Don’t you just love it when you stumble on a hidden gem? That recently happened to me. By chance I found out about a Chicago band called HEMI. I am really upset with myself for not hearing about these guys earlier. I took some time to listen to their 2014 release titled “Undivided Intentions”. If you have had your fill of those musicians that can only use 10% of the fret board, look no further. Astatine Music has our hooks on a good one.
In the opening song “Nevermore” all of the instruments compliment each other incredibly well. The guitar parts were made for one another. The drums and bass line sound like old school British Metal on speed. It really sets the tone for an aggressive, in your face, take no prisoners metal album. Your not going to find this “whiny” metal, or what I call lazy metal, here. That is not to say, however, that there isn’t a melodic side to HEMI. A short-but-sweet instrumental song titled “ Premeditate”, featuring a layered electric lead accompanied by an elegant acoustic line. As the song fades out there is the sound of wind blowing, letting you know that the calm is soon over. Cello and piano open “Larry’s Song”, but that is the front face of the storm to come. It becomes one of the more aggressive songs on Undivided Intentions. Larry, this larger than life character who takes what he wants and does what he pleases, is prefaced by two of the most classical and beautiful instruments that man has ever created. The additional instruments give more depth to the music. As much as I bleed metal, I do appreciate it when a band can seamlessly insert these instruments in a metal song. The vocals lead me to believe that Bruce Dickinson, somewhere along the way, had an influence on vocalist Trent Zuberi. It’s not a plagiarized version of Mr. Dickinson, but rather a great coincidence that makes me remember the first time I heard “Number of the Beast”.
With wicked tempo changes, lightning solos and what sounds to be an appearance by Satan himself on backing vocals in “Dust To Dust”, you will be left wishing the six song album was only half over. Unfortunately, it is only 6 tracks long. You may find it easier to just put it on repeat.
Go here to buy this album: http://www.hemimusic.com/merchandise_music.html
Trent Zuberi : Bass and Vocals
Tim Wilkens : Guitar
Mike Cieplik : Drums
Bottom line is, if you like the feel and the musicianship of old school metal, you should get this one. I know you won’t be disappointed. The boys are gearing up for a tour and writing new material. Keep posted to Astatine Music for the latest news on HEMI. Keep Rocking!!