The Calm Before…

Dec. 21, 2009
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Dimension X—one of the freshest progressive-metal bands to come out of Milwaukee in recent years—may be no more, but members of that outfit have teamed up with Sun Prairie-based vocalist John Swenson (Cherry Pie) to form HEDDA. The Calm Before…, a four-song EP loosely based on a concept about the battle between good and evil angels, serves as a precursor to The Storm—HEDDA’s full-length debut, expected out in late 2010.

This is classic progressive-fueled power metal in the vein of Fates Warning, Blind Guardian and early Queensryche. The majestic opener “Never Yield” signals these guys are serious about their craft, and they seldom waver on the other three cuts. Swenson’s powerhouse pipes were built for this kind of material, guitarist Kent Herman’s muscular, unpretentious style suits the songs, and bassist Jamie Mac (who wrote all the lyrics) and drummer Jef Jaeger execute with lethal precision.

The Calm Before… packs plenty of head-banging promise.


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