For most bands, persistence and perseverance will pay off. Stick with your musical direction and follow your dreams can yield rewarding results. Such is the case with Wisconsin's Hedda, returning with their first full-length album, The Storm, after a short EP, The Calm Before, nearly four years ago.
The Storm is a concept album that considers a fictional second war of the angels, mostly from Biblical references, for the destiny of heaven and earth. The CD booklet is helpful here, providing an overview of the story, the cast of characters, and all they lyrics. The music follows the same direction as before, essentially melodic heavy and power metal with some slight prog angles.
The critical issue with the prior EP was the shabby production. Suffice to say, Hedda has addressed the issue and upped their game. The Storm is certainly a better sounding album, crisp and more defined. I listened to the album through some analog speakers (always a good thing), and sometimes it reminded me of listening to Eighties metal on vinyl. (Perhaps Hedda should get this album pressed on vinyl.)
To the songs within The Storm, the album gets off to a rocky start. Passing over the obligatory intro, the first full track, Never Yield, has to be my least favorite. There's something weird about the vocal arrangements that perplexed me. But the later guitar solo is quite good, so it's not a total loss.
Things really heat up and get interesting with Thirteen Angels and especially the following See The Light, two very good metal tunes. The latter opens with some delicate guitar play only to burst into some epic, sometimes heavier, power metal. Basically, these two songs set the course for the rest of the album. Every song to the end flies the banner of 'true' metal with strong clean vocals, a concise rhythm section, and riveting guitar solos, all wrapped in a melodic wrapper. The signature pieces for these characteristics, and The Storm as a record, are likely the majestic The Gates and the powerful closer Heaven's Fate. In the end, Hedda has done well with The Storm. Listening to the strength of the band's performance, this was a labor of love and perseverance. The Storm is solid melodic heavy metal and easily recommended.
Overcoming the production issues that plagued the previous EP, Hedda returns with The Storm, a tour-de-force of classic American melodic heavy and power metal worthy of your immediate attention.
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