REDEMPTION — Redemption (review)

REDEMPTION — Redemption album cover Album · 2003 · Progressive Metal Buy this album from MMA partners
3.5/5 ·
(Notice: Originally written by me to the ProgArchives on 7/15/11, with a few minor adjustments.)

This is the debut self-titled album of the American progressive metal act, Redemption. Redemption was formed in the early 2000's by guitarist and various instrumentalist Nick Van Dyke. Rick Mythiasin is the vocalist on this record (who sadly left sometime before the band's second album, "The Fullness of Time", was recorded), Bernie Versiallies on lead guitar, and Jason Rullo on drums (who also left the band sometime after, unfortunately).

This is a great debut to start off Redemption's career. The music is raw and powerful, with little signs of weakness. Specifically the keyboards on this record shine unlike on any other Redemption record, though at very little times they can be out of place.

The first song is a 4-track suite, entitled "Desperation", based on the novel of the same name by Stephen King. The first part is the heaviest and my personal favorite, with soaring guitar melodies and good drumming to back them up, as well as a lovely orchestral intro. When the vocals kick in, however, you realise the production isn't that great. The vocals are lovely and melodic, and one of the best parts of the album, but the subpar production does not do them justice. Part 2 greets us with a somewhat cheesy ballad, but it is still good nonetheless and has it's moments of strength. Part 3 starts off with a bang and some really outstanding keyboard work. It's probably the fastest song in the suite, if not the whole album, and the second heaviest in the suite. The vocals can get very agressive at times. The chorus is very beautiful and majestic, with lyrics concering a battle between God and Satan to claim the souls once and for all. Part 4 starts off almost as fast as Part 3, if not as fast. It has some great vocal melodies and very nice lyrics to boot, as well as more agressive vocals. It ends with a similar orchestral passage like that in the beginning of Part 1, this time backed up by the full band, ending the suite.

After that journey, we are introduced to our first separate track, "Nocturnal". This song is without a doubt the heaviest on the album, with heavy riffs and great keyboard melodies, as well as a soaring chorus. This is sure to please any fans of the heavier side of prog, such as I. It's just too bad it's so short.

The next track, "Window To Space", is the first out of two single-track epics on the album. Window to Space is the shorter of the two, being 13 minutes and 26 seconds long. The song starts with a somewhat creepy guitar riff accompanied by haunting chanting, and some very nice, soft progressive movements halfway through the first minute, followed by vocals with Rick Mythiasin at his best. The softness doesn't last long, however - 2 and-a half-minutes in we get some prog metal heaviness and more agressive vocals, though not as agressive as some in the previous tracks. The lyrics give off a very nice and hopeful feel to them, and overall this is a good half-ballad. Their is a somewhat odd guitar solo at 11 minutes, and the hopeful lyrics shine again. The song ends with the same acoustic riff as it started with.

The next track, "As I Lay Dying", starts off with a good building up with some nice keyboard melodies. The lyrics appear to be about an Atheist who excepts God within the last few minutes of his life. The best part comes in at 2 minutes with a nice chorus, "Will it all go on after I am gone?" The song ends shortly after. There's not that much to say about it because it isn't a very eventful song, but it's still a great song nonetheless. This song acts as a great opener to the closing song...

"Something Wicked This Way Comes" is, without a doubt, the highlight of the album. It's based on the novel of the same name by Ray Bradbury (which I reccommend anyone to read as I am currently reading it), and by the first 15 seconds of the song, what with it's haunting melodies and creeping vocals, you can tell this will be a ride. It is a whopping 24 and-a-half-minutes long, longer than any Redemption song to date. The first heavy riff comes half-a-minute in, and loops a few times before going into the full beginning of the song. The first 4 minutes or so of the song aren't that melodically powerful, but afterwards there is lots and lots of strength and melody behind every word Mythiasin puts into his voice as well as the music. At 15 minutes we get an awesome Iron Maiden-like galloping riff and some interesting vocals at half. We get some beautiful vocal melodies at 18 to 20 minutes, and finally leads up to the climax at 21 minutes with some of the most hauntingly melodic vocals in Redemption's entire career. After another 2 minutes we get the final stanza of lyrics, and the song ends quite happily.

It might come off as a surprise to some Redemption fans when I say that this is, I think, their best album. The vocals and instrumentations are beautiful, exotic melodies, and haunting vocals with surprisingly good lyrics. Mythiasin is better than Alder in my eyes and adds more atmosphere to Redemption's work. A quintessential record - highly reccommended to fans of progressive metal.
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