HEDDA - THE STORM (MäcHer Media)
(Review by Officer Nice)
We’ve been talking about this band before, after the release of their EP “The Calm Before”. It feels good, call it a sign of respect, if the band contacts me personally asking to review their newbie “The Storm”. Nice pun between the EP and this debut anyway…
I’ve mentioned this album before on the Internet and all I read were positive reviews, so yes, I was looking forward to this one. Jamie, bass player, asked me to start with the last song before listening to the rest. So I did… For the first time ever I start a review with the last track instead of the first. “Heaven’s Fate” is a song that takes me by the throat! A strong song indeed but Jamie explained me this is a concept album, strategically it couldn’t be placed anywhere else. Well, it doesn’t bother anyway because when I take this one from the start Hedda convinces too. This is professional played US Progressive Metal with a sense for emotions, skills and purity! Hedda is mainly influenced by the beauties of the Eighties Metal movement and contains four great musicians. The production gives this release a bit of an ‘Eighties sound’ and that fits the band and of course the album very well.
Constantly I am witnessing great compositions on which Hedda tries, and succeeds, to pull the listener into their story. Hedda unites old Progressive Metal with the more qualitative Epic Metal and tries to give their music an own touch. The battle between the angels, where the entire story is all about, is characterized by several figures but after all John Swenson uses his voice for all of them. Therefore this record isn’t a Metal opera but the band proves they’re able writing one. “Thirteen Angels” is without any doubt one of the highlights of “The Storm”. Hedda shows all their talents in song writing right here; it’s melodic, epic, outstanding performed and John Swenson sings very good . Be aware, this lead singer will be a liked or disliked, no choices in between. I am a believer and his specific vocal sound gives this formation that extra touch, like Michael Grant (RIP) with for example with Onward. This is American Metal, high screams are foreseen although mister Swenson needs to maintain a bigger lung capacity. A point to work on in the future I suppose…
Hedda varies their music all the time and there’s enough space for every musician to show what they’re capable of. Some bass guitar lines are really impressive, the drums are technical played and both are supporting the arrangements all the time. Meanwhile Kent Herman delivers one after another well played riff and his leads are outstanding. But again, the most ear catching on this release are the melodic and harmonic lines Hedda weaved into their music. Hopefully this record won’t stay underappreciated, due to its often complex, conceptual manner of execution and the fact Epic Metal is wanted by a select public in our scène. Nevertheless tracks like “See The Light”, “The Yield”, “Heaven’s Fate” and “Forever” should easily be adapted by true Metal fans.
“The storm” is a more than enjoyable debut from this American band. As we’re used to, the Americans know how to write and perform good Heavy Metal. Hedda will probably never be a leading band in the Metal movement but they easily overgrow thousands and thousands mediocre Metal bands out there. Next step is, I suppose, an even stronger production and investing in every possible detail, maybe even a second guitar player should be considered. Strange, after re-reading my first review I come to the same conclusion… Anyway, this band has something special in their veins, difficult to explain but Hedda has it for me. I’m curious how the band will stand in the future, how their most difficult album (the second one) will sound but I hope it won’t take another four years! Is this a step forward? Without any doubts and this band needs your attention. But the next step should be one that overwhelms me, so my rate crosses the magic line of ninety! Great release! Check them out at http://www.heddatheband.com .
My Points: 87 / 100
95+ : Outstanding, high valued albums & Classic Ones… a direct purchase is advisable !
Between 90 and 95: Surpasses the style of music, must be heard/ordered by every Metal fan
Between 80 and 89: Good in its own genre, recommended for those hooked on it
Between 70 and 79: Decent but best previewing
Between 60 and 69: Rather moderate
Between 50 and 59: Bad, substandard
50- : Rubbish