It’s that gap between hope and expectation that we often fall through. Let’s be honest, your hope levels for Architects’ new album Holy Hell (Epitaph) might be stratospheric, but your expectations…? Given what this band has been through in terms of loss, sorrow and anguish, you could easily have fallen into that space of hoping for the best but guarding your expectations. It might be enough just that they simply deliver us something, anything, yes? Continue reading
Since their formation in 2001, Redemption have always proved a dependable and solid act, never proving truly world-beating or spectacular, but always proving enjoyable with a strong quality and pedigree. Likewise they have always proved steady in the sound, never being too revolutionary but as a result, pleasing to long-term fans. Following in this trend, latest album The Art Of Loss (Metal Blade) proves much of the same, being strong and certainly fun, but with its flaws.
Sadly The Art Of Loss is without long-term guitarist Bernie Versailles as he recovers from an aneurysm, but does see his void instead filled with a plethora of guest spots including ex- Megadeth axemen Marty Friedman, Chris Broderick and Chris Poland. Otherwise this is much the same as we have come to expect; which is not necessarily a negative. Album opener and the title track set up proceedings with an anthemic, instantly memorable number which showcases both the band’s soaring guitar work and powerful vocals of Ray Adler. What follows is more or less in the same vein of prog-tinged metal, which proves melodic yet muscular and dark and melancholic yet with a streak of motivational energy.
So far so good, but The Art Of Loss does have some drawbacks. With little deviation there is a sense that this is going through more of the same, many songs sounding all too similar to one and another and to previous works to really stand out for long. Combined with a long duration and this actually becomes a fairly taxing album, especially with the plus 20 minute closing track, which does shift throughout, but still doesn’t warrant its time frame.
Redemption have never seemed like the band to try and completely reinvent the wheel or their own formula, and depending on viewpoint, an album of more of the same will either prove tiresome or excellent news. For others, there is plenty of value here with some exemplary guitar work and huge passages throughout, but there is surprisingly little depth for an album this long; and there are plenty of bands who do very similar, but a whole lot better.
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Friends of veteran guitarist Bernie Versailles (Redemption, Agent Steel, Engine, Masters of Metal, etc) are seeking donations to help pay for costs pertaining to his recent surgery. Longtime friends Gary Wells and Juan Garcia are asking the metal community for assistance via a fundraising page at YouCaring.com.
Versailles had suffered a brain aneurysm on the morning of October 5, 2014 and was rushed to a Southern California emergency room, where he underwent a successful craniotomy to fix his aneurysm, and with physical therapy to follow.
He and his longtime partner Soma have two young children, Sevina and Apollo.