Redemption – This Mortal Coil (InsideOut Music)

Saturday, 23rd March 2013
Rating: 6.5/10

Never understood what the fuss was over these guys, even though certain people on the staff (i.e. Donnelly) seem to think Redemption are the best prog metal thing going. They’re not, and while Blistering is unsure who actually is (probably Symphony X), there are a lot better options than Redemption, who churn out a rather by-the-numbers album with This Mortal Coil. And no, this is not a take off the Carcass song with the same name.

A concept album centered on guitarist Nick Van Dyk’s battle with blood cancer (he’s mostly cured), This Mortal Coil unfortunately is rife with a bad blend of all the negative progressive metal traits that make an album such as this rather-uniform sounding. Aside from the noodling, doodling, ill-placed keyboard solos, and inability to find any hooks, the real downer here is vocalist Ray Alder (Fates Warning), whose once-majestic voice sounds like a mere shell of his former self. Granted, Alder has different elements in which to work with, yet there’s an apparent struggle with his delivery, making the material presented unconvincing.

It appears the band is making a concerted effort to not go the DreamTheater route, but songs like “Dreams From the Pit” and the syrupy “Let It Rain” would suggest otherwise. A lot of the riff ideas have been worn over many times by other progressive metal bands of less stature, thus neutering any momentum built during the opening portions of “Focus” (which sounds more like Fates Warning than anything) and “Perfect.”

Redemption could have fared much worse on This Mortal Coil and there’s certainly some merit to the concept and the band’s chops. Progressive metal still has this grey area that keeps certain bands out of the Dream Theater discussion, but on This Mortal Coil, Redemption follows the progressive metal playbook to a T.

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