By Mike Maher
This is the 3rd release from L.A. based prog/power metal band Redemption, which features the outstanding vocals of Ray Alder (Fates Warning). The band was formed by keyboardist/guitarist Nick Van Dyke in 2000 and has garnered a strong following in the progressive metal community. (Great songs and a great singer will do that!) Their last release, The Fullness of Time,was one of my top CDs in 2005. The band just signed with Intromental management, Inside Out Music for distribution, landed a spot opening for Dream Theater on their 2007 summer tour, and is making their second appearance and the awesome (I know, I’ve been there!) ProgPower USA festival in Atlanta in October.
I was hesitant to review this CD because I loved The Fullness of Time so much. I was never much of a Fates Warning fan, but really enjoyed Ray’s work on Fullness. So, I felt that I’d have hugely inappropriate expectations for this new CD. That said I first felt that The Origins of Ruinsounded just like the Fullness of Time. Then I realized that it was simply the “Redemption” sound that I was recognizing. Van Dyke’s songwriting is unbelievable, and songs reflect the sadness, self-doubt, darkness and hope that we saw in the Fullness of Time. Soft keyboards that intro and run through the songs “Memory,” “Origins of Ruin’ and “Man of Glass” really bring the emotional charge in Alder’s voice out. The band keeps its heaviness, as evident in the first track and initial promo song, “The Suffocating Silence.” “Blind My Eyes” features some excellent guitar work. “Fall on You,” “Origins of Ruin” and “Memory” are the highlights of the album: evocative, emotionally draining and having the best melodies. The subject matter of the songs is damn serious, and Van Dyke really makes you feel for the guy pouring out his inner thoughts (whoever it is). In fact, this may be the reason that I have not spun the disc as much as I should have, because the lyrics are pretty heavy and a bit bleak. At least the Fullness of Time had an up note at the end!! Just bear that in mind, you probably won’t pick these songs for the sunny day, windows down car ride home on a Friday into the long weekend.
The Origins of Ruin is a great disc, well worth getting. Just be ready for some serious $*&t! A great follow up to the “Fullness of Time” that falls just short of the supreme awesomeness of its predecessor. You know you are going to see Dream Theater this summer, so get there early and check Redemption out. Fates fan or not, you will not be disappointed by what you see and hear!
Redemption’s website: http://www.redemptionweb.com/