[ALBUM REVIEW] LONG NIGHT’S JOURNEY INTO DAY BY REDEMPTIONby Bian Hickman on Jul 24, 2018 • 10:36 pm No Comments
Redemption’s seventh full-length album Long Night’s Journey Into Day is shifting gears into heavier territory, with faster tempos, more solos, more melodic dissonance, and riffs and rhythms that hint at elements of power metal. Still true to their classic progressive metal style, the band offers 10 songs filled with harmonic goodness whilst keeping each song at its essential core. With enormous shoes to fill as Redemption’s first offering since 2016 release The Art Of Loss (considered by the band’s guitarist/composer Nick Van Dyk to be among the band’s very best), this record has an answer to anything that may have been missing on its predecessor. And the recent addition of Evergrey’s Tom Englund on vocals may have helped with reinventing Redemption’s sound.
The album’s opener ‘Eyes You Dare Not Meet in Dreams’ starts with an ominous stutter guitar effect with synth layering to build anticipation of an impending epic. The avid Redemption fan might anticipate this intro to develop slowly but much to the contrary it immediately bursts into chugging guitars, with a 16th note kick drum blast beat and a blistering harmonic minor guitar solo. Wasting no time, Tom’s emotive vocals power into a verse over the aggressive metallic backdrop. So far, everything is in common time signature, until the chorus arrives in a 6/8 to 8/8 vamp, before launching into a lengthy solo section.
‘Someone Else’s Problem’ starts with another ominous rhythmic synth section, in the classic metal natural minor harmony. With more of a mid-paced rhythm, the lengthy intro features a couple of movements with metal chanting and catchy guitar melodies, before introducing Tom’s vocal timbres reminiscent of Peter Gabriel.
‘The Echo Chamber’ is a political song tackling the absence of discourse among those with opposing views. Coupled with its complicated subject matter is an intro of 6/4, 5/4 and 7/8 changes full of harmonic minor and diminished leads. This then goes on to introduce a verse of 5/4—perhaps Nick Van Dyk has been listening to a lot of Yngwie Malmsteen lately? Nevertheless, the song hits home with an ‘All Along The Watchtower’ type of chorus, giving some resolution to the track.
The following tracks ‘Impermanent,’ ‘Little Men,’ ‘And Yet’ and ‘The Last of Me’ all feature a melancholic focus with progressive and melodic elements fitting with the Redemption sound of previous albums. They utilise the dynamics of clean guitars and acoustic piano sounds; slow tempos and reverb-lathered vocals; and guitars and synths, which saunter into powerful song climaxes and run aggressively into power metal drums and dissonant rhythm guitars. ‘Indulge in Color’ being a sequel to ‘Black & White World’ (from the Snowfall On Judgement Day album) develops on the musical ideas of the original with all new rhythms and bass lines. The title track of the album appears last and is a 10-minute epic of dark melodic instrumentation and vocals, with interludes of layered vocal harmonies and guitars, augmented scales and a comparatively homely chorus in 7/4.
In light of the album’s predecessor being Redemption’s best work, at this level of quality, it’s not so much about what is better than it is about taste. Given the emphasis on the metallic elements of this album, I think it will be well accepted by the metal community as well as the progressive rock/metal community, which is an overall win. A fantastic set of songs and arrangements, killer performances and great production—a brilliant effort from Redemption all round.
Rating: 10 outta 10 devil horns
Long Night’s Journey Into Day is due for release on Friday, 27th July.
You can pre-order the Long Night’s Journey Into Day Standard Jewel Case and Limited Edition Vinyl and Merch packages here.
You can pre-order the Long Night’s Journey Into Day Limited Edition Digipak with bonus tracks here.