Five years since their last studio release, the progressive/power veterans from Los Angeles, are back with their sixth full length album. Founded by guitarist and keyboardist Nick Van Dyk, along with Bernie Versailles on additional guitars, REDEMPTION, have been a significant member of the American progressive metal scene, since 2001. The rest of the line-up consists of Chris Quirarte on drums, Sean Andrews on bass, Greg Hosharian on keyboards and Ray Adler (best known for his career asFATES WARNING’s singer) on vocals.
“The Art Of Loss” comes after a difficult time for the band, and the title is anything but coincidental. Van Dyk, has battled and overcome cancer in the past years, therefore his lyrics deal with his inner struggles throughout that period. Also, Versailles is recovering from an aneurysm and is not featured on the album. Instead, Chris Poland (ex-DAMN THE MACHINE, ex-MEGADETH), Marty Friedman (ex-CACOPHONY, ex-MEGADETH), Chris Broderick (ex- JAG PANZER, ex-MEGADETH) and Simone Mularoni (DGM) are filling in, as guest guitarists.
The music seems to have slightly returned to the band’s traditional melodic path, away from the heavier and rougher approach of 2011’s “This Mortal Coil” which reflected Van Dyk’s mood at the time. The songs are guitar driven, featuring heavy riffing and intense solos. Hosharian’s keyboards have also their moments, giving us some beautiful melodic parts. Ray Adler, is always a standard value behind the microphone, whilst his cooperation with John Bush (ARDMORED SAINT, ex-ANTHRAX) on the cover of THE WHO’s “Love Reign O’er Me” which is exquisite.
As a result, we get a balanced melodic, emotional, yet fairly heavy and technical album. Standout examples of this balance are “Damaged”, “Thirty Silver” and “The Center Of The Fire”. But the best moment of the album comes on the last track of the album, the 22-minute “At Day’s End” that contains all of REDEMPTION’s musical essence.
Bottom line, it seems that the worse for REDEMPTION have passed and the band sounds in shape. “The Art Of Loss” is definitely one of their best works so far.
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