All the way from Los Angeles we bring you a delicious prog rock project that allows its highly talented members to unleash their anger, gratitude, anguish and triumphs. In doing so, they’ve created a mesmerising combination of prog, rock and metal, with funky electronica thrown in for good measure, that, in their words, is ‘plain earth shattering.’
Hyvmine started out as a concept that saw Al Joseph introducing vocals to his solo guitar music. After gaining approval from his manager, he went about seeking out local LA talent with the aim of putting together a band, and discovered guitarist Alon Mei-Tal and bassist Chris Joseph. They’ve since more than met Al’s initial aim, and he tells us: “After that our plan was to simply seek and destroy.”
The latest offering of this melodic yet powerful rock destruction is three-track EP Fight or Flight, which tells a story of aliens coming to attack us in more than half an hour of prog epicness.
It opens up in fine style with Coup De Grace, which begins electronic beeps that dive into a big chunky guitar riff then a dreamy laid-back opening verse with stabbing guitars in the background. The vocals pick up in intensity in the second verse with dabbles of electronic goodness forming an intriguing backdrop. After a third round everything drops out a bar a repeating bassline, then the stabby guitars return and feed into a mysterious mix of raindrop electro droplets and heavy guitars, then a huge guitar solo or three.
Next is ten-minute journey The Epicoustic, which begins with an acoustic opening verse that picks up gradually and gives way to a heavier guitar lick. A really cool jumpy guitar riff follows, then stabs of heavy chords continue alongside funky bursts of electro noise as vocals enter the fray. A big cry of “Trust the betrayers, I’m gonna leave this war and bite the hand that feeds” gives way to more big guitar chords, then palm-muted guitars support more intense vocals before really cool vocals take over before giving way to the more singalong chorus.
More palm-muted guitars bridge into a wild, ridiculously good guitar solo that drops into a repeating riff and pounding drums that continue under a cool flittering solo, then a more hard-hitting prog guitar section. Watch an insanely good guitar playthrough of the track below.
The EP closes out with its longest track, the mere 12:31 Feather Bed. A floaty electro noise kicks off then booing techno blasts come in under relaxed vocals supported by an increasingly tense backdrop. A delicious guitar solo suddenly kicks in alongside the stabby electro sounds and big cymbals, then drops into high-pitched drawn-out vocals and electro bursts. Then the pace picks up with palm-muted guitars and more intense vocals, then a heavy whack of guitars slowly swings into play before dropping into the chilled vocals again.
It feels like they’re teasing us with the prospect of an almighty smash of rockiness, which arrives with cries of “Start the ignition” that bring in low-tuned guitar chords and pounding drums with the electro noises still in situ. Thick thwacks of bass are soon joined by low-tuned guitar then a funky wandering burst of guitar gives way to the return of the laid-back vocals.
At seven minutes in a few guitar solos give way to a really cool descending then swiftly ascending guitar lick that repeats multiple times, then drops into a more relaxed section and finally kicks into a mix of powerful vocals and driving guitars. The track defines the truly exciting prog goodness that Hyvmine bring us, which keeps you constantly on your toes never knowing what’s coming next. Check it out below:
On the EP, Al tells us: “I think people should expect a whole lot of Prog. When we sought out to put this project together our main mission was to leave the gloves off and write the most passionate, melodic, technically driven music we could given our diverse taste and styles.
“What influences me mainly to write music is melody. Topics to me are sort of secondary but very important obviously. When I write lyrics I write about whatever is on my mind. I try to avoid having an agenda because it usually waters down the message. But I write about a lot of things like love, purpose, spirituality, and sometimes more of a political view.
The guys recently gave a shout-out to Britain’s own Bury Tomorrow on their Facebook page, on which they told us: “Thanks for actually noticing that post and mentioning that! I really think there needs to be more overall awareness for this specific band. They have it all – amazing hooks, melodies, perfect soloing and each song just varies to the next – so what else could you possibly want? Fucking cool music and hopefully we get a chance to share a festival stage with them at some point!”
They’re also the first band we’ve featured from LA, so we asked Al for his thoughts on the city’s metal scene. He said: “I find the LA metal seems to be quite extreme. You’re either full-on metal or into something a little more fusion. I think the artists and musicians over here in LA do a nice job in doing what they do.”
There’s plenty more to come from Hyvmine, with the guys preparing to hunker down and start working on their second full-length record. Al adds: “We’ve gotten such a great response from Earthquake so far we just can’t wait to give our fans more. In the meantime, we will also be working on little projects every now and then: covers and a lot of fun things but for the most part, this next full length is the key to 2019.”