Welcome to number 18 in my ‘Album of the Year 2016’ top 30 countdown. We’re not far away now from the half-way mark, so things are slowly but surely getting more and more serious. There have been some (in my opinion at least) very good releases listed in this countdown already. And, given the strength of the year, the quality is just getting better and better as we go on.
Thanks to everyone for following this series of mine so avidly so far. I’m really chuffed by the comments that I’ve had and the banter that has ensued. As I’ve said many times before, this is a list that is created from my opinions, and my opinions alone; it’s therefore very subjective and designed to do nothing else but shine the spotlight on some deserving music, the music that has brightened up my musical life this year.
And, just to remind you all, if you’re new to this blog or if you have missed any of the previous posts in this series, links to them all can be found at the bottom of this post.
And now, on with the show…
The Art of Loss
Metal Blade Records
“…this eye-watering group of musicians have come together to create what I’d playfully refer to as a ‘delicious racket’ or more seriously, a masterful album of highly-charged, emotional, technical and melodic progressive metal.
Redemption have always been known for creating genuinely heavy and fast-paced compositions, full of dextrous instrumentalism from all corners of the band not to mention a flair for the dramatic, melodic and overtly emotional. This theme continues of ‘The Art Of Loss’ but there’s an ‘x’ factor, a certain something that really speaks to me on this album in particular.
Quite simply, it is a magnificent body of work that plays to all of the plentiful strengths of the band. This is all-out progressive metal that combines technicality and superb musicianship with genuine heaviness and all the sumptuous melodies and hooks that you could possibly wish for.”
I’ve always had a soft spot for Redemption. Given what the band has gone through, it is amazing that they are still going. Lesser bands would have thrown in the towel but not Redemption; instead, they have delivered quite possibly the best album of their career. It certainly pushes the immaculate ‘Snowfall On Judgement Day’ all the way.
I’m a huge fan of guitar solos and the kind of excesses that can often be frowned upon by other sectors of the rock and metal genre. I never understand why they get so snippy about it because as far as I’m concerned, lead guitar breaks and over-the-top musicianship have always played a part in heavy metal. And I love the fact that Redemption indulge in all this. But more than that, they deliver it in a thoroughly enjoyable and commanding way.
This album contains some sumptuous melodies too that stick in the mind and help to create some memorable compositions. And the whole thing is topped off by arguably Redemption’s best production for some time, having been their Achilles heel in the recent past. If you’re a fan of progressive metal, this band need to be in your collection without any shadow of doubt.
In case you’ve missed any of the other posts in the 2016 series, here they are for you to explore and enjoy:
Album of the Year 2016 – Number 19
Album of the Year 2016 – number 20
Album of the Year 2016 – number 21
Album of the Year 2016 – number 22
Album of the Year 2016 – number 23
Album of the Year 2016 – number 24
Album of the Year 2016 – number 25
Album of the Year 2016 – number 26
Album of the Year 2016 – number 27
Album of the Year 2016 – number 28
Album of the Year 2016 – Number 29
Album of the Year 2016 – Number 30
And from previous years: