DVD REVIEW: REDEMPTION – “Alive In Color”
Despite being a relatively new band, Redemption have managed to pave their way into the highly competitive prog metal scene with skilled, yet melodic instrumental and competent songwriting, as well as always having a heavy-hitter singer. Weirdly enough, this is their second live album in a span of 6 years – this time around without founding member Bernie Versailles (ex-Agent Steel), who is taking time off from the band – but the venue and songs selected for this are worthy of visual performance.
‘Alive in Color’ was recorded in 2018 at the legendary Prog Power USA in Atlanta and features Evergrey’s frontman, and the newest addition to the band, Tom S. Englund on vocals, as well as DGM’s Simone Mularoni substituting Versailles on guitar and some very special appearances, which I’ll come to in a bit.
Redemption have always been a prog band I could get to, especially because they successfully grasp the intricate sounds and showmanship characteristic to the prog world without losing heaviness and catchiness, which leads to sort of a heavier mix between Threshold, DGM, and Vanden Plas.
Allying the European emotional and melodic sides to the American technique and punch, the group journeys through most of its discography, with Englund doing a good job singing Ray Alder’s tracks, which could have been difficult given the range and vocal differences between them.
Songs like “The Suffocating Silence”, and “Walls” are well executed by Englund, even despite the fact that he seems a little bit off in terms of crowd interaction and overall energy. While he delivers the goods and has a good performance, it feels like he’s more focused on hitting the notes and not letting something go wrong than to have fun and perform in front of an audience.
Mularoni’s proficient playing perfectly complements Nick Van Dyk’s surgical riffs and the rhythm section by Chris Quirarte and Sean Andrews is spot on, with newcomer and experient Vikram Shankar providing marvelous and energetic keyboard lines. The whole band works in perfect synchrony, making the instrumental moments a treat to watch.
As for the special appearances, Ray Alder (Fates Warning) does on a hell of a job in “Threads”, boosting the crowd and delivering a masterful vocal performance in the song, and Megadeth’s ex-guitarist Chris Poland absolutely kills on “Indulge In Color”, as well as does a cool rendition of “Peace Sells”, which was sadly removed from the DVD/Blu-Ray.
Production-wise, the video could have been better mixed in terms of the guitar volume and overall vocal lines, especially the backing ones. Patrick Ullaeus (Evergrey, Arch Enemy, Kamelot, etc.) did a great job in the camera direction and the result is an immersive, intimate experience.
‘Alive In Color’ is a wonderful and almost complete experience for Redemption fans due to its track diversity and some welcomed treats here and there, especially in the guest appearances. The full package of DVD/Blu-Ray + CD should be ideal here, as the CD has a different track order and actually has more content. Redemption is an awesome band both in-studio and in live performances, and with Englund now at the helm they are set to pick the pace in terms of releases and reshaping their identity. All in all, this is a beautiful package for all prog/power fans and definitely a cool addition to your DVD collection.