Redemption- The Fullness of Time - 2005 - Sensory Records
1. Threads 2. Parker's Eyes 3. Scarred 4. Sapphire 5. Rage (The Fullness of Time I) 6. Despair (The Fullness of Time II) 7. Release (The Fullness of Time III) 8. Transcendence (The Fullness of Time IV)
Redemption, brainchild of one very talented Nick Van Dyk, has released an almost-masterpiece with their sophomore effort, The Fullness of Time. Hailing from America’s east coast, the band features someone who will immediately draw the attention of any prog metal fan - Ray Alder of Fates Warning. His awesome vocal skills, coupled with Van Dyk’s creativity on the guitar and keyboard make for one hell of a trip.
The production on The Fullness of Time is pristine, and the harmony between the guitars and keyboards is only one of the ways it shows. Van Dyk utilizes the keyboard in a manner that acutely reminds me of Dream Theater – the transitions from backing atmosphere sections to leads are smooth and flawless. Solos are frequent, and almost always brilliant. Rarely do we come across any “filler” solos that don’t seem to go anywhere and just fill up space in the song. Everything found on this record is powerful and moving – a listener will never find themselves bored.
The album kicks off with “Threads,” which blazes forward with a magnificent into riff followed by an intense blast of Alder’s vocals. Anyone who’s heard Fates Warning knows how powerful and diverse his voice is. He has the ability to sound deep and loud like Symphony X’s Russell Allen, or, if the situation is different, high and thin, like James Labrie. “Threads” is followed by “Parker’s Eyes,” a moving tribute to the 9-11 attacks. As a New Yorker myself, I can truly appreciate the feeling the band members (who are also from the area) put into the song.
The third track, “Scarred,” contains the best solos of the album. About halfway through the song, Nick Van Dyk and Bernie Versailles take off on a two minute rampage of alternating and dual solos, sometimes accompanied by the keyboard. After listening to this assault for the first few times, my brain felt quite addled, but once I’d memorized the notes it became the most enjoyable moment on the album. Next we have “Sapphire,” clocking in at over fifteen minutes as the album’s longest track. It’s relatively slow and somber at first, with lots of piano. About halfway through the pace picks up, and the song rounds itself off nicely.
The second half of the album is really one song, “The Fullness of Time,” but it’s broken up into four sections. The first, “Rage,” is an aptly named track, as it’s rather aggressive and angry-sounding. Part two, “Despair,” features some excellent acoustic guitar work early on. The second half of the song has some wonderfully arranged backing choruses which do a great job to complement Adler’s already strong voice. “Release” contains a great piano intro, but after a while starts to border on “empty space filler boring” zone, and finishes on a slightly weak note. I have to say, I’m quite impressed by the fact that I found no fault with the album up until now, and part four, “Transcendence,” gives me no reason to find any more. Again, Redemption decides to start out with an acoustic introduction. Following this we’re treated to a rather epic song, with big choirs, splendid atmosphere, and some interesting percussion. It’s a perfect way to end an almost perfect album.
After hearing “The Fullness of Time,” I’m going to have to seriously reconsider my top ten albums for 2005. Redemption definetley deserve a spot on the list and when all is said and done, I don’t see why they shouldn’t make it. Nick Van Dyk is a creative genius and Ray Adler has one of the best clean voices in metal. This is the kind of album I’d recommend to anyone – not just metal fans but ANYONE. Do yourself a favor and buy it as soon as that next paycheck clears.
Album cover link: http://img292.imageshack.us/img292/8201/ctfotsm0ze.jpg
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