My recollection of Redemption from seeing them headlining at ProgPower Europe in 2011 is that they are big, brash and American. Since then they have replaced their then lead singer with Evergrey’s Tom Englund, acquired a keyboard player, and temporarily have lost their lead guitarist due to illness.
The style is what I expected. This is tight, dynamic progressive power metal, erring towards the power side without the cheese that you sometimes get. Self-evidently it’s powerful. It’s catchy and tightly played. Although this album doesn’t break the boundaries of originality, it’s stirring stuff and progresses in a way that is flamboyant and exciting. “Someone Else’s Problem” reaches out still further and very progressively has an emotional edge in the chorus, which reaches out and stirs the soul. This is a Jacob Hansen production so unsurprisingly the sounds are clearly defined. “The Echo Chamber” has an insistence and a dark cynicism, which Englund delivers neatly: “You surround yourself with thinkers of your kind”. It’s archetypal prog-power metal really, bold guitar statements and all, and this fluid and colourful journey is very easily translatable to a live adrenaline rush. The romp continues with “Impermanent”. The riff sounds just like Threshold. The keyboard plays its part here in this dark melodic progpower template, which rises impressively in its intensity. By contrast “Indulge in Color” is more moody and pensive, but to its credit, it does sink into itself. Englund tells a story and is allowed to, as the instrumentalists enhance the scene with power rather than swamping it. The album as a whole has this level of sophistication. Away we go with a flowery guitar solo but it’s built in and not contrived. The only reservation I have with all this is that technically good and creative as it all is, it’s familiar without stirring my juices. The prog ballad “And Yet” precedes a power metal piece “The Last of Me”. It’s all immaculately played from the book of flawless prog-power metal. I waited for that special moment and to be sure, it has nice songs with good touches and flowing guitar work. And sometimes it hits the heights. “New Year’s Day” is right up there – a fantastic, tightly packed and catchy song. The album closes with the 10 minute title track. From a quiet start it develops into technical progland. As ever the bounciness and imagery of proggy power metal are there. “Build a castle in the clouds and crash it down to earth … should I dare to dream” go the lyrics. Vivid guitar and keyboard work contribute to the adventure, and its story of struggles, hopes and dreams. The album finishes on a high.
Strange to say, but the perfect construction of this album does it a slight disservice by watering down spontaneity or depriving it of originality. “Long Night’s Journey Into Day” ebbs and flows. It’s always melodic, catchy and interesting. Is it special? Possibly not, but it’s very enjoyable.
(8/10 Andrew Doherty)