The Fullness of Time
posted on 12/2005 By:
This prog outfit received a boost for their sophomore effort when front man Ray Alder took over for departed Steel Prophet vocalist Rick Mythiasin. Alder guested on Redemption’s first album, but now has the mic full time, and the cultured throat of the Fates Warning man adds the final piece to the puzzle, making Redemption a formidable contributor to the prog metal field. Further, it seems that Redemption is becoming more of a band, rather than a project of Nick van Dyk and Co. Van Dyk formed the band in 2001, and contributed writing, guitar, and keyboard duties when Redemption released its self-titled debut in 2003. For The Fullness of Time he has added permanent members James Sherwood (bass) and Chris Quirarte (drums), both of Prymary. Alder’s Fates Warning partner Bernie Versailles rounds out the lineup.
Full disclosure time: I don’t dig much progressive metal. Even the revered Dream Theater frequently leaves me ambivalent at best. Still, although I probably wouldn’t have sought out Redemption on my own, and still won’t recommend it as a blind purchase to the prog-wary fan, I’ve come to very much enjoy the album. The Fullness of Time is an indisputably classy and mature display of song based progressive metal, and should establish Redemption as one of the more viable bands in the genre. For starters, the band is more concerned with writing songs than stroking their instruments, and while the album is far from at a loss for solos, The Fullness of Time successfully sidesteps the tendency to turn toward turn-based self-indulgence. Because they don’t beat you over the head with it, some may feel the musicianship doesn’t seem as technically impressive as that of some in the genre, but where the band succeeds is in knowing why to play, and executing by adding skillful technical flair that builds intensity while supporting the structure of the compositions. The band is moderately less successful avoiding what I view as a few of the other pitfalls of the genre. Namely, the material is sometimes hyper-emotional, although lyrically adept, and burdened with slow material. Still, I’ve heard far worse on both counts, and despite the slower passages in several songs (which typically work well), only the dull album closer is a true slow track.
The album is effectively halved; the first act contains three normal length tracks and the grandiose fifteen-minute “Sapphire”. “Threads” is an impressive opener, kicking off the album with speedy riffing and a host of complimentary solos. Van Dyk does a nice job at developing the key lines, tastefully moving them from subtle supporting roles to the forefront for lead work and hook. “Parker’s Eyes”, a dynamic homage to 9/11 is intense if slightly over-solicitous. As on their last album, Redemption has dedicated half of The Fullness of Time to the title track, which has been broken into four parts and given subtitles. The songs function less as a single composition than as complementary conceptual pieces. The moods and tempos are consistent with the song’s names, “Rage”, “Despair”, “Release”, and “Transcendence” (“Hey, hey, hey--and if you’re not careful, you might just learn something before it’s done”). This album has been out for a while, so this review is no doubt old news to serious prog fans. But if you’ve managed to miss it, and you get any enjoyment from progressive metal, The Fullness of Time is well worth the cash.
Register to post comments.