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Redemption - Alive in Color

Alive in Color
by Eric Poulin at 26 August 2020, 3:51 AM

REDEMPTION is a Progressive Metal band based out of Los Angeles, California in the United States and have been around since 2001. This is their second official live release entitled “Alive in Color” which will be released on August 28th 2020, through AFM Records. This is yet another project I have been following for almost 2 decades. When I first heard their initial album, I felt like Ray Alder would have been a perfect fit for the band, and that is exactly what happened, as he was part of most of their discography. Now the need to work on a solo record and his important role with his first band FATES WARNING had him leave the project and be replaced by Tom Englund of EVERGREY.

Now on to the live album that stands before us. The album starts off with “Noonday Devil” which was actually re-recorded on their last effort with Tom, after the song was originally on “This Mortal Coil”. The rendition here definitely captures the same energy as the original with the good old chugging guitar riffs and the rather aggressive tone this song possesses. Tom is also in very good form here and seems to control his notes pretty well. It is followed by one of great opening tracks in the highly melodic “Suffocating Silence” in which Tom asks the crowd to participate very early on. Even though there is a significant difference in the vocal ranges and styles of Tom and Ray, his style does fit pretty well in the live setting.

Obviously as this is the live recording for the latest album, we transition to “Echo Chamber” which really has all the same designs and intricacies here as the studio version. This song strongly showcases the guitar virtuoso that is Nick Van Dyk. The only significant difference I noticed was that there was not the same kind of energy in the vocals, as here they are slightly lower at times, but the choruses are very similar. “Damaged” that follows is one of the very strong tracks from the very under-appreciated album “The Art of Loss” and where the production quality on that song lacked a bit back in 2016, the fresh concert version here really hits all the right notes.

One of the highlights from the “Long Night's Journey into Day” album in “Someone Else’s Problem” which was the first song I heard when Tom joined the band has a lot more crowd involvement (even though we do not hear them that loud). Again, the vocals may not exactly have the same power as on the original record, but I can assure the guitars and keyboards have the same impact. The first CD ends with 2 more tracks from the same album in “Little Men” and the title track “Long Night’s Journey into Day” in which Tom really tries to rally the crowd a bit in participating more and he does succeed to a certain extend. Both songs are well performed and while I would not say they are superior to the original recordings, they do share a lot of passion and emotion.

What follows next is the amazing song “Threads”, the great opening track to “The Fullness of Time” but this time the song has an added guest in Ray Alder who shares his wonderful vocal talents and kicks this one into high gear. I do not want to take anything away from Tom, but it was an absolute joy to hear Ray sing this one. It transitions into one of my absolute favorites in “Black & White World” one of the standouts on the great record “Snowfall on Judgment Day”. This version however is a bit dirtier and grittier than the studio recording and they keyboards are highly at the forefront. I was not sure what to expect from this one, but it packs a punch and Tom’s style really adds a lot of integrity to the music.

There are two songs with the mastermind that is Chris Poland, including “Endulge in Color” and even a MEGADETH cover in “Peace Sells”. While the first song has some awkward moments at first (mostly in how the words sung do not match the music perfectly), the cover is actually very good and a fresh take on an old classic. Most fans of the band should be familiar with the song “Walls”, one of my favorites as well and the version here has the guitars on full display, an amazing song that really shines on this album.

The final two songs are “Threads” this time fronted by Tom, which is an interesting choice to have it duplicated on this release, it is of high quality, but I would have preferred an additional track. Last but not least we have the 3rd part to the great epic that is “The Fullness of Time” which has some of the most melodramatic portions to any song from this band and Tom really lets his raspy side show more on this one, and it is a nice way to end what is quite a concert journey.

This was quite the album to go through considering it contains 14 songs, many that go beyond the 7-minute mark. Honestly, every musician has moments to shine in this kind of atmosphere and you really get a nice portrait of what this band has been able to accomplish over almost 2 decades. Tom does a very good job at singing the older songs and has always been a complete performer on stage and this proves it again.

Songwriting:  8
Originality: 8
Memorability: 8
Production: 8

4 Star Rating

1. Intro / Noonday Devil
2. The Suffocating Silence
3. The Echo Chamber
4. Damaged
5. Someone Else’s Problem
6. Little Men
7. Long Night’s Journey into Day
8. Threads
9. Black & White World
10. Indulge in Color
11. Peace Sells (Megadeth cover)
12. Walls
13. Threads
14. The Fullness of Time Part 3
Nick Van Dyk - Guitars
Chris Quirarte - Drums
Sean Andrews - Bass
Tom Englund - Vocals
Vikram Shankar - Keyboards      
Record Label: AFM Records


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