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Redemption - Snowfall On Judgment Day (CD)

Redemption
Snowfall On Judgment Day
by Mike Novak at 24 September 2009, 12:41 PM

Who says that supergroups can't write great music? In fact, who says that every supergroup is made up of a bunch of egotistical airheads who use the group as a means to show off and make lots of money? REDEMPTION has been defying all of these supergroup stereotypes for several years now, releasing a number of excellent albums in the process.

REDEMPTION was formed in 2001 and released their self-titled album in 2003. The core of the lineup was established when Ray Alder of FATES WARNING fame was added as a full-time vocalist in 2005. They followed up their debut with two excellent albums and Snowfall On Judgment Day is their third album in four years.

I'm going to start off by saying that, despite the relatively short time between releases, the quality of the songwriting is still top-notch. This is especially commendable because the previous albums before this were excellent as well. The only real difference this time around is the addition of a full-time keyboardist in Greg Hosharian, who thankfully does not change their sound at all. There may be a slightly stronger presence of keyboard solos, but all of the keyboards are used tastefully, which is a welcome relief from so many other bands of this type.

Right away, the band kicks off with one of their best songs in Peel. Ray Alder really shines on vocals, especially on that beautiful chorus. The guitar work is excellent (as it is throughout the entire album). The single, Leviathan Rising, was a poor choice for a single, not because it's a bad song, but because it could be misleading to fans about what to expect from the album. The band uses 7-string guitars on this one for an excellent effect. This song is the perfect illustration of everything that is right with this band. The song is complex, yet still catchy. The guitar riffing and soloing are amazing and the vocals are passionate and beautiful. The only reason that I say that this is a poor choice for a single is because it might turn away some of the more narrow-minded prog fans, due to the heaviness of the guitars.

One of the most commendable things about Snowfall On Judgment Day is not just that this album lives up to the standard set by previous albums, but that it does all of this while not rehashing or repeating ideas from previous albums. They are able to innovate and sound fresh while at the same time staying true to their signature sound. I really appreciate the inclusion of 7-string guitars on a couple of songs. The lyrics are outstanding as well.

Another album, another winner from REDEMPTION. The only real negative to this album is that Love Kills Us All/Life In One Day is a bit too happy and feels out-of-place, a detriment that has also occurred on previous albums by this band as well. I want to be moved by an album, but these endings are a bit too cheesy for me. Other than that this album is spectacular, the only reason that the rating is not higher is because it does not quite measure up to The Fullness Of Time. Do not let that deter, for this is a brilliant album and a 'must' own for any Heavy Metal fan.

4 Star Rating

Tracklist:
Peel      
Walls      
Leviathan Rising      
Black And White World      
Unformed      
Keep Breathing      
Another Day Dies      
What Will You Say      
Fistful Of Sand      
Love Kills Us All/Life In One Day
Lineup:
Ray Alder - Vocals
Nick van Dyk - Guitars, Keyboards
Bernie Versailles - Guitars
Sean Andrews - Bass
Greg Hosharian - Keyboards
Chris Quirarte - Drums
Record Label: Inside Out Records
     


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