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Redemption - The Art Of Loss CD (album) cover




Progressive Metal

3.77 | 100 ratings

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4 stars One band's "loss" is another man's gain. That "loss," in this case, is Redemption's latest amazing album, The Art of Loss, which explores the themes of love, fear and loss over the course of nine emotional and melodic tracks. The man, of course, is me -- or any fan of this superbly talented progressive metal band. We are the ones who gain a collection of spectacularly-crafted songs that'll help strengthen us, inspire us, and (most importantly) melt our motherfucking faces. Thank you, Redemption!

Before we proceed, I should note I am a diehard fan of Redemption. For example, I pledged funds in support of their Live from the Pit DVD and one of my all-time favorite albums is their 2009 masterpiece, Snowfall on Judgment Day. The introspective lyrics of guitarist Nick van Dyk touch me deeply, and I admire the band's ability to create music that can be incredibly beautiful and soul-crushingly heavy at the same time. It's a unique mix that few bands can pull off, but Redemption has been doing it for over a decade now. Oh, and there's also the gorgeous voice of Ray Alder, who is better known as the vocalist of one of the pioneering bands of progressive metal: Fates Warning. If he's singin', I'm listenin'. On a sad note, this the band's first album without guitarist Bernie Versailles, who is recovering from an aneurysm. In classy fashion, they dedicated the record to him, writing in the liners they "await his return when he is ready." To fill his shoes, they've recruited Simone Mularoni of DGM and three Ex-Megadeth guitarists: Chris Broderick, Marty Friedman and Chris Poland.

The Art of Loss kicks off with the kick-ass title track and then delivers six straight songs that are among the group's greatest work. The highlights for me include the catchy headbanger "Damaged," the almost pop rockish "That Golden Light," and the blistering "Thirty Silver" -- the latter of which features scorching solos by all three of the former Megadeth axemen. Other favorites were "Hope Dies Last," which has a piano intro reminiscent of Snowfall's "Black and White World," and the 20-minute epic "At Day's End." I also must praise the band's brilliant rendition of The Who's 1973 classic, "Love, Reign O'er Me," which features guest vocals by John Bush of Armored Saint. With regard to lyrical content, poetry lovers might like to learn that "Slouching Towards Bethlehem" and "The Center of the Fire" were based on WB Yeats' "The Second Coming" and Oriah Mountain Dreamer's "The Invitation."

As for the album's artwork, it's one of my favorites from any progressive metal band in recent years. It depicts a broken wine glass on its side with red liquid spilt on a white background -- almost appearing like blood. Very simple, yet very powerful. It prompted several questions in my mind before even hearing a song, such as: Who dropped the glass and what caused he or she to drop it? Was it someone experiencing some sort of bad news (aka a "loss")? And, if so, what was the bad news? Apparently, the artwork was created by graphic artist Travis Smith, who has compiled quite the heavy metal resume. In fact, the quality of his covers might rank up there with Hugh Syme, who is best known for his work with Rush.

Getting back to Bernie, I just want to offer some warm wishes for a speedy recovery as he battles the aneurysm. He's definitely one talented dude, and I'd love to see him slay again. Considering Nick van Dyk recently overcame his own medical issue -- a cancer scare that inspired the group's 2011 album, This Mortal Coil -- it's no surprise the band handled this situation in a compassionate way. I also like the choice to use several guest guitarists instead of a singular replacement for this album. After all, no one can replace Bernie.

If you're a fan of Redemption, you won't be disappointed by The Art of Loss. It has everything we've come to love about the band, if you ask me. Of course, the record leaves a bittersweet feeling due to the aneurysm situation with Versailles, but these songs rock so hard that you can't help but love them. Let's just hope it's not another five years until their next release.

- Michael R. Ebert (

Mebert78 | 4/5 |


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