Redemption - Redemption


Year of Release: 2003
Label: Sensory
Catalog Number: SR3018
Format: CD
Total Time: 66:52:00

It's a known precept of genetic inheritance theory that mixing populations is beneficial - new heritable traits are introduced, providing diversity and increasing the chance of survival for the whole population. One of the things that I love about prog is that it brings this concept into music. Every so often, musicians will leave their home band, meet with other musicians, form supergroups, and exchange their genes. Er, exchange their musical ideas. It prevents the genre from stagnating, which is a good thing all round.

Thus I look forward to seeing who's forming side projects, and Redemption was an eye-catcher. Formed by Nik van Dyk (guitar, bass, keys), and combining the talents of Rick Mythiasin (Steel Prophet) on vocals, Jason Rullo (Symphony X) on drums, and Bernie Versailles (Engine) on guitar, this merger boded nothing but good. Also appearing in guest positions are Chris Roy and Joel Decatur (Reading Zero) on vocals, and Ray Alder and Mark Zonder (Fates Warning) on vocals and drums respectively; Michael Romeo (Symphony X) helps out with the synth programming, and Joey Vera (Fates Warning) is also credited with mixing. The project was a long time in coming together, with the website first created in December of '01, nearly one and a half years before the eventual release date.

The music starts well, with an adaptation of contemporary composer Aaron Copland's "Billy The Kid" suite (as my secret alter ego, I am a classical music buff who adores Copland's work) before settling into the first bars of chuggy, hard metal. Now this opening piece is in fact a four-part epic, over twenty minutes in total. "Desperation" takes its theme from the Stephen King book of the same name, one I haven't read, but after doing a little cursory research, it sounds like one of his more intense reads. It's certainly an intense listen, and a little incomprehensible for the first few spins (after all, compressing a 700 page horror novel into twenty minutes of progressive metal is no mean feat). Similarly, the closing piece "Something Wicked This Way Comes" also borrows its name and theme from horror fiction, Ray Bradbury being the author. It, too, is 20 minutes in length. Then there is "Window To Space," clocking in at 13:26, leaving only two tracks of conservative length - though no less severe in theme.

The music is nothing less than excellent, but I find this album very hard going. Three extremely long songs are hard to swallow in one sitting, particularly with the heavy subject matter. I think if they had mixed it up a bit more - perhaps dropped one or even two of the longer songs, and interspersed them with a little more light-hearted music - it might have made for a better overall package. There are apparently three songs that were recorded which had to be cut due to overall length restraints, so perhaps these could have been included instead, and the extra epics reserved for a separate album. Then again, another album is never guaranteed, so I can see why they'd want to include these mammoth pieces (which must have taken a lot of sweat to produce) in their debut.

I do rate this album highly for its musicality, which is exciting, diverse and grittily entertaining. The talented musicians really shine on Redemption and I'll definitely give it my recommendation; I just think I'll be listening to this album in parts, rather than as a whole.

Similar to: Fates Warning, Evergrey, Iron Maiden

[This review originally appeared June 2003 at the ProgPower Online review site -ed.]


Tracklisting:
Desperation Part I (5:55) / Desperation Part II (4:32) / Desperation Part III (5:44) / Desperation Part IV (5:08) / Nocturnal (3:51) / Window To Space (13:28) / As I Lay Dying (5:07) / Something Wicked This Way Comes (24:27)

Musicians:
Rick Mythiasin - vocals
Jason Rullo - drums
Nicolas Van Dyk - rhythm and lead guitars, bass, keyboards, and backing vocals
Bernie Versailles - lead guitars

Guests:

Ray Alder - lead vocals (2)
Michael Romeo - orchestration (1, 4)
Mark Zonder - drums (7)

Discography:
Redemption (2003)
The Fullness Of Time (2005)
The Origins Of Ruin (2007)
Snowfall On Judgment Day (2009)
This Mortal Coil (2011)
Live From The Pit (2014)
The Art Of Loss (2016)

Frozen In The Moment - Live In Atlanta (2009)

Genre: Progressive-Power Metal

Origin VA

Added: January 31st 2005
Reviewer: Karyn Hamilton
Score:
Artist website: www.redemptionweb.com
Hits: 780
Language: english

  

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