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Redemption - The Origins of Ruin

Label: InsideOut
Format: CD
Released: 2007
Reviewed By: The Goat


I will say this, when I received this album I was tremendously ill-prepared for it. As a personal statement of taste I like power and prog metal in limited doses. There are certain bands that I dig either for nostalgia sake (Dream Theater, whose musicianship boggles my little brainpan deeply) or for the fact that I just think they are amazing (Nevermore, while debatable about being included in these categories; Iced Earth, same deal). My knowledge about power and prog metal is very limited.

 

That being said, I am blown away by this album. It is simply an amazing release. It carries a level of aggression that will appeal to old school thrash fans and a level of sophistication that is equivalent to Dream Theater's catalogue.

The opening track, ‘The Suffocating Silence’, is a balls out blast very similar to something Nevermore or ‘Painkiller’ era Judas Priest would deliver. The guitars drive the song with such an edgy driving tone that reminds me so much of old school thrash. Ray Alder's vocals (who you'll recall from Fates Warning) does not attempt any falsetto and keeps to his own range, which is somewhat similar to James LaBrie of Dream Theater except without the soaring lung capacity. I think it is Alder's voice that really delivers the coup de grace to this release.

The musicianship on this album is ridiculously tight. I think this where the similarity to Dream Theater feels most evident. The pacing of the songs and their rhythms also evoke this impression. Despite these similarities, Redemption is its own unique beast. I would not call them Dream Theater copy cats because there is so much more aggression to their songs. There is a lot of anger hiding in this band, which is not really the case with Dream Theater. Just listen to ‘Bleed Me Dry’, the guitars are furious and deep. The pain is evident in this song. There is something conversational about Alder's voice when he sings that makes it even more personal. This song truly captures the anger of betrayal with some degree of poise. One of my favorites.

‘The Death of Reason and Faith’ takes on extremist religious views. Once again, the opening galloping guitar riff reminds me of something Nevermore would do - especially when the keyboards kick in to accent the guitars. This is a kick ass thrash song that is simply devastating in its whirlwind delivery. Alder's voice further conveys the urgency of why tolerance is important when dealing with people of differing views. Never before have I heard a song that melded this emotion and vocalizations so well.

I am going to point out one more song because I don't want to reveal all the spectacle of this album. It is best if you heard it for yourself. ‘Memory’ is the longest track (clocking in at 9:30) and it truly is an awesome one. Once again, the harmonies and rhythms are reminiscent of Dream Theater, yet the song slowly changes. It really reminds me of this thrash band called Cyclone Temple with keyboards. I think it is Alder's voice on top of such an impressive guitar attack. The guitars rip at a frenetic pace and Alder's voice is so plaintive, despairing and yet hopeful at the same time. Nearly six minutes into the song, there is a back and forth guitar soloing that is so passionate it sent shivers down my spine. Like I said before, so totally awesome.

I am going to pick up Redemption's previous album. I have to, it is an imperative. This is too good to let it pass me by. I would recommend this to Dream Theater fans. I think that all you metalheads out there who like thrash and enjoy good clean vocals would really enjoy this release as well. Oh yeah, if you're a fan of Ray Alder, definitely do not miss this release.

 
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