Album Review: REDEMPTION The Art of Loss
Sometimes it’s hard to know exactly what you want out of a progressive metal album. Some people love the melodic elements, or the storytelling, the polyrhythmic time changes, or just the actual heaviness. Redemption has been a pretty consistently successful prog act, being able to hang and tour with the likes of Dream Theater and others. Yet, it always seems that Redemption has never been able to break through the other giants like Symphony X or Fates Warning. However, with their newest Metal Blade release, The Art of Loss, perhaps things will start to change for the band.
This album is a little more significant from Redemption as their longtime lead guitarist, Bernie Versailles is still recovering from a brain aneurism which happened in 2014. I’m actually not entirely sure if Versailles was present for the recording of this album either fully or even partially, but this album is also backed by several guest guitarists to help out. A common denominator of Megadeth runs with guests Marty Friedman, Chris Broderick, and Chris Poland. Simone Mularoni of DGM appears as well. Redemption seems to have a pretty good recipe for success on their hands, but it’s time to see what The Art of Loss actually has to offer us.
The Art of Loss has pretty standard progressive metal fare, which isn’t a bad thing. It begins with the title track (featuring Mularoni) in a very energetic opener. This song is pretty straight forward and doesn’t focus much on the common progressive elements. We have ambient keyboards, technical guitar solos, powerful vocals from Ray Alder, and a bridge section that does try to play with our rhythmic expectations a bit. Overall, it’s a pretty strong opener, and clearly the obvious choice for a title track.
"The Art of Loss"
My personal favorite track would be “Damaged” which features Friedman. It’s definitely one of the catchier songs which also makes it more memorable than some of the others. It might not have the same speed as some of the other songs that appear on the album, but it definitely makes you want to bang your head probably harder than any other track on the album.
There’s a good ratio of fast to slow-paced songs on The Art of Loss as well. And just like any good prog album, we have some of the obligatory 10 minutes or more tracks. It’s a good variety that does it’s best not to get too stagnant and monotonous. Does it achieve that consistently throughout the album? I would say no, but the effort is definitely there. Since The Art of Loss is pretty standard prog metal, there isn’t anything too new or different than the prog metal you’ve heard already. And again, this doesn’t make this album bad by any means, but it can put it in the “done before” category. Ultimately, while there are some great shining moments, many of the other moments become forgettable as a result.
The Art of Loss, while not offering something new outside of the tried and true progressive metal formulas still ends up being a well executed album. It probably won’t be Redemption’s best album, but it’s definitely not their worst. I suppose this is why numerical ratings of albums can be helpful because I don’t want to make it seem like this is a bad album at all. It doesn’t make my hair stand on end, but it’s not bad. It’s alright, I guess is what I’m trying to say, I should probably just say that more often…