Haemic is a rather interesting band I might not have heard about otherwise, but guitarist Ray Heberer was gracious enough to post a link to the band's bandcamp on TZEEEAC's Facebook page, so here we are, I guess. Haemic is a collaboration between several musicians in different parts of the world: Adam Farkas (composition, programming) is from Hungary, vocalist and lyricist Mitchell Shinderman lives in the US and 17 year-old Ray Heberer currently resides in Taiwan. The band has its roots in a series of songs Adam Farkas wrote and recorded on synth years ago. After uploading them on YouTube, Heberer contacted Farkas and they started re-recording the songs with Heberer playing guitar. Later, the line-up was completed with Shinderman, whom the two also found on YouTube. Thus, Haemic's debut album came to be. The end.
Wait, no, I haven't told you anything about the music. Fields of Sanguine is a pretty difficult nut to crack, as it combines a slew of different metal genres into one, big, mind-fucking pot of sonic madness. At its core, the music is decidedly symphonic black metal, kind of in the vein of early Emperor and Limbonic Art, as the copious amounts of tremolo-picking, melodic leads and orchestral synth work would indicate. Other songs, though, seem to veer towards a more technical death metal approach, with intricate riffing, lots of sweep-picking and blast beats, while also introducing plenty of progressive and neoclassical guitar fiddling. Most of the guitar work, in fact, is pretty damn impressive. Despite his age, Ray Heberer certainly knows his way around a guitar and is perfectly capable of melting faces with his frantic shredding. The songwriting is also strong - the songs are skillfully crafted and effortlessly move through various tempo changes, always keeping things fresh and interesting. Mitchell Shinderman does a decent job providing vocals for this release, him being the one cloaking the music in a grim black metal atmosphere with his reverb-drenched growls. Bonus points go to the keyboard synths that permeate this release - they're beautiful, they're tastefully done and they never overpower the music, instead augmenting it and contributing to the lush atmosphere. My only gripe with this album is the drum programming because they sound weak and are never quite up to par with the rest of the instruments. The snare sound is particularly annoying, but thankfully, the drums are lower in the mix, so they're not detracting too much from the overall experience. The production quality is way better than you'd expect from three dudes recording their music at home. The album has a definite bedroom black metal aura to it, though, which I think is part of its charm. BEDROOM BLACK METAL IST KRIEG!
Featuring eleven songs and clocking in at a total of one hour and five minutes (including five instrumental versions), Fields of Sanguine is a consistent album and one that warrants multiple listens, as there's so much going on at all times that you can't absorb it all in one sitting. Luckily, Haemic are offering the album for free on bandcamp, so head on over there and give their debut album a listen. I think you'll be in a for a nice surprise.