Monday, February 4, 2013

Hemisphery – Resurgiré (EP) (2013)

While metal is certainly a global phenomena, South America has added an overwhelming amount of passion into their version of the genre. Much like Venezuelan band Aphelium, the six piece progressive power metal outfit known as Hemisphery weave a healthy dose of "love for the game" attitude into their music. Hailing from Quito, Ecuador, and having less than a year under their belts as a band, it stands to reason that their three song EP be coated in a bright eyed optimism. But aside from just loving what they do, there is a high level of talent contained here, something that is on display sporadically throughout the fourteen minutes of guitar driven material on "Resurgiré." And while it may have it's ups and downs, the fast paced guitar work may be enough to carry them through.

It doesn't take long to find yourself tied in knots, as the opening seconds to "Resurgire" launches with bending strings and galloping drums. The use of synthesizers in the background ties all of the pieces together, allowing for screeching harmonics to add accent whenever possible. But as the vocals enter, they fail to echo that speed and precision at first. It isn't until the first screaming passage that they gain some of the necessary strength to keep pace. The guttural growls do wonders for the vocal line as a whole, with guitarist Jhonathan giving singer Roberto a needed boost. The keyboard and guitar work, however, need no help. They shred through verse and chorus with impeccable timing and melodic reach.
A smooth bass line guides the early moments of "Mi Libertad," padding by five note touches of the piano. Roberto begins to come into his own, finding his sweet spot in the more subdued instrumental. It is the solo work that steals the show here, with guitarist Miguel Angel running up and down the scales in a tremendous show of dexterity and tempo. Not the strongest effort of the three, but a solid one nonetheless. With a greater reliance on keyboards on "Despertar," you finally find a band reaching their full potential. There are elements of progressive power metal at play, showing their influences clearly. The production work is excellent in most places, but does suffer from a flat sound at times. An interesting duel between keys and guitars highlights a massive bridge section.

While it may not be perfect, Hemisphery have given us three tracks that best represents their talents, and their limits. It would be hard to find anything less than complementary to say about the instrumental work, which will continue to impress as their career progresses. The clean vocals, however, leave a small gap in the mix that, while fixable, can distract from the songwriting. If the vocalists, both clean and growling, can match the intensity of the music behind them, Hemisphery may have a recipe for success. Talent can come and go with time, something that even the best bands can attest to But the desire is something you can't manufacture or fake. And if they can translate that passion for the music into a full length album, then they can look back and "Resurgiré" and remember where it all began.


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