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Redemption - This Mortal Coil CD (album) cover




Progressive Metal

3.34 | 97 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
3 stars Every new album from Redemption is something to celebrate in the progressive metal community, especially considering that this American powerhouse has been on quite a winning streak lately. Hot off the heels of the killer Snowfall on Judgment Day is This Mortal Coil, the fifth full-length album from Redemption. Everything that we've come to expect from Redemption is here in full force - powerful and technical guitar riffs, lush keyboard palettes, outstanding musicianship, and powerful vocal lines that can only be delivered by Ray Alder. This Mortal Coil is ultimately a successful entry into their discography, yet I can't help but feel a bit let down by a few key aspects of this release. Although this is musically an outstanding album, the production flaws and uneven mix leave my enthusiasm for This Mortal Coil a bit more restrained than it should be. Fans of Redemption should be sure to check it out, but this isn't the best starting point for those new to the band.

Those familiar with Redemption should immediately recognize the sound on This Mortal Coil. Expect a strong influence from Dream Theater, Fates Warning, and Symphony X within the sound, even though Redemption does have their own distinct brand of progressive metal. The songs are generally pretty conventional and accessible (in a good way), and always contain unforgettable choruses and killer riffs. The technical acrobatics of the band are as impressive as ever, and plenty of furious guitar and keyboard duals always keep things interesting. This Mortal Coil's most appealing factor, for me at least, is the vocal performance from Ray Alder of Fates Warning. Even though he may not hit those same notes he used to sing in the late eighties, he proves that he's still one of the most powerful and emotional vocalists in the prog metal world. The melodic sensibilities of his singing style parred with the extremely memorable songwriting structures make for plenty of unforgettable moments contained within This Mortal Coil.

In most regards, This Mortal Coil is a near-flawless album. Actually, the quality of musicianship and songwriting are so high that I may even consider it one of Redemption's best albums to date. So what is the hold-up that restrains my full enjoyment of this album? Unfortunately, it's the iffy production and uneven mix. Even though the album doesn't sound horrible, the sound here is hardly excusable for a band with this much reputation and popularity within their respective genre. The sound comes across as overly compressed and distorted, and the mix seems to emphasize all of the wrong things. The vocals are awfully low in the mix, often being drowned out by a flood of loudly-mastered riffs and drums. The loud and compressed production certainly doesn't do a prog metal album any justice, and I really wish that Redemption would re-produce this album sometime in the future. The current sound quality ends up nearly crippling all of the album's other assets - something that I will rarely say, especially in this day and age.

In spite of its glaring production flaws, This Mortal Coil is still a very successful observation from Redemption that most fans of the band should check out. I've had a really good time experiencing this album, and there are enough killer tunes here to keep me revisiting again in the future from time to time. With songwriting and musicianship this strong, it's hard not to at least be left somewhat impressed by This Mortal Coil. The album is dragged down by a poor production, but the redeeming qualities are still enough to warrant a 3.5 star rating.

J-Man | 3/5 |


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