmospheres, compelling lyrics, strong melodies and virtuoso arrangements.

This followup album "Nebulae" is again a blend of crunching metal riffs juxtaposed with melodic keyboards and soul wrenching vocals. The vocals, as previous, are in the accomplished hands of Douglas Skene and his loved one Jessica Martin. Douglas is a busy guitarist, with involvement in a variety of other Prog related projects, and with Hemina he is able to shine with some fret melting lead breaks and killer riffs. His vocals always remind me of the type heard on Pain of Salvation albums, indeed the band are similar to the sound of Kamelot or Symphony X in places, and Jessica's vocals may remind some of After Forever or Nightwish at times. It is a clear tone and easy on the ears, with easily recognizable lyrics. Jessica's vocals enhance the sound, with beautiful resonance and haunting clarity. I believe an angelic voice can soothe the soul, and in the same way as is heard on many Ayreon albums, the addition of a female vocalist is always a welcome sound after a lot of male vocals. It balances out all the heaviness of aggressive guitar riffs and pounding drums. Jessica plays bass also and this strikes out effectively with some outstanding keyboards by Phill Eltakchi. The whole sound is fleshed out by Mitch Coull, also adept on acoustic and electric guitars, and plays some blindingly brilliant lead solos.

The lyrics are important in understanding the conceptual ideas behind the album. Each song is given a one word title and follows an emotional journey of searching in the darkness of despair and coming out of the night with a sense of hope and one final promise. On the way the protagonist has to battle the trials we all face but in the struggles there is strength leading to building up of character, and through strength of character comes hope. Then there is the literal meaning that has a science fiction element, but one can interpret this as they choose such is the ambiguity of the concept, and this is one of the drawcards of Hemina. Douglas Skene describes the concept as being centered around "lucid dreaming and the exploration of possible worlds dominated solely by particular human emotions and experiences in isolation. It's about the search for transcendence through love and the desire to be loved."

The journey begins with 'Before', the lyrics hinting at the dreamscape concept; "I thought true love would make it easy if we played our parts, two souls hovering, floating, gliding for a counterpart". The music builds gradually and then breaks into a lone keyboard seguing seamlessly into 'Nightlives'. A multi tracked vocal is heard as a wild guitar phrase crunches along a forced percussion figure. The lyrics centre on the lucid dreaming; "In my waking world I can't walk through these walls, or feed my hands to each other, oh, eye to eye with my watch face, to me its flickering, lucidly I forge my nebulae." The latter lyric is sung with an aggressive growl, though the majority of vocals are clean and harmonised with multi tracked voices. Douglas Skene is in his element on this album, really powering out some excellent vocals. There are sudden bursts of sound in an ambient section that has a dramatic effect. A keyboard and lead guitar solo rounds off this indelible highlight, making this a great start to the album.

'Freedom' cranks along a genuine metal blast beat rhythm, with provocative lyrics; "set the masses free and destroy minority". Some forced growls sounding like Devin Townsend are heard in places to great effect. I particularly love the jagged guitar rhythms. This one really grows on you after a few listens and the lead break is absolutely killer, reverbs, delays and huge string bends, merging into a frenetic keyboard solo. Coull's lead guitar playing is a speed blur of frenetic picking and up sweeps. A final effect of a helicopter and air raid siren adds to the concept.

'Lust' surprises with a funkadelic groove reminiscent of late 70s Disco. Jessica has fun playfully plucking out a bassline that comes straight out of the Earth Wind and Fire Museum of funky bass hooks. The sound works as the song is about lust, and what can be more lustful than 70s porno funk grooves? A salacious hook locks in as chaotic percussion and bass warbles about. It's nice to hear Jessica passionately duet with Douglas. The lyrics are compelling focussing on unrequited love; "I picked you out from across the room in this white light, so bright." The soothing keyboards are counterbalanced by heavy passages of guitar, though the music is always allowed to breathe. The music is a testament to the innovative creative talents from the group that were only hinted at in the debut. The band go into full flight on this track and plunge deep into the steamy waters of quirky pop and dance at times, strange bedfellows I agree but Hemina make it work somehow.

'Soulmates' is a calming atmospheric track reverberating with acoustic vibrations. There is a romantic sense of mystery in the lyrics; "walking together, growing strong, amidst this void we found our call". The song floats on an air of keyboards and acoustics as vocals caress the spaces between, with some of Douglas Skene's best work and Jessica answers with emotive angst. The singing is exceptional on this album, and I particularly love how Jessica and Douglas are able to balance each other's styles on soulful, melancholy songs such as 'Soulmates'; it is truly beautiful. The twin lead break is also awesome with howling string bends and fast fingering echoing the turgid romance in the lyrics.

'Strength' follows, with staccato meat cleaver chops of metal chunks blasting over manic synths. This is a heavy song after the previous melancholia. In the lead break there is a fractured rhythm and some blazing riffs with duel guitar playing. The keys chime in with sweeping washes of string pads as the pacey rhythm gallops along in contrast. After more singing a stunning lead break takes the song out, with a flurry of speed trills and lightning fingering. The lyrics are mysterious and draw one in; "I head to unseen waters toward a light that is lovingly familiar, a figure glimmers in the distant sunset, the me I'd dreamed of with a little more strength."

'Loss' keeps a steady rhythm with metal distortion and a strong melody. The lyrics are intriguing; "I want to thank you for sparing me the years or empty hope, strung along for what seemed like a legacy". The melody is difficult to capture but there is so much happening at such a frenetic pace that it does not matter. The guitars are complemented by huge cloudbursts of synth.

'Hope' jumps along an odd meter with forceful passionate vocals that are the dominant force here, with some enticing lyrics, "my world a sphere of ice and me its cold insides, stars warm my heart the distant nebulae." An ambient opening warms up 'Promise'; a song with an optimistic note. The metal blasts are prevalent soon as Jessica and Douglas sing "promise me you'll try eternally, I need someone who will grow." The shattered rhythms are jarring to the ear and there is an ascending melody, and a soothing outro.

'Otherworldly' takes things out with Hammond sounds and a raucous chorus; "through the wormhole and rise to another frame, frame of reference free of a world of blame." The song takes some twists and turns with sudden departures in volume and pace, quiet reflective moments concluding the conflict in the concept; "reach down inside and realise what you've lost, it's simple to find if you've even got a heart." A choppy riff is heard over a fast keyboard phrase. Some very powerful vocals follow, and it breaks into a classical piano passage, then the grinding metal riffs return, fracturing time signatures, and a final spoken narrative section over ethereal keyboards. The sheer force of musical virtuosity is astonishing on this album.

A new project "Venus" is still in the pipeline and hopefully will see the light of day in the near future, but till then "Nebulae" will continue to excite listeners with accomplished musicianship and mesmirising themes. There are throughout adventurous basslines and sporadic blitzing drums. The dynamic lead guitar breaks and keyboard flourishes are incredible. Hemina inject odd time sigs and intricate layers of instruments to create some remarkable musical compositions. Overall "Nebulae" is yet another solid release from Hemina that delivers outstanding prog metal on a plate served up with a slice of funk, diced up with distorted guitar riffs and a nice garnish of spacey atmospheres wrapped around a concept of lucid dreaming and the exploration of emotions.

