By Carl C. Sundberg
To anyone outside the metal world, Redemption is a virtually unknown band. But to anyone who listens to metal, especially progressive metal, Redemption is a powerhouse group. Featuring members of legendary progressive metal band Fate’s Warning, vocalist Ray Alder and guitarist Bernie Versailles, Redemption has written four albums and released a live DVD/CD since their inception in 2003.
Fate’s Warning’s history coupled with a two decade-long friendship with Dream Theater helped Redemption achieve a wider audience when they were asked to open for Dream Theater on their 2007 Systematic Chaos Tour. “When I first started out in Fate’s Warning, Mike [Portnoy of Dream Theater] was a fan, ” says vocalist Ray Alder. “And I’ve known him for 20 years now. For him to offer up that tour to us was pretty fricking amazing. [Redemption] was such a small band then, we hadn’t done anything as far as touring with bands that big, so when they offered it we were blown away.”
Since that tour and because of all the member’s busy lives, Redemption has focused more on writing music than on the touring cycle. And it has paid off. Critics have hailed Redemption as “one of the best progressive metal acts to emerge in the past generation.”
The reason for most of Redemption’s praise can be attributed to the band’s brainchild - guitarist Nicolas van Dyk. On their fourth album, Snowfall on Judgement Day, he has directed and written most of the album’s music, lyrics and melodies, taking the band’s abilities to the next level. “I think Nic did a great job,” says Alder. “During pre-production he was showing me some songs, actually sitting in his car, asking me what do I think of this and this, and I was blown away.” One of the crucial elements that separate Redemption from other progressive metal bands, is the understanding that the song is just as important as the technical aspects of the playing. “I thought it was the most melodic of all the Redemption records,” Alder says. “It’s just memorable. Really catchy tunes. I mean you got the musical interludes, you got everything going on in there, the odd times and everyone’s great musicians, so you’re able to show them off. But to have that and be catchy as well, again, I think Nic did a great job.”
Getting to the level of mastery that Redemption upholds can be attributed to the work ethic of van Dyk, who, according to his bandmates, is virtually always writing new music. “He’s crazy, he’s a workhorse man,” says Alder. “While we were in the studio recording, he was like, I got an idea for another song already for the next album. We were like dude, ok! He works away and every time we hang out, he seems like he always has music he wants you to listen to.”
And while Redemption continues to create new music, the guys in Fate’s Warning are planning a new album as well. “We signed with Inside Out [Records],” Alder says. “Which is the first record not on Metal Blade. It’s going to be great. We have a couple of songs under our belts. I’ll tell you, one right now started out at eight minutes, went to sixteen minutes and now it’s up to twenty one minutes. We’ll see what happens.”
Until then Redemption will be working out their schedules to allow them to go on tour. “Everybody has a day job in Redemption,” Alder says. “So it’s kind of hard to get everyone together to do a big tour. But we realize that we need to let people know about us.”
And to do that - even with four albums, a live DVD release, legendary members in the band, critical acclaim and a huge tour with Dream Theater under their wings -Redemption will be doing it the old-fashioned way: Playing live and local. “We’re gonna do a lot of shows around L.A., San Diego, San Francisco and Northern California and maybe around Phoenix,” says Alder. “Redemption is a really great live band, so I think the future for us is to be playing out as much as possible.”
originally published on 101d.com
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