Released: 2005, Sensory Records
As they say, first impressions are extremely important and I would say that’s very true. Sometimes you can find yourself trying to defeat that first impression your whole life, you know, that dumb thing you did in front of the hot girl at a party or when you asked how stupid your new boss was to a coworker, not knowing they were standing behind you the whole time. Well, for vocalist Ray Alder I had a horrible first impression with him, as well as guitarist Bernie Versaille. The first time I heard them was on the wretched Engine album and I can’t get over how bad that album was, it was borderline mallcore if not completely crossing the line. After that though, I did hear Bernie’s work in Agent Steel and was completely blown away. Next I heard Ray’s work in Fates Warning and admittedly was pretty impressed with his vocal prowess even if I was bored to tears by Fates Warning’s direction after Arch.
So when I received Redemption’s THE FULLNESS OF TIME in the mail a few months back and leafed through the booklet to see a band I’d never heard of before that had Ray Alder and Bernie Versaille teaming up again I visibly cringed. I figured I’d better listen to this now and get it out of the way so what did I hear on my initial listen? High quality modern prog metal. I was actually blown away because I fully expected this album to be horrible, but it turned out to be one of the better prog releases this year (possibly the best). Then after being thoroughly impressed I checked Redemption out online to find that Bernie and Ray aren’t the masterminds behind this masterfully created and executed disc, it’s actually guitarist and main songwriter, Nick Van Dyk. THE FULLNESS OF TIME is Redemption’s second album, the first coming out in 2003 with ex-Steel Prophet vocalist Rick Mythiasin.
On THE FULLNESS OF TIME Redemption play the modern, technical prog that can be likened to a mix of Dream Theater (and their many clones) and maybe some modern era Fates Warning (whether that’s just because of Alder’s voice or not I haven’t completely determined). Needless to say, the album can be technical but usually not overly so and I think that what really set Redemption apart from most other prog bands are the vocals. Ray’s voice is so smooth and soothing that it eliminates much of the boredom that lots of prog create; Ray’s voice gives something that one can instantly latch onto.
THE FULLNESS OF TIME is built on good songwriting, not over the top musicianship or long instrumental sections. The songs breathe and have a life of their own thanks to a full bodied production that doesn’t take away anything from music but merely lets it live. Each song has itss own spice to add, many times one will find a spectacular solo (“Threads”), or some amazing vocal work (“Scarred”, “Parker’s Eyes”), or an overblown beautiful epic (“Sapphire”). The last four songs on the album make up what is essentially the title track, each one taking a different mood and feel but creates something special.
This is top notch progressive metal that doesn’t feel as formulaic as most and has more soul and feel than just about any band currently in the genre. A strong recommendation for any and all prog fans.