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Hedda - The storm 4/5

Reviewed: 6-1-13


1. The war
2. Never yield
3. Thirteen angels
4. See the light
5. Dance with fire
6. Cataclysm
7. The gates
8. Full circle
9. Or be forever fallen
10. Gypsy's kiss
11. Heaven's fate

The debut full-length CD from Wisconsinís Hedda is a fantastic and epic exercise in traditional metal thatís still fresh enough to be engaging and exciting.

While thereís diversity in the bandís influences, including metal as well as classic and progressive rock, the end sound and feeling of the band is uncompromisingly heavy metal, albeit intricate and grand in scope. Traditionally, it has the appeal of classic Queensryche and Iron Maiden, and more recently, fans of Shadow Gallery and Black Majesty will love this. Vocalist John Swenson is fantastic, with a pure and powerful voice in the moderately upper register, and he delivers the strong choruses with grandeur and force. Jamie Mac provides the backing vocals and harmonies that have some of the feeling of Shadow Galleryís great work, along with the strong and constant bass drive for the band. Kent Herman does an outstanding job on the guitar work, roaring riffs interspersed with deft leads. Jef Jaeger is the drummer and delivers the triumphant tempo carrying you through the CD.

The CDís lyrics are a concept album that is based on a 2nd war in heaven between multiple factions of angels, and centered around a half-human military assassin, i.e., a story thatís totally metal. The songs are well written, and while deep enough to require a few listens to fully engage, after 2 or 3 spins songs like the closing masterpiece ďHeavenís fateĒ become etched in the mind and heart.

The CD is mastered by Jacob Hansen, former vocalist for Anubis Gate and Pyramaze, inter alia, who has produced for bands like Manticora and Wuthering Heights. The production is not overly elaborate, but the bass, drums, and guitar main tracks are all clear and brash, the vocals being strong, and the keyboards a background embellishment, the way it should be.

Those who enjoy metal with an epic, somewhat bright sounding edge, that will still deliver the power and force of the music we love should really pick up this CD.




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