Sound — 10
The sophomore effort by alternative metal band Machinae Supremacy is their first album on a real label (Spinefarm Records), and in my opinion their second best record behind "A View From the End of the World." It's has excellent production and features many of the bands best songs. The album was released in two different versions; the first one, known as the "Underground Edition," was released independently on March 18th, 2006 and featured 15 songs. When the band got their record deal, Spinefarm removed 5 tracks to make the album shorter: "Fury," "Kaori Stomp," "Empire" and the two preludes. This version is know as the "Retail Edition." They also changed the order of the songs, and the band recorded a new one to promote the re-release; "Ghost (Beneath the Surface)." I prefer the underground edition because it has Fury on it, which is one of my favorite MaSu songs, and because the song order works a lot better.
Redeemer is on a whole other level than bands the debut and has a very unique sound; the mix of metal, videogame sounding keyboard leads and extremely catchy, almost pop like choruses is not like anything else out there. The first album was very unique too, but this time the music is a lot heavier with stronger elements of thrash, metalcore and power metal. Jonas Rörling is an amazing guitarist and his solo are just incredible, most impressive is the bands instrumental stuff. The drumming also displays elements of many different genres and the sound of the drumkit is superb, especially the snare. I enjoy the drumming of Tomas Nilsén a bit more than the bands current drummer Nicklas Karvonen, he doesn't play as much double bass, but has a heavier style and plays better drumfills.
Lyrics — 10
Robert Stjärnström is a bit of a whiny vocalist, but manages to get so much emotion in his voice and originality in the way he sings that it doesn't matter. It might take you some time to get into his singing, but he definitely doesn't sound like your typical metalcore singer. Jonas also sings a bit on the record and sounds really good too. When it comes to Robert's lyrics and vocal melodies, they are simply fantastic, and he manages to get you singing along to almost every song. The strongest tracks are "I Know the Reaper," a beautiful song about death; "You know you will follow too and you don't really care to just go nowhere. But there's no need to fear... you live on in the hearts and minds of those who hold you dear." ...and "Through the Looking Glass," an almost just as beautiful song about life. When you combine it with equally beautiful music, you've got two of the best metal songs ever written. Other notable tracks are "Rouge World Asylum" (global warming), "Fury" (dragons), "Ronin" and the chorus in "Rise." The only mediocre track (both lyrically and vocal-vise) is "Seventeen," but an awesome bridge riff saves the song.
Overall Impression — 9
"Redeemer" is still a very interesting and fresh-sounding album, and the fact that the band had only been around for 5 years makes it even more impressive. I love the epic feel that some of these song have, and how varied the 7-string guitarwork is. The opening track ("Elite") is one of the weaker songs on the record, and like I mentioned before, the flow is not as good on the retail edition. This drags the album down a bit.
The best songs are "Rise," "I Know the Reaper," "Fury," "Rogue World Asylum," "Oki Kuma's Adventure" and "Through the Looking Glass." However, I have to mention the songs "Ghost," "Ronin," "Hate" and "Reanimator" too, as they are also outstanding songs. I can't recommend this release enough, but if you're new to the band, start with "A View From the End of the World."