REDEMPTION – Redemption

REDEMPTION - Redemption


Sensory Records
Release date: March 18, 2003

User Review
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Redemption’s self-titled CD, a project headed by guitarist Nick Van Dyk, is lucky enough to have some of the best musicians in metal in its cast — Rick Mythiasin (Steel Prophet) on vocals, Jason Rulo (Symphony X) on drums and Bernie Versailles (Agent Steel, Fates Warning) on guitars. But their guest musicians are just as strong — Ray Alder (Fates Warning) does lead vocals on one track and also co-produced the album, Michael Romeo (Symphony X) programmed the keyboards and Mark Zonder (Fates Warning) takes his turn on drums.

The first four songs, “Desperation I, II, III and IV,” are based on the Stephen King novel called … “Desperation.” The songs do a commendable job of telling the King story. “Desperation I,” begins with an eerie synthesizer and leads into a fast, rat-a-tat-tat guitar chugging. Mythiasin begins telling the tale of a couple, Peter and Mary, getting pulled over in Desperation, Nev. by the unforgettably rabid (if you read the book) cop Collie Etrangian. “Desperation Part II,” features Ray Alder on vocals, and he uses his Fates Warning era vocals, instead of his less dramatic Engine vocal stylings, to good effect. While the music changes in stride with the violence of the story, the lack of a chorus in “Part II and III” somehow doesn’t make the songs less complete. You’ll be introduced to Romeo’s keyboards in “Part II,” and as far as the tale goes, a character called Johnny Marinville. “Desperation Part III,” is as hard as “Part I,” again, but more orchestral in nature, more dramatic. You’ll have to check it out yourself, but the song explains why there is evil and madness in the town of Desperation. Lastly, “Desperation Part IV,” is the denouement, and Mythiasin’s haunting vocals are excellent here, especially when he sings, “God can be everything, God can be cruel … sometimes he makes us live.” When it’s all said and done, we learn that “God is love.” This is a pretty ambitious endeavor, and they pull it off.

But that wasn’t ambitious enough for them, so they decided to write a song based on and titled the same as Ray Bradbury’s novel “Something Wicked This Way Comes.” And it’s nearly 25 minutes long. Overall, this should tell you that Van Dyk has a dark taste in literature and a wicked pissa of a library. It should also tell you in an industry inundated with 4-minute songs with no solos, remedial musicianship and lyrics a second-grader could write, he’s giving everyone the finger and doing whatever the hell he wants.

“Something Wicked This Way Comes,” is actually done in eight parts. Again, the song structure is not prototypical; you won’t get verse-verse-chorus-verse or anything like that. Yes, 25-minute songs are too much to hold nearly everyone’s attention, but hearing it for the first time and reading along with the lyrics creates some excellent imagery. You can’t fault them for trusting their fans to be smart enough to keep up and open minded enough to let them experiment with song structure and lyrical content.

The other thing is, if you don’t give a rat’s ass about lyrics and just like good heavy metal, you’ll get that too. The only thing about the CD that doesn’t excel is the production, which could have been a little better. But the Redemption CD booklet does give you the lyrics, insightful pictures and some very cool album art. More than anything else, though, Redemption offers a different and smarter type of metal than you’ve heard in years.

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