Album Reviews

Redemption – This Mortal Coil Review

Released by: Inside Out Music

Release Date: September 26th, 2011

Genre: Power Progressive Metal


Line Up:

Nick van Dyk – Guitars, Keyboards

Ray Alder – Vocals

Bernie Versailles – Guitars

Sean Andrews – Bass

Chris Quirarte – Drums


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)

I have said many times on past reviews that progressive metal is hit and miss, some bands make it work while other fail miserably to deliver something that challenges the listener, without sounding like a copycat band. Redemption has build a tremendous reputation for delivering the goods on their previous 4 studio albums. Each record has the band pushing forward and trying to create something more diverse and unique for the fans of the genre. This time around the story is even more emotionally driven; why? Well, you see, the group leader and mastermind behind the band guitarist/keyboardist Nick Van Dyk was diagnosed a few years ago with a rare form of blood cancer. I am happy to report as some of you know, he did win that battle. But I am sure the journey of revelation, lack of security or outlook on what the outcome would eventually be, would call into question many things about a person. Thankfully Nick used this tumultuous time to get inspire and put everything on paper when he was physically able to. Now don’t think the whole album is about his own experiences, but there is some influence from this ordeal. The bottom line here is that I was looking forward to hearing what more aptitude we could possibly hear from an already extremely talented band. Well have no fear because the band once more delves into uncharted waters that will eventually break even more free ground beneath your feet and open up a world of emotions and ideas.

Ray Alder returns to take over on vocals and I have to admit ever since their sophomore release, I noticed that Alder hasn’t reached the high notes he did on that record. I know that’s picking apart at a very solid vocalist, but just to point the fact that the band doesn’t need him to crack some mirrors when he sings; rather, in this release his vocal stylization is more subtle but still noticeable. Nick controls the guitars on cue with the mix of trash metal and power prog all over the reins, and he does an excellent job on keyboards setting an initial brooding and dark atmosphere through the more revealing parts. The drumming of Chris Quirarte has always been underrated, but on this album, he delivers a potent dose of powerful kicks on the heavier bottom tracks. Add to the mix a strong production job courtesy of legendary producer Neil Kernon (Queensryche,Nevermore, Kansas, etc.)

The inner destructive beauty of the head-imploding track titled “Blink Of An Eye” pushes the envelope as far as bringing memories and pictures to one’s minds; with the sheer power of the music you are taken on a journey of revelation through the heart and soul of a troubled person awaiting the worst. Listening to “This Mortal Coil” the first few times is like taking a diary of one’s own personal thoughts and revealing them to just “YOU’ the listener. The quest of survival of the fittest continues on the very dark and epic tune “Dreams From The Pit” where Ray Alder shines like he did on past previous Redemption marathons songs like “Sapphire” from their amazing sophomore album The Fullness Of Time.  The mid tempo break in the action adheres to more sharp tuned guitar shredding by both van Dyk and Bernie Versailles.

At one point through the record I kept on asking myself if these guys would ever slow down a bit to let you gasp for air and let the music sink in because there is so much kick astounding shift-pacing and brutal brute power of force and ramification on each track, that will blow your socks off when you hear it the first time. Ahh, wait, but we finally land across the more slow opening number in “Let It Rain’, where a hauntingly building bass drives this melancholy tune past mere neutral grounds as the keyboards dominate the soft intro with a mid paced piano solo to add more dexterity to it’s base.

I couldn’t help but groove on the potency of the amazing track “Stronger Then Death”; how could you not hope to feel positive after listening to this resurgence of free flowing energy that replicates like a massive supernova of a riff?

The story keeps on borrowing elements of questioning ones own immortality, an uncertain future that starts off bleak and stranded in the sands of time but slowly passes through the depths of darkness into a more positive outlook on life and everything else. This is what I always enjoyed about Redemption, they’re ability to write music has always been a strong focus point of the band, and with the already true inspiration of Nick’s own journey battling some personal adversity and triumphantly winning his quest, there is no shortage of inspiration in the songwriting, and you see that on each song. The sheer power of the instruments have captivated my ears beyond belief, the thunderous roar of the guitars, the ferocity of the drums plus the guiding light of the keyboards just fall into place unequivocally.

The best way I can explain Redemption is, when you’re feeling weak and defeated, you have a friend that will let you out, give you a way of reinforce yourself and at the same time boost your own self preservation to a whole new level with amazing music that detonates like a ticking time bomb. When it clicks it just clicks so well. Of course what may flow for me may not necessarily digest very well in yourself, call me a fan boy or whatever but I think Redemption is the cream of the crop when it comes to progressive metal, along with Symphony X. These gentleman write extremely eloquent music that is indicative of they’re dedication and hard work towards a craft that is very rare to stay incomparable and differentiate yourself from the competition.

Another shield in their coat of arms that they have earned from me, a great album that has the band, dare I say?….progressing as a unit once more. The eventual elaboration of they’re music makes me keep on listening over and over. One’s own battles are closely fought and with the ordeal that Nick Van Dyk had to go through it only adds even more to an album full of inspiration that will make you braise yourself first hand and connect the listener very closely. The style of guitars riffs are still Redemption’s at heart, but the band has prevail in experimenting with some interesting hooks and melodies this time around, add some more cerebral songs to the mix and you have a complete and very intrinsic album. Not for the easily distracted as their is much to digest like with any good progressive album, you have to let it sink into you and judge accordingly. For me there is always extremely high expectations with each release, but once more they deliver something that pushes the envelope from their last creation.That speaks volumes for me, does it for you?.

The only way of finding the limits of the possible is by going beyond them into the impossible.

– Arthur C. Clarke

Written by Denys

Ratings Denys   9/10

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