Redeemon - Metalliska is here... and it's good!
One of the most hotly anticipated releases of the year is the debut release by Redeemon. Masterminded by Pook (Pookout Records, Beat the Red Light) this was set to be a solo effort but it has developed, mutated and mutated into a 7 piece leviathan. A bit about the band’s background… firstly they come from High Wycombe – a melting pot of a town, both culturally and musically - 25 miles west of London. With easy access routes to London, Wycombe has always had a healthy punk, skinhead and metal scene. It is also a little pocket of the country which has a relatively high concentration of Cardiacs fans. All of these influences combine and have helped to shape Redeemon’s sound.
The band contain members from Beat The Red Light, who combined metal and ska and released two albums - of which Salt The Lands was probably their best. A beast of an album. Hard riffing with Possessed style guitaring and our first foray into Metalliska. Adrenaline fuelled stuff with horns to the fore. Over the past 6 or so years, half of the band have come to become Redeemon along with members of Smokey Bastard and even a Voodoo Glow Skull!
We have been teased on What Do You Know About ska punk Vol 4 with Finest Mistakes which had the WDYKASP Facebook page buzzing. And last week, we were treated to a non album track ‘Purpose’ on Bad Time Records’ The Shape of Ska Punk to Come Vol 2 which again has people talking about this metalliska band.
Towards the beginning of this year, Pook sent me a demo of the Redeemon album and I was blown away. Sworn to secrecy, I have been a good skahead and only played a few tracks to a select few people and at the occasional skate park. I have a great sound system in the car so much of North East Dorset have heard snippets – can’t believe I haven’t got a speeding ticket as a result! I first discovered them when someone posted a live version of Anaphylactic on Facebook and I reached out to the irrepressible and super friendly Pook.
Finally, this December saw the pre-order release of the album and I was able to get my hands on the final mixes. Blown away once again!
So what do you get? Well… 5 slabs of insanely good metalliska. Yep – METALLISKA. With one foot firmly in the metal camp and one in the ska camp. However, the metal is much more refined than the frantic riff frenzy of Beat The Red Light and the horns are more integrated into the body of the music, whereas they slotted into defined sections in BTRL.
Operation Burnout starts the whole affair with a rolling floor tom and we are introduced to a slow brass and horn combo before a lone guitar and strings start to build the track and then into a boss doom metal riff which gets you stomping. The middle 8 is structurally reminiscent of Joystick! and the vocal rhythm of System of a Down. Frequent drop outs by all but guitar , bass and drums helps the track to break down and build up. This is clever stuff. A lone trumpet in the middle of the mix carries a motif that is so familiar – almost like a Thankful Heart from the Muppet Christmas Carol. It lightens the tune and then gets taken down by the sax. A slow builder and a smouldering start.
Pressure Switch builds dramatically with Candlemassesque choralisations and a doom metal riff before the staccato horns. This is the heaviest track of the 5 and gives the neck something to complain about. The horn breaks are almost baroque in their style. This is a mean, brooding track which frequently changes pace and has these awesome build ups and downs throughout. Doomy as hell with some ace gutterations from Pook.
Then (for me anyways) the jewel in the crown – Anaphylactic. This is an insane piece of work. It’s all over the place which appeals to my Cardiacs sensibilities. Heavy, funky, punky, skanking… smidges of BYOB by SOAD with how it builds and falls but done so much better. I can’t express how good this is. Pook’s voice suits this song perfectly. Slightly abrasive in the noisy bits and angelic in the quietus. The horns drive the motif of the song which is really cool. Loving the Fear style sax which adds to the chaos before it breaks down into double bass drum doom again towards the end. This has you skanking, moshing and pogoing in equal measures. What a rush.
The familiar bass and guitar combo of Finest Mistakes lumbers along next. Rumbling metal and dramatic 60s Batman POW sounding horns fuel this beast. It’s during this song that you really understand that this is Metalliska. This is not metal with horns. The horns really are part of the neural network of the band. It would be great without the horns, but with them it’s majestic. Some of the guitar and horn interplay remind me of Adrian Smith and Dave Murray and it works really well here. Towards the end of the song, the guitaring reminds me of Daron Malakian’s Georgian structure.
Finally, the longest track ‘Escapade’ weighing in at over 6 minutes long. This a finely structured tune that builds for almost two minutes before the rousing chorus of ‘We Need a Simpler Way’ kicks in. Structurally, this reminds me of Lapsus Linguae and at the halfway point this funk, groove metal thing bursts forth and the whole damn thing goes into overdrive. The horns actually punch you in the guts and the coupling of bass and drums makes this huge. Anthemic.
This is a hugely entertaining, clever, complex, unique, beautiful, brutal piece that will truly make its mark on the metal / ska scene. Metalliska is here and it takes no prisoners.
If you like Joystick! Voodoo Glow Skulls, Frail, System of a Down, Kill Lincoln, Cardiacs, Folly, Omnigone, Lapsus Linguae, October Burns Red, Faintest Idea then this will be good for you. If you like them all – this will be paradise!
All orders come with a limited edition 'zine, documenting the transition from Beat The Red Light to Redeemon, and this preorder comes with a download code emailed to you within 24 hours which is the ONLY way to hear these songs before the physical release in February 2022! Available as CD, beautiful vinyl - either splatter or black and white or download.
If that sort of stuff floats your boat - come check out the SKAlternative session featuring the best of skacore, brasscore, skapunk, crack rocksteady and metalliska every Tuesday and Thursday from 21:00 UK time on www.buttondownradio.com
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