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Hemera – Black Rain

Black Rain
by Dave "That Metal Guy" Campbell at 29 August 2021, 11:19 AM

OK people, let’s try to at least keep up to date roster on the bands you have…no Facebook, no Bandcamp, a “could be” entry on The Metal Archives…but it shows an older band with no activity for years…even their record label did not have any information on the band. It’s billed as Progressive/Symphonic Metal. Oh well, what is a reviewer to do? Let’s get to the music…that’s what. The title track leads off the album. String and tender female vocals open the album. The main riff hits and the vocalist stretches out. The accents are heavy, but the rhythm section is just a bit thin. It’s a fairly sad song overall, or a song of longing.

“Mary’s Silence” opens with some light symphonic sounds as well as some electronica. It cut to the chorus just a bit too quickly, which is rich and full of texture. The verses are again just a bit thin for me. They don’t really use the vocalist as much as they could so far. She has a charming voice but never really cuts loose. The guitarist shows why this is a signed band…man can he play! “27” is a shorter song with a thicker rhythm section…now this is what I am talking about. Heavy, bossy rhythms combine with the symphonic elements just perfectly. “Mimosa” features a more laid-back and sexy sound. One thing I appreciate so far is the equal doses of vocals, guitars, and (presumably) keys (or samples)…one does not overpower the other. Towards the end, the band shows some dexterity with meter shifting and another fantastic guitar solo.

“Tik Tok” is another shorter song…heavy out of the gates…along with some melodies. I like the guitar effects in the verses. This time, the vocals come with a (male) companion who has a raspier voice. This is a perplexing album so far…at times, they really hit the nail on the head when it comes to melodies, while other times they are still reaching. “Grace” is the longest song on the album, at just over seven-minutes in length. It begins with some light electronica, and then the main riff drops. This song is chocked full of catchy melodies, and the phrasing is spot on. “Break the Game” opens with light, dreamy vocals and lead guitar carrying the opening melody. Bass thumps away behind the scenes. It’s another winner, and could be on the radio, or at the very least, the first single on the album.

“Love Frame” begins with sultry tones, and some risqué lyrics. It swings with the presence of the blues. It stands out from the other songs on the album…perhaps a bit sappy but the sentiment seems genuine. “Black Rain Pt. 2” closes the album…in a reprise from the opening track. Is it the same track with some additional instrumentation? It appears to be the case…perhaps a better remake of the original which may have been from a previous album. In any case, it’s a fitting closer.

The album got better as it advanced. At first, I was afraid it would be mired in overly thin rhythms, but they really seemed to hit their stride after the first couple tracks, scoring one catchy song after another. The lead guitarist is fantastic. He moves with the speed of a mongoose, flying up and down the fretboard without missing a note. The rest of the band are no slouches either. But if this is indeed the band from Venezuela that formed in 2004 and never released a debut album (though I don't think it is), this first one does come with some questions (why now, for example?), but it’s a winner nonetheless.

Songwriting: 8
Musicianship: 8
Memorability: 8
Production: 8

4 Star Rating

1. Black Rain
2. Mary’s Silence
3. 27
4. Mimosa
5. Tik Tok
6. Grace
7. Break the Game
8. Love Frame
9. Black Rain Pt. 2
Cristina Valenti – Vocals
Gianluca Ferro – Guitars, Programming
Record Label: Underground Symphony Records


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