Being formed by members of Symphony X and Fate’s Warning, it does not come as much of a surprise that Redemption are one of the most talked about progressive metal bands these days. Now close to a decade old, this supergroup has now put out five albums, all falling within a fairly close style to its parent acts. ‘This Mortal Coil’ is the most recent album from these titans, and anyone who has heard what Redemption is all about before should have a good idea of what to expect here. Redemption’s latest falls into an ever-growing category of albums that while incredibly impressive from a production and performance standpoint, ultimately fails to move me in any way. For all of the talent exerted here, it is all the more disappointing that the end result is little more than a run-of-the-mill melodic power metal record.
Glorious things have been done in the past by both Fate’s Warning and Symphony X, and I would even have some great things to say about some of the music that Redemption has released in the past. However, I get the feeling that the label of prog metal is being watered down now to the point where it is perhaps unintentionally crossing over into power metal and even melodic rock much more than it did when the fusion of prog and heavy metal was still young. If there is one thing that progressive metallers and Redemption in particular have however, it is musical skill. This is a well-produced album with strong performance and even a handful of jaw-dropping instrumental sections. The times where the band breaks into technical segments or solos is where Redemption really shines, sounding a great deal like the bombastic instrumentals of Symphony X. Sadly, the proggy moments have been toned down on ‘This Mortal Coil’ in favour of more melodies.
All in all, the melodies and songwriting here are both fairly good, although it is most often predictable. One thing that surprised me here was the voice of Ray Alder, for the fact that his delivery here is so much different than his work with Fate’s Warning that I have heard; he aims towards a soothing melodic delivery that nails pitch perfectly, yet I can’t say that I prefer this dimension of Alder. I would never deny that Redemption have talent- they are in fact a collaboration of some of the most gifted and enduring musicians in progressive metal. All the same, their work on ‘This Mortal Coil’ feels tame and predictable. This streamlined effort is reminiscent of the disappointment I felt with Symphony X’s latest release. Where I’m left wanting a roller coaster, I’m stuck riding a tilt-a-whirl, albeit a very well-oiled one.
1. Path of the Whirlwind (5:26)
2. Blink of An Eye (5:57)
3. No Tickets to the Funeral (6:26)
4. Dreams From the Pit (9:11)
5. Noonday Devil (5:03)
6. Let It Rain (7:21)
7. Focus (5:43)
8. Perfect (4:48)
9. Begin Again (6:11)
10. Stronger Than Death (5:29)
11. Departure of the Pale Horse (10:15)
* Ray Alder – vocals
* Nick Van Dyk – guitars, keyboards
* Bernie Versailles – guitars
* Chris Quirarte – drums
* Sean Andrews – bass