By Carl Begai
Redemption’s latest album, This Mortal Coil, can be considered business-as-usual in that it continues the band’s cycle of cranking out new music every two years. And while that may sound like a warning bell heralding a lack of inspiration on the band’s part, this is in fact a very good thing given that guitarist founder Nick van Dyk wrote the album while courting a death sentence. It was as ominous as it sounds; diagnosed with cancer, van Dyk was told in no uncertain terms that his years were numbered. Rather than accept his fate he sought out treatment, simultaneously composing music that paid homage to and built on Redemption’s brand of no-nonsense aggressive prog metal. This Mortal Coil was the end result, loaded with more riffs per square inch compared to Redemption’s previous records and bleeding melody by the bucket. Even when you’re only three songs in, there’s no doubt that van Dyk’s ultimate test pushed his inspiration to new heights.
“Absolutely,” van Dyk admits. “Not sonically so much as lyrically. Not to make the whole interview about this, but I was diagnosed with blood cancer three years ago and told that I had three to five years to live. I was fortunate that I was diagnosed by accident and had the opportunity to research the one guy in the world who thinks he can cure it. I went through a pretty intense therapy for it, but as of now the odds are very much in my favour that I’m cured. I’m on some pretty horrible medicine for the next 18 months or so, but it’s all manageable.” Continue reading BW&BK Interview: REDEMPTION – Stronger Than Death