Rock Company 2020
Veterans of heavy wars atone for temporary dive in their career and scale new heights.
This British combo may not take the blame if you accuse them of non-originality in terms of style, but the quintet stay faithful to what they started a decade ago and also to what their albums’ titles promise. If 2019’s "Rising" saw the ensemble return to form and to action yet seemed rather uneven, its follow-up remedies the disbalance by offering a solid slab of classic hard rock. Memorable and catering to those who like the equilibrium between heaviness and melody, the eleven numbers of “Redemption” can indeed make our times feel less stressful.
That’s why one is allowed to heave a sigh of relief once the tribal groove of “Out In The Cold” gives way to Vince O’Regan’s guitar riffs and Phil Vincent’s battle cry. They roam a familiar ground in search of a sweet chorus and find it to elevate the drift to anthemic, thanks to guest Eric Ragno’s organ, before “Reach For The Sky” takes things a notch higher and nudges everything further on the route to the palace of fun by fueling the cut’s rock ‘n’ roll with rich vocal harmonies. But while there’s more aural transparency to “Die Young” where the performance histrionics are sublime, the blues tones of “Cold Day In Hell” come as dense as the listener’s desperation, and “Face To Face” marries the two approaches in the most perfect way.
With Gav Cooper’s ivories smoothing the rhythm that Irv Parrot’s bass and Andy Pearce’s drums lay down, AOR could rear its head on “Pieces” yet their interplay is tasty, so a bit of banality doesn’t prevent guilty pleasures from seeping in, and “Gone Too Far” nails the limit to which the band will lead their chosen genre’s tropes. As a result, the veterans’ “Redemption” – original or not – must garner a lot of interest from aficionados and uninitiated alike.