Redemption - Redemption
Sensory Records
Dark Progressive Metal
8 songs (68'18)
Release year: 2003
Redemption, Sensory Records
Reviewed by Ben

This review has been a long time coming. Despite being out for quite some time now, we just haven’t gotten around to reviewing Redemption so after Prog Power I decided to rectify that problem. Redemption is a “supergroup” of some sort, it’s the brainchild of Nick van Dyk who wrote the songs, plays guitar and keyboards. Joining him are Jason Rullo from Symphony X on drums, Bernie Versailles on lead guitar, Rick Mythiasin on session vocals, Michael Romeo for orchestration spots and finally Ray Alder on lead vocals for Desperation pt II. Don’t ask me how Nick was able to get all these people assembled cos that in itself is a mini-epic just be glad he did.

Redemption plays a style of Progressive Metal that actually has some crunch to it mixed in with several keyboard runs and whatnot. There is also a dark atmosphere and heaviness attached to the songs, thus giving it the “Dark Progressive Metal” category. In keeping in accordance to the rules of Progressive Metal there are eight tracks clocking in at just under seventy minutes and just like most Progressive Metal bands that follow these set in stone rules there are several dull spots in this massive musical platter.

The Desperation Suite, tracks one through four (all named Desperation part I, Desperation part II, etc. etc.) are the absolute best moments on this album and kill indefinitely. Maybe it is because I am an avid fan of Stephen King and love the book Desperation, the inspiration for these songs, or maybe it is just cos these four songs are the least progressive and the most balls out heavy metal. Rick does a great job singing even if in some instances his voice seems a bit buried in the mix and Ray Alder tears it up on Desperation part II. He gives a wonderful passionate performance and before you know it the song gives way to the fast pace of Desperation part III. I feel like I must mention this before going on, if you were like me and have read the book then the lyrics might seem a bit odd. Upon reading them they seem like they would be horribly awkward to sing and you can’t really pick out an obvious vocal melody line. For one, they are too literal I mean it’s like a Cliffs Notes version of the book with a lot of ,”This happened, then that happened and then this happened after that,” but when Rick (or Ray) opens his mouth and begins to sing it miraculously works. I can’t really say which piece is better, because I never listen to just part I or maybe III it is always the entire suite in a row. Definitely the highlight of the entire album because after this it begins a slow descent downwards in quality.

Two mediocre tracks appear in the form of Nocturnal and As I Lay Dying. They just don’t have that sense of urgency or freshness that the entire Desperation Suite contained. Window to Space however, manages to capture a bit of the spirit and is a lengthy Progressive Metal song to the hilt. The other monster of a song is Something Wicked This Way Comes. Clocking it at about twenty four minutes this could have benefitted a bit from the patented “Trim-a-Song” product cos it is about five or six minutes longer than it should be. Part of the reason it seems like this is because it is extremely dense lyrically. Musically it is enjoyable for the most part but near the end it becomes a chore to sit through and often times I don’t make it.

Redemption is a solid album though not without it’s flaws. Most of this comes from the fact that the album is overlong and would be a lot more leaner and meaner if it was about say, fifteen minutes or eighteen minutes shorter. I still stand by the fact though that the Desperation Suite is incredible and is the main selling point of this album. If Nick can pull the guys together for another go around I’ll be there to pick it up, hey, maybe he can do another Suite based off of The Stand, or IT, or maybe even The Dark Tower series. Nah, that last one is waiting for me to do and besides it’d take a quintuple disc set to fully realize the scope of that particular series. Anyways, Redemption is a fairly good band in the crowded genre of Progressive Metal and you should check them out, especially if you’re a Stephen King fan.

Killing Songs :
The entire Desperation Suite and Window to Space
Ben quoted 75 / 100
Other albums by Redemption that we have reviewed:
Redemption - Snowfall on Judgement Day reviewed by Marty and quoted 90 / 100
Redemption - The Origins Of Ruin reviewed by Ben and quoted 82 / 100
Redemption - The Fullness of Time reviewed by Ben and quoted 89 / 100
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