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Redemption - Long Night's Journey Into Day Award winner

Redemption
Long Night's Journey Into Day
by Dave "That Metal Guy" Campbell at 18 July 2018, 9:45 AM

Progressive Metal sextet REDEMPTION was formed in Los Angeles, California in 2000 by guitarist/ keyboardist/ songwriter Nicolas van Dyk. From 2003 until 2016, the band were prolific writers, penning six full-length albums. The band was also selected in 2007 to support legendary Proggers DREAM THEATER on tour. “Long Night’s Journey Into Day” is their seventh studio full-length, and contains ten new tracks.

“Eyes You Dare Not Meet in Dreams” opens the album. Heavy, aggressive and melodic, it falls somewhere in the SYMPHONY X/DREAM THEATER space/time continuum for me. A myriad of different elements blend together skillfully here…keys, guitars, bass, drums and vocals…complete with some riff and meter shifting along the way. Guitars and keys stand out most for me, especially the tender piano that works inside the maelstrom. Fantastic. “Someone Else’s Problem” opens with some dark electronica with a heavy rhythm. A guitar solo ensues, leading to the main riff and vocals. There is a lot going on here so you have to keep on your toes. The amazing thing is how they keep a semblance of order amidst the prodigious musicianship, with complexities that don’t keep the song from being easily enjoyable.

“The Echo Chamber” opens with a weighted riff and some punchy accents. The key and piano work combined with the vocal harmonies here are outstanding. It pushes a suspenseful sound with a tenacious edge. The heaviness of the rhythm guitars hold down the bottom line, while the lead guitars dance over top. “Impermanent” is another scorcher, opening with a guitar and key solo exchange. I definitely get a DGM vibe here. The melodies are strong and the musicianship tight, with each instrument getting a chance to showcase their talents. “Indulge in Color” has just such a charming sound. The introspective opening is sweet and lively, and the guitars, keys, and bass work together in a sound that could have come from a bonus track on DREAM THEATER’s “Images and Words” album. The vocals are imaginative as well, and when you talk about a band’s embracement of unabashed melody, this is what you get, and it is not apologetic in the least. Simply lovely!

“Little Men” opens with some clean guitar notes, leading to an assaulting riff and thunderous work behind the drum kit. There are some high emotional peaks along the way here, in both the instruments and the vocals and lyrics. The only thing that takes me away a bit is the key that the vocals are sung in at times. “And Yet” opens with eerie piano notes and pensive vocals with the line “I know that you were bad for me, and you never really cared.” It laments hard for a while but then a key change turns the grey skies a bit brighter and allows rays of sun to peak through and warm you. But, the despair wins out, with the closing line of “I know that this was poison…and yet.”

“The Last of Me” roars in with melody and thunder, and a flurry of lead guitar notes and drum fills that pulverize everything in its path. It then settles into a nice groove, high in melody and harmonies. The chorus is an emotional affair, and something that sticks with you. “New Year’s Day” is indeed a cover of the beloved U2 song, set to a Metal soundtrack. I think they do a strong job here of giving credence to the original sound while twisting in their own interpretation. Leaving perhaps the best for last, or at least the longest, they close the album with the ten-minute suite “Long Night’s Journey Into Day.” It has a somber entrance with a slow pace. It picks up about a quarter of the way and it’s all hands on deck, with a full attack. From there it twists and turns many times, ever-morphing, with skillful transitions and a sense of not knowing what might come next.

Overall, this is a fantastic album full of wonderful compositions. You don’t often come across an album in the complexity and sophistication of Progressive Metal without a couple misses with this much music to listen to. Indeed, you will find no fillers here on “Long Night’s Journey Into Day.” The album provides all that you would want from the heavier side of the genre, but sacrificing no melody or tenderness along the way. A highlight on the album for sure is their musicianship. This is about as good as it gets, folks, and the synergy they create seems to come from their ability to read each other’s minds as the path of the compositions move forward.

Songwriting: 10
Originality: 9
Memorability: 9
Production: 9

4 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Eyes You Dare Not Meet in Dreams
2. Someone Else’s Problem
3. The Echo Chamber
4. Impermanent
5. Indulge in Color
6. Little Men
7. And Yet
8. The Last of Me
9. New Year’s Day
10. Long Night’s Journey Into Day
Lineup:
Tom Englund – Vocals
Nicolas van Dyk – Guitars and Keyboards
Bernie Versailles – Guitars
Sean Andrews – Bass
Chris Quirarte – Drums
Vikram Shankar – Keyboards
Record Label: Metal Blade Records
     


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Edited 15 December 2018
 

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