Formed in 2014, Redemptus quickly established themselves as a force to be reckoned with in the Portuguese post-hardcore and post-metal scene. The promise of 2015’s «We All Die the Same» was confirmed and expanded upon in 2017’s «Every Red Heart Fades to Black». The band has now released its third album, «blackhearted», the first with their second formation, established with P.S. replacing M.S. on guitars. More importantly, «blackhearted» is their strongest work thus far. They’ve never been a band to indulge in sheer heaviness for its own sake, but the way in which they’ve made it serve the purpose of evoking emotional fragility makes «blackhearted» a truly visceral album.
Redemptus – «blackhearted» | Gruesome / ragