Redemption - Redemption

Year of Release: 2003
Label: Sensory
Catalog Number: SR 3018
Format: CD
Total Time: 66:52:00

Redemption is a new band on the progressive and power metal scene, though those parts are certainly no strangers. Redemption features ex-Steel Prophet vocalist Rick Mythiasin, Symphony X's drummer Jason Rullo, Nick Van Dyk on lead and rhythm guitars, bass and keys, and Bernie Versailles (Engine and Order Of The Illuminati) on lead guitar.

Redemption is a concept album in a fashion, as each song or song cycle has redemption as the underlying theme. The first four tracks form the "Desperation" suite, which is based on the Stephen King novel of the same name. The story itself is about events in Desperation, Nevada when evil has been let loose upon the town. It opens with orchestration courtesy of Symphony X's Michael Romeo (based on Aaron Copeland's "Billy The Kid"), which gives way to the jackhammer rhythm of drums, guitar and bass all shuddering in unison. Mythiasin's vocal delivery ranges from hard and angry, to lilting and sweet, to spitting them out (as in "Desperation Part III"). Romeo's orchestration returns to conclude the suite as well.

The last track on the album, the 24-plus minute "Something Wicked This Way Comes," is based on the Ray Bradbury tale. Van Dyk attacks the keys in "Part I: Arrivals" with a flourish, all while pummeling drums and bass portend the coming danger. The whole suite is played with a great deal of passion, but isn't afraid to throttle back, get atmospheric all aiding in building the tension. It is a piece with so many elements and so many moments, that you will find yourself needing to hear it over and over again. Though there are those shadings of sound, and the piece in nearly a half hour in length, it goes by at a breakneck pace.

To put the band's sound in a nutshell, if you take a bits of Metallica (the pummeling rhythms found on "Desperation Part I" and "Desperation Part III"), bits of Dream Theater (the James LaBrie like vocals on "Desperation Part II" and "Something Wicked," and the and Kevin Moore like keys on "Desperation Part II") and bits of Iron Maiden (the loaping rhythm of and some Dickinson like vocals on "Part III" and again in "Something Wicked") you have some idea. Add in a dash of Fates Warning, too, as Fates vocalist Ray Alder sings guest lead vocals on "Desperation Part II" and Fates drummer Mark Zonder guests on "As I Lay Dying." Van Dyk's keys can be heard noodling all over this track, really at just about the right level - that is mixed neither to far back nor too up front. Heard but not distracting. In fact, I'd say the balance on all the instruments is just about right. "As I Lay Dying" also brings in, for a bit, a hint of the Jag Panzer style of metal as well, certainly with the warrior-like chorus.

In between the two major pieces there is the savage "Nocturnal," which has an interesting mix - vocals somewhat obscured, keyboards can be heard every few beats, all beneath more grinding guitar and bass work. And the multi-faceted epic "Window To Space" - those facets include a mellow first "movement," moves into familiar prog metal territory for the second "movement," and light and lyrical for the third movement (I thought a bit of 90s Marillion). You'll also hear more Maiden inspired passages as well there being parts that made think of Rush, especially in the throaty bass and/or guitar work And, if you thought my Marillion comment was out of place, there's a point where I thought of a power metal version of Genesis (something that also came to me as I was listening to "As I Lay Dying"). A bit of "Supper's Ready" (no, not the "Apocalypse" section), but also nothing I can pin down to any one track, just an overall impression of Nursery Crime/Foxtrot period Genesis.

There's a lot going on here on this debut. Yes, it often sounds strongly like the various bands I mentioned - well, those in the prog/power genre -- but there is something exciting and thrilling about it nonetheless. Though I find the album often very dense, the group hasn't totally forgotten to include those open spaces. Those kind of shadings bring a necessary dynamic to the music. I've not said much about the performances per se, but I can tell you they are all stellar? many tasty riffs from all involved and the elasticity of Mythiasin's vocals help lend the right sound to each section - that is, he can sound rough and ready like Dickinson and soar like LaBrie (and the like) with equal conviction. The result this is an album that has numerous textures. All the elements that attract me to prog and power metal are here as well a few "non-traditional" touches that provide variety.

Redemption are scheduled for ProgPower USA IV in September 2003; the band's personnel will feature Corey Brown (vocals), Joey Vera (bass), Chris Quirarte (drums), Smiley Sean (keyboards) along with Van Dyk and Versailles.

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)

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


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

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 US

Added: April 20th 2003
Reviewer: Stephanie Sollow
Artist website:
Hits: 895
Language: english


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