The Calm Before...
posted on 1/2010 By:
Intent and execution are two very different things. Take Milwaukee’s new power/trad metallers Hedda as an example. These four guys are obviously longtime fans of the style of music they play, citing bands such as Queensrÿche, Fates Warning, Styx, and Dream Theater as influences. Their website is rife with details of not only their brief history but also this EP, The Calm Before…, and the full-length set to follow it, The Storm. Included is an overview of the story that the two will comprise, which is founded in the moral battles of good and evil. That they intended to write and produce quality melodic metal as the centerpiece cannot be doubted.
Unfortunately for the band, their execution does not measure up, as nearly every aspect of The Calm Before… suggests that Hedda spent very little time on pre-production and even less in the studio itself. The lyrics often reach Manowar levels of cliché; the vocals have intonation and diction issues (particularly any background or echoing vocals); and riffs are rudimentary or repeated ad nauseum (the cyclical arpeggio which starts off “Never Yield”). Even the drumming seems more like a last second addition than a musical foundation, as if skinsman Jef Jaeger wasn’t sure what to play, and just tossed around varying ideas in order to keep from sounding redundant. Sure, the guitar solo sections are well structured, and that chorus in “Gypsy’s Kiss” is fun, but getting to these sections is a trial, as most the of EP fails to hold the attention of the listener in the slightest. Making matters worse is the production, which would be weak and beefless even for a demo.
With more development Hedda and their music could have something going; a kinda Manowar-by-way-of-Pharaoh vibe, but there is a lot of refinement needed, and The Calm Before… was not ready for release. Hopefully with some hard work The Storm will at least partly live up to its title.
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