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Redemption- This Mortal Coil

Label: Inside/Out
Format: CD
Released: 2011
Reviewed By: The Goat
Rating: 10/ 10

Redemption have done it again. Truly excellent music, of any variety, is able to resonate with the emotions or evoke an emotional response. I’m thinking this takes a certain degree of skill and talent, the ability to translate an emotional state into music and sound. We don’t often analyze the way the music makes us feel or how it impacts our emotions. Often we just get caught up listening to it. Perhaps, the excellence and craftsmanship of "This Mortal Coil" has provoked me to contemplate music more deeply than usual.


Guitarist / keyboardist / main force Nick van Dyk has this uncanny ability to write and compose music that resonates and evokes at the same time. The emotionally charged music in each song captures and matches perfectly the tumultuous inner experience that the words express literally. The central themes (life, death, and the existential struggle between) on this album are loosely based on van Dyk’s recent experience of being diagnosed with a rare blood cancer and the subsequent recovery / remission.

The album opens with a shredfest that Metallica probably wishes they could pull off. ‘Path of the Whirlwind’ effectively sets the pace and tone for the rest of the album. The shredding guitars and keyboard chaos matches the songs title. ‘Blink of an Eye’ has an opening bass riff (performed by Sean Andrews) that is a la “Souls of Black” Testament. As ‘Blink’ unfolds, the guitar work of Bernie Versailles and van Dyk is so expressive that it sounds like a second vocalist. Perhaps the most catchy track is ‘No Ticket To The Funeral’, which has such frantic energy and an impossibly infectious chorus. Ray Alder’voice is a perfect match to van Dyk’s musical vision.

The next track captures the existential despair of learning about a dire diagnosis but ‘Dreams From The Pit’ is not depressing nor hopeless. It is a call to arms and the rallying cry to keep on fighting against the odds. My favorite song (and I feel it ranks up there with Opeth’s ‘Demon Of the Fall’ as best pit song) is ‘Noonday Devil’. It may be the heaviest song that Redemption has ever done and this further emphasized by the crazed discordant keyboard flourishes that kick in. Chris Quirarte’s drumming fuels the aggressive edge and adds further depth to the frenzy. Redemption is an amazingly tight band and Neil Kernon’s production truly accentuates this fact.

So, I could keep going on and on about how awesome this album it but I think you need to judge for yourself. This album will not disappoint the current fans of Redemption and perhaps this will win over some new ones. "This Mortal Coil" is so well executed that i definitely think this will end up in my Top Albums of 2011 list by year's end.

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