Sunday, December 18, 2016

Matt Spall's Album of the Year 2016 – Number 18

Matt Spall has been doing a countdown of his favorite albums of rock and metal. Here is an example of the albums he's chosen so far.
Number 18
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.

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