Review by BrufordFreak
COLLABORATOR Jazz-Rock / Fusion / Canterbury Team
3 stars A return to 1982. Retro classic rock. The lovers of this album must have missed the music of the early 1980s. The sounds and feel of bands like Saga, Styx, Loverboy, 707, Poison, Kiss, Def Leppard, Iron Maiden, Quiet Riot, Megadeth, Van Halen, and, yes, even Michael Jackson are very present here. Granted, "Strength" comes at you from a more recent time with a harder edge to it (though the presence of the ghost of Thin Lizzy is very strong here), but the rest of the album left me waiting for something new, something revelatory of this band's mission. If it's merely to exalt in the glory of the aforementioned bands and/or to revive that approach, then count me out this time around. I liked a lot of it ("Before," "Lust," "Loss" and the epic, "Otherworldly"); I just don't feel the need to hear it anymore. A good album. No more no less. Certainly not essential. Not even something that I would recommend. But, as always, check it out for yourself. I'll be curious to see how many people are listening to this regularly ten years from now.

Latest members reviews

2 stars When I reviewed SYNTHETIC, the first release by this Australian band, I concluded by wishing them to find their own signature in the future. That album consisted in a large blend of arrangements and effects from the Prog Metal catalog, nicely assembled as long tracks, a well-intentioned work, even i ... (read more)

Report this review (#1579503) | Posted by poito | Thursday, June 16, 2016 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Hemina, the unsung heroes of Australian progressive music, have done it again and released an album worthy of consideration and comparison alongside their more well known contemporaries. Their sophomore major release, Nebulae, is loaded from start to finish with equal parts melody, musicianshi ... (read more)

Report this review (#1266021) | Posted by Chines | Tuesday, September 2, 2014 | Review Permanlink

5 stars On the one hand, you could say that the second album from Hemina is more accessible than the first. Which it is. But, on the other hand, there is so much packed into this mighty opus that you could easily find yourself a little dizzy after the first hearing. Like all good prog, the deepest rewards ... (read more)

Report this review (#1265979) | Posted by BugsyEdwards | Monday, September 1, 2014 | Review Permanlink

5 stars "Chunks of thorns and dreams" This album is truly representative of a tormented soul. "Paint me something grander" Improving upon the guitar rhythms of "Synthetic" . "The Nebulous warmth of a world far away" A truly worthwhile progressive album that hasn't been seen so much as of late ... (read more)

Report this review (#1265972) | Posted by Introspekrieg | Monday, September 1, 2014 | Review Permanlink

3 stars Once when I wanted to write about Hemina, inadvertently Femina came out from my "pen". Femina is a word that Soviet people familiar with popular Western culture used in the same way that the word "babe" is used in English. Anyway, I can see why this band may hold cross-gender appeal. This is bombast ... (read more)

Report this review (#1265145) | Posted by Progrussia | Saturday, August 30, 2014 | Review Permanlink

5 stars With Nebulae, Hemina build upon and polish the strong foundation of progressive metal that was their debut album Synthetic while progressing their sound in almost every way. The result is a heartfelt and accomplished record that further cements their position as a premier Australian progressiv ... (read more)

Report this review (#1253756) | Posted by Contemptible | Tuesday, August 19, 2014 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Well I got a review copy for the album and it whilst I was enjoying it overall it was rubbing me the wrong way in parts. Mainly because I think Lust was a bit jarring and I didn't know about the reuse of a b side from a single but I have put it out of my mind now and this is a masterpiece. The vocal ... (read more)

Report this review (#1219797) | Posted by Toxteth Toaster | Tuesday, July 22, 2014 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Something of a departure in style but equally as exciting as what "Synthetic" had to offer. I thought the debut was very special considering the quality of the EP that came before and the big step up it made. This is a whole new level of sheen. Where Synthetic lacked like in the drums that wer ... (read more)

Report this review (#1218739) | Posted by ProgolateCookie | Monday, July 21, 2014 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Hemina first appeared on my radar back in 2012 with its skillful debut album Synthetic, which I had the pleasure of reviewing, and enjoyed quite a bit. The album had its issues, and Hemina became a "band with unrealized potential." With 2014's Nebulae, an album that started as an EP and expand ... (read more)

Report this review (#1211389) | Posted by Daggor | Friday, July 11, 2014 | Review Permanlink

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