Hemina @ The Factory Floor, Marrickville NSW Australia 19/08/2017 written by Brendan Lewis
“dicks out, balls out” Thats what guitarist and “lead larrikin” Mitch said to expect at Hemina’s
shows when I interviewed him before the show. Something tells me tonight will be a wild night,
that I don’t want to be standing too close to Mitch for!
Normally you’d expect a band to head straight into the first song or two to grab people’s attention
straight away, before talking to the crowd at a gig. Progressive-metal rough-nuts Hemina however,
aren’t normal. The band start the show by saying hi to the audience and explaining how the
bands’ name is actually pronounced “just pretend you’re Italian with your hand up ah, Hemina
man” …you totally get it now aye? Along with lead vocalist Doug, and guitarist Mitch bouncing
humour off one another relaxing the audience and engaging them as if they were playing to a
room filled with their best mates, before tearing into their opening song off their latest album,
With its explosive, high-tempo intro with thunderous guitar rifts, carried by a cloud of harmonies,
before the lightning of Doug’s melodic vocals strikes the audience, made ‘Fantasy’ a perfect
opening for the night! Just like lightning shines through a storm, the levels for Doug’s vocals were
set to stand out and float above the music in perfect harmony. It was obvious the sound mixer
knew the bands sound, and knew how to compliment it well.
After engaging the audience once more while they re-tuned their guitars, the second song
‘Nightlives’ followed suit in showcasing melodic hooks and solos that metal-music wouldn’t be
without, plus some incredible spine tingling soaring vocals from Doug accompanied by Jess and
Mitch’s backing vocals, filled the room and just like a clap of thunder you didn’t see coming, sent
euphoric tingles through everyone not just me I’m sure.
After some more trademark Hemina humour, the next song made me get lost in my own ‘Dream
State Of Mind’ with its appropriate contrast from the previous two power-house hits, with its
slower tempo and “dream-like” synthesiser melody hook. Even with a nice contrast balancing out
the set, this song did still feature the shredding guitar/bass rifts and solos like any metal song has,
plus the addition of some fierce growling vocals near the songs finish.
The next song simply followed suit from the previous songs in extravagance, which brings me to
the audience… they’re still…. too still. There was definitely no shortage of energy coming off the
stage as the band have all been rocking out whilst performing this whole time, the audience really
reminded me of the White Walkers from Game Of Thrones, silent, still, faithful servants fixated on
their master awaiting to be called upon. As surprising as the stationary crowd was, it was good to
see… feel that everyone were focused on the music, not partying.
The next track ‘Moonlight Bride’ off their latest album ‘Venus’ began with the band practicing/
making sure they had the right sounds disguised perfectly as just teasing the crowd before
charging into the storm of 80’s-metal style guitar melodies, and varying drum beats to add the
progressive element to this catchy song. The song also featured some wildly cheered for by the
audience, vocals and an in-sync solo of guitars, striking a roaring cheer from the audience. The insync
guitar solo from Doug and Mitch was a brilliant display of well-practiced team work and was
a stand out factor for me.
Next, the band explain that “the next song is long and hard, so there’s potential for f***-ups”,
eloquently said guys. Said song which did not feature any at least noticeable stuff-ups, ‘Down Will
Come Baby’ was quite long and had a massive instrumental intro that would surely cramp the
guitar/bass playing band members’ fingers. This was far from boring though, as my ear detected
some major-chords in parts, giving a nice contrast to the typical minor-chord dominated metal
genre, and if my ears are correct, some nifty key changes spicing things up and making it
interesting. If my ears aren’t correct however, it means the band have managed to create some
impressive dramatic changes yet flowing smoothly from one to another, whilst in the one key
which would be a talent in itself.
The band thank the audience for coming out before they embark on their trip overseas, before the
final two songs off their latest album ‘The Collective Unconscious’ and ‘Secret’s Safe’. ‘The
Collective Unconscious’ played host to Doug’s vocals that reminded me of HIM’s Ville Valo in the
Hemina @ The Factory Floor Marrickville 19/08/2017
way of them being deep and hauntingly beautiful. ‘Secret’s Safe’ finally, consisted of both
growling and clean vocals further demonstrating Doug’s vocal diversity, plus a bridge section
worthy of head banging to (which I would’ve probably done if I wasn’t fixated on the music).
Dynamic, melodic, epic, fun, thats how I’d summarise this show. Honestly, the only things I’d
suggest need improving on is making the grand finale a little less sudden. The typical technique of
thanking the audience and announcing this is the last song may be typical, but its effective in
raising suspenseful hype and preparing the audience for one last hurrah, which I think the band
should adopt. Apart from that, these power-house larrikins are greatly under-appreciated for their
talent and put on a hell of a show!