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Album Review: Redemption – Long Night’s Journey into Day

Although Redemption’s seventh full-length album Long Night’s Journey into Day restores the biyearly release schedule set by the prog group’s 2000s-era outings, it does so with the absence of longtime vocalist Ray Alder. The Fates Warning singer has departed to focus more on his main project, and Evergrey’s Tom Englund is welcomed aboard in his stead. It’s a little funny to see such a high-profile singer being replaced by another, but you really can’t argue with these results.

Indeed, the band’s established brand of introspective prog metal is firmly intact on Long Night’s Journey into Day. Comparisons to Dream Theater and Symphony X among others remain inevitable; the rhythms are tightly intricate, the guitars alternate between crunchy chugs and weaving leads, and the keyboards boast spry piano melodies and thematic electronics. This may also be among the band’s most aggressive outings; some of that heaviness could be attributed to Englund’s more commanding vocals, but Alder’s more vulnerable demeanor wouldn’t have been out of place here either.

This additional power brings a sense of urgency to the societal and personal themes on songs like “The Echo Chamber,” but Redemption knows how to stay levelheaded. “And Yet” ends up being a surprisingly powerful track; it’s less than four minutes long and the album’s sparsest arrangement, but its sudden pause reminds one of A Pleasant Shade of Grey in the best way. I can also get behind the take on U2’s “New Year’s Day” that got pushed toward the end.

Overall, Redemption isn’t quite at the heights of the prog metal echelon, but their seventh full-length is the result of hardy endurance. Like past albums, the lengthiness to catchiness ratio could use more balance but a heavier boost does result in some of their most stirring performances to date. I’m not sure if this is the type of album that would attract newer fans, but longtime listeners won’t be alienated by anything happening here.

Highlights:
“Someone Else’s Problem”
“And Yet”
“New Year’s Day”

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