Long Night’s Journey Into Day is Redemption’s seventh full length and first featuring Evergrey frontman Tom Englund. The musical tapestry herein is vivid and imaginative, staying true to the latter day course of Redemption stylistics, and opening strong with five of Redemption’s fleshiest tracks. The first half hour of the album is ridiculously strong, setting things off on the right foot with cleverly penned opener Eyes You Dare Not Meet In Dreams and stretching through a couple of massive tracks that take the very best of Redemption and pour them into interesting ideas and cool structures. It culminates in Indulge In Color, one of Redemption’s best songs to date. The song carries all the great ideas in place over the first half hour of the album; the heavy riffage, the down to earth stylistics of Englund (who still lets off quite a bit here) and the meaty melodics and thrifty soloing, all packaged in Redemption styled antics that just blows all resistance out of the gate.
Tom Englund is a fitting replacement for Ray Alder, and his vocals are a notch above those of the latter on the previous album. But he is not outstanding in his delivery, and rather takes a backseat to let the sometimes awesome instrumentals flow, and rightly so. There is however also a stagnancy in place, much like on the previous album. Englund, whose voice is as strong as it ever was - and he sounds way better than on the last Evergrey album - manages, despite his strengths, to not get swept away in a way the songs would have needed. Some of the material would demand the vocalist to go further toward the climaxes, but Englund mostly delivers with a uniform clarity. Great, but not awesome, and he takes a rightful back seat to the instrumentals, letting the album shine where it matters most; there’s plenty of variable material, yet sticks to the darkness and familiarity. The title track is the album’s longest, clocking in at over ten minutes, and one of the most inspired pieces on here.
Between it and the opening few, however, there are a few dragging slabs of punchable boring to sit through. The highly potent And Yet, a short ballad type of affair with plenty of melodramatic emotion, hidden away in the middle of the album, doesn’t carry the mid section made up of Little Men, The Last of Me and a lame ass U2 cover. These could easily have been cut and replaced with special edition bonus song Noonday Devil, which while not special like the first few songs, feel more in place and would lend the album better pacing and a substantially less bloated runtime. In all though, Long Night’s Journey Into Day is definitely a step up from the last album, and one worth most of its time. Nick Van Dyk just keeps tossing strong and emotive solos and gut punching, swirling melodic leads at us, while the rhythm section holds a steady grab at the heart of the music with thumping bass lines and driving drum patterns, and Englund giving strong performances in hooking you in with strong choruses abound, as Redemption indulges in color.
Standout tracks: Eyes You Dare Not Meet In Dreams, The Echo Chamber, Indulge In Color, Long Night’s Journey Into Day