Artist of the Month – July 2019: HYVMINE

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They say, in order to get somewhere in the music industry you have to work hard.  Most musicians take that lightly and use it as a fun past time.  Then there are the ones who take that motto as gospel and work their asses off.  Hyvmine fits into the second category and have been very busy these past two years. Founder Al Joseph and company are planning to release their second full length album on July 12.  This will be their third release in approx a year and a half.

In March 2017 Hyvmine creator, Al Joseph, released an instrumental prog album called All of Creation.  It was not too long after the release that his new manager/publicist encouraged him to branch out from his virtuoso guitar-work and sing again.  Joseph had spent time singing in a previous project, The Hyperion, which had not made it to fruition.  Entertaining this new idea, he would start with a song from his solo instrumental album, a track called “Shogun.” Thus, Hyvmine was born!

Joseph ended up taking four tracks from his solo album and redoing them with his vocals over top.  Then he wrote six more for what would become Hyvmine‘s debut album, Earthquake, which was released later that year in December.  The album features 10 tracks that would appeal to metal fans as well as prog fans on an accessible level.  It is full of huge riffs, smoothly blended prog moments topped off with strong vocals.  Joseph draws inspiration from vocalists like prog legends Russell Allen and James Labrie, all the way to post-grunge influenced vocalists like Dave Grohl and Scott Stapp. Combining these influences into his own blend of dynamic vocal approach, he comes out with a solid style of his own that truly fits Hyvmine‘s vibe.

From here Joseph, guitarist Alon Mei-Tai, drummer Felipe Guzman and his brother, Chris Joseph, on the low end, would spend a number of months touring in support of the album.  This included being a part of Angel Vivaldi‘s 2018 spring tour.   During this time they began writing new material with the band having established a groove playing with each other.  The result would become the second release, a 3 song ep totally 32 minutes.  Released on July 13, Fight or Flight is an epic progressive offering made by progressive metal fans for progressive metal fans.  A concept album telling a harrowing tale of a global invasion and the difficult choice of ‘do I run and hide or do I stand and fight’?

Just when you think Hyvmine might take a writing break and ride the wave of two releases in an eight month period, a new single arrived before the end of the year.  “Retaliation” was presented early December 2018 and would find the band getting back to the shorter song length, less in your face prog, more accessible approach we saw in Earthquake.  This would become the title track of their second full length album to be released on July 12, one year after the release of Fight or Flight.

Somewhere in here there grew some issues with the members of the band which resulted in a reformation.  Joseph remains at the helm and is now joined by Andy Frederick on guitar and Yas Nomura playing bass.  Currently Hyvmine are seeking the right person to jump behind the kit, but that’s not stopping this musical force.

Retaliation (album) features nine new songs (title track making 10) and sees the band getting even heavier without losing the sing-a-bility of the music.  In this album we can hear a project that has found it’s footing and is launching itself forward with force and groove.  Musically, Retaliation is louder and more aggressive than previous Hyvmine material.  On a vocal level, you can tell that Joseph has found his place in the forefront of this band and is branching out the approaches he is using, trying new sounds.

The second single, and second music video by the band, “Assassins,” features shots of the members playing, and a dramatic scene with front-man Joseph playing two different characters.  From there we see Joseph trying to get away from his masked self, his “Assassin.”

Hyvmine is one of those bands that you may not have heard of, but once you do you question how it took you til now to hear them.  They have been non-stop since the first vocal-over-instrumental trial Joseph did with “Shogun”.  In less than two years they will have released 23 songs, all of which kickass!  On top of that, the material just keeps getting better with each release.  For all of these reasons, and a ton more, Metal Nation is excited to name Hyvmine Artist of the Month for July.

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