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Getting better and better... - 92%

doclindgren, February 1st, 2010

The Los Angeles based progressive metal band Redemption was brought into the spotlight when they released their best effort at that time in Origin of Ruin in 2007. That album was the beginning of a whirlwind year that saw them open for Dream Theater and earn a spot on the ProgPower USA festival that fall. Now, the band returns with a new album (Snowfall on Judgment Day), new record label (Century Media Records), and some minor tweaks in their brand of progressive metal that may actually get the band farther than before, and considering the success of their last album, that’s saying something.

One of the noticeable differences between Origin of Ruin and Snowfall on Judgment Day is the pace at which Redemption approaches the music. For most of Snowfall on Judgment Day, the music seems to go at a slightly faster pace than what most fans of Redemption have known. However, that is the only real change in Redemption’s overall sound, as they still have the thought-provoking lyrics and equally mind-bending music - all of which originates from the mind of guitarist/keyboardist/songwriter Nick Van Dyk - and the strong vocal performance of Ray Alder. All of that is merged together to create a powerful album that will entertain you as much as it will make you think, as songs “Peel,” “Black and White World,” and “Fistful of Sand” show. Lending a hand is producer Tommy Hansen (Helloween, Circus Maximus) and James LaBrie of Dream Theater as part of a duet with Alder for “Another Day Dies.” Of all the Redemption albums, Snowfall on Judgment Day seems to be the easiest one to get into, which bodes well for those who are just now finding out about Redemption. That isn’t to say the long-time fans of the band will wonder what the band is doing, as the core of their sound remains intact. The album also finds Redemption at its very best, as they elevate themselves to a level that few other bands have or ever will attain. They are consistent with who they are from a musical standpoint and the message isn’t too preachy, which is a common problem for bands who have a hidden message in their songs.

Long after Dream Theater decides to hang it up, progressive metal music will be in good hands with Redemption. They do a lot of things that Dream Theater has done and can’t be accused of being a Dream Theater clone, even doing a few things that will stick with the listener for a while. Long-time Redemption fans will easily get into the album, while those who are just beginning will want to look into the band’s other albums when they are done listening to Snowfall on Judgment Day. A surefire top-ten album this year, Redemption has come up with an album that will stand the test of time in Snowfall on Judgment Day.

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