Redemption are back with their eighth studio release I Am the Storm, an album filled with progressive metal goodness and not to be missed.
Those into progressive metal have enjoyed Redemption since the early 2000s, with the band performing at Progpower USA IV in 2003, the same year their debut album was released. In 2005 the band started gaining a following with the release of The Fullness of Time featuring Ray Alder (Fates Warning) on vocals and then released their third album two years later and toured with Dream Theater. More touring, a live album and three more studio albums followed and then in 2016 the band released The Art of Loss on Metal Blade records which featured ex-Megadeth guitarists Chris Poland , Marty Friedman, and Chris Broderick as well as some vocals by John Busch (Armored Saint, Anthrax). Orignal vocalist Ray Alder left the band in 2017 and was replaced by Tom Englund (Evergrey). The band originally started by guitarist Nick van Dyk has seen some lineup changes over the year in addition to the recent change in vocals and now features, Chris Quirarte on drums, Sean Andrews on bass, and Vikram Shankar on keyboards with Chris Poland and Simone Mularoni (DGM) adding in some guitar parts along with Henrik Danhage (Evergrey). I Am the Storm was produced by Nick van Dyk and Simone Mularoni at Linda Flora Studios Produced by Nick van Dyk and Simone Mularoni at Linda Flora Studios. Chris Poland (ex-Megadeth), Henrik Danhage (Evergrey).
Redemption is another one of those bands that have been around for quite some time but as I don’t normally listen to progressive metal, was completely unknown to me. I have thoroughly enjoyed Evergrey releases over the last few years though so as soon as Tom Englund’s vocals came in during “I am the Storm”, I was instantly drawn in even deeper. The song literally explodes with a heavy fast riff and a great guitar solo layered in on top until the vocals start, so I was drawn in from the beginning. There definitely is a lot going on the mix. Guitars are heavy and Shankar’s keyboards make a strong contribution to the overall sound and feel of the song including a keyboard solo. The guitar work is phenomenal and the rhythm section of Sean Andrews on bass and Chris Quirarte on drums provide the perfect backdrop. From a production and mixing standpoint, there is a bit of an emphasis on the guitars and vocals at times, but overall everyone’s contributions are clear.
“Seven Minutes from Sunset” opens somewhat quietly with keyboards and then Andrew’s bass line before the rest of the band comes in and the listener is treated to a guitar and keyboard solo before the verses start. Englund’s vocals have that smoothness with emotional urgency to them much like in his other band, Evergrey and fit very well. The song has even more great guitar solos later on and Quirarte’s drum work in the background of this song and the others on the album really shines and I would have liked to have had it a bit more prominent in the mix.
Interestingly, the band has chosen to include two versions of “The Emotional Depiction of Light”. The first one one opens up with basically Englund’s vocals accompanied by Shankar’s keyboards and piano. Andrew’s bass comes in later and some muted drums join and then the full band with guitars fairly subdued for a good part of the song. This version ends much like it started, with just Englund’s vocals and Shankar’s piano. Later in the album, Vikram Shankar, remixed the song and while it does start out similar, the addition of some strings and a different treatment of Englund’s vocals really strengthen the song and take it to another level.
“Resilience” really amps up the heaviness from the very opening while “Action at a Distance” starts out much quieter before it takes off and takes the listener through a variety of twists and turns between the heavy and quiet with blazing fast riffs and guitar solos to a symphonic interlude and back to riffs and solos, which is to be expected from a progressive metal band and a 14 minute song.
Redemption chose to include a couple cover songs on the album from related artists, “Turn it On Again” from Genesis and “Red Rain” from Peter Gabriel. Both of the tracks are instantly recognizable. To me, Tom Englund’s vocals just don’t seem to fit into “Turn it On Again”. They are obviously strong, but maybe my memory of the song has me expecting something different. In contrast, “Red Rain” seems like a perfect fit for the band. Chris Quirarte starts out with some cool percussion elements which continue throughout the song and Vikram Shankar’s keyboards really shine and have a stronger place in the mix than on other parts of the album. Here, Englund’s vocals are a perfect fit and the cover version is well worth the listen.
I Am the Storm is great example of progressive metal and is one of those albums that you can put on and listen to from start to finish, each time hearing something new.
Written by John Jackson
- I Am the Storm
- Seven Minutes from Sunset
- Remember the Dawn
- The Emotional Depiction of Light
- Action at a Distance
- Turn it on Again
- All this Time and Not Enough
- The Emotional Depiction of Light (Vikram’s remix)
- Red Rain
Nicolas van Dyk – Guitars
Sean Andrews – Bass
Vikram Shankar – Keyboards
Tom S. Englund – Vocals
Chris Quirarte – Drums
Release Date: March 17th. 2023
Record Label: AFM Records
Video for ‘Remember the Dawn’
Video for ‘Seven Minutes from Sunset’
Lyric video for ‘I am the Storm’