Sensory Records recording artists REDEMPTION have announced that Ray Alder, legendary vocalist of progressive metal icons FATES WARNING and of his solo project ENGINE, has become the group's new vocalist. He is currently recording vocal tracks for REDEMPTION's second CD, tentatively titled "The Fullness of Time", scheduled for release in early 2005.
"I'm incredibly excited that Ray is our singer," commented Nicolas van Dyk, REDEMPTION's primary songwriter and guitarist/keyboardist. "He's always been my favorite vocalist in progressive metal and his voice sounds amazing with the new REDEMPTION material."
Alder and van Dyk have been friends for some time. Alder was a guest musician for one track on REDEMPTION's self-titled debut (released on Sensory in 2003), and he joined the group on-stage at Atlanta's ProgPower festival in September of that year to perform this song. The two also collaborated previously on a track on the first ENGINE CD.
When writing began for the upcoming REDEMPTION CD, the band had planned to work with Corey Brown (MAGNITUDE 9, SECTION XVI) who had stepped in to sing for the band at ProgPower. However, that changed when Alder heard the new material.
"When I heard the new songs that Nick had written, they immediately struck me as really heavy, and progressive but more focused at the same time," said Alder. "Not to take anything away from the debut, but this CD is a big step forward. They're just great, heavy songs and I knew it was something I wanted to be a part of."
"I want to emphasize, Corey Brown is a talented friend and a true professional," said van Dyk. "The decision to work with Ray is in no way indicative of any discord with Corey, whose performance with us in Atlanta was awesome and who possesses an amazing voice. I was fully prepared to work with Corey and I would have been very happy with him in the band. But there was no way I was going to turn down the chance to have Ray in REDEMPTION. It's a unique opportunity to work and perform with a vocal legend, as well as a close friend. I think Ray's voice will take REDEMPTION to a truly special level."
Alder, of course, remains the vocalist for FATES WARNING (who are releasing their new CD, "FWX", on October 5) and ENGINE. "Ray has a fair amount on his plate, and before we began work on REDEMPTION together we had to make certain that his ongoing commitments to FATES WARNING and ENGINE would still allow him to commit himself to REDEMPTION as well," explained van Dyk. "I didn't just want to hire a session vocalist. REDEMPTION is a band. Ray and I are comfortable that REDEMPTION will fit into his schedule, both for recording and live performance."
Recording for the new CD, other than vocals, is nearly completed. "It's significantly heavier than the previous CD, but it's very melodic at the same time," said van Dyk. "It's still quite progressive but I think it's more song-oriented and the songwriting, both musically and lyrically, is much more mature than our debut. I'm really looking forward to people’s reactions — I think it's going to surprise a lot of people. We'll be letting people know a bit more about the CD, including its production details and track information, as the release date gets a bit closer."
In addition to van Dyk and Alder, REDEMPTION's other members are guitarist Bernie Versailles (AGENT STEEL, ENGINE), and bassist James Sherwood and drummer Chris Quirarte (both of PRYMARY). Versailles has been a member of the band since its inception, while Sherwood and Quirarte joined for last year's ProgPower performance and have been members since that time.
The group's new CD will be released by Sensory Records, a division of The Laser's Edge.