Redemption – Alive in Color (AFM Records)Wednesday, 9th September 2020
Developing a strong discography of power-driven progressive metal since 2001, Redemption have been a favorite of the ProgPower USA festival audience. So it’s not surprising that given the opportunity to headline the 2018 edition of the annual gathering, the band would go all out to deliver a once in a lifetime performance and capture it in this double CD/ DVD or BluRay audio / visual package entitled Alive in Color. Director Patric Ullaeus (known for video work with Evergrey, In Flames, and Amaranthe) captured this full set in a multi-camera format, the band adding special guests like guitarists Chris Poland and Simone Mularoni as well as ex-vocalist Ray Alder to join the current lineup over the twelve main tracks and hour and half play time that includes two bonus efforts.
It’s never easy to encapsulate seven studio albums in a headlining situation, but Redemption do their best to serve up favorites from the past and present, while throwing in a killer “Peace Sells” Megadeth cover for Chris Poland to perform on, the first time in over two decades for the man. As a unit the band are on point, delivering the material with finesse and handling the intricacies like seasoned pros – the twists and turns for “The Suffocating Silence” early on very mesmerizing between the rhythm section, keyboards and guitars. Obviously concentrating on the last record Long Night’s Journey into Day with five songs, latest edition Tom S. Englund uses more of his mid-range and upper vocal register to keep the proceedings enticing emotionally on the vocal scale for “The Echo Chamber” and “Indulge in Color”. Ray Alder returns for the roller coaster “Threads”, while one of the bonus cuts showcases Tom’s interpretation. Between guitarist Nick van Dyk’s exhilarating rhythms and driving lead nature and the exemplary interplay for keyboardist Vikram Shankar, bassist Sean Andrews, and drummer Chris Quirarte, you get to experience everything from the catchy, shorter “Damaged” to the sprawling, ten-minute plus effort that is “Long Night’s Journey into Day” that showcase a band unafraid to put shades of quiet introspection next to heavier riffs, and make it all come together seamlessly.
Progressive metal with bite, sophistication, and heaviness – while never pandering to the lowest common denominator – Alive in Color keeps Redemption at the top of their game, and leaves the listeners anticipating what the band will come up with for their eighth studio album next year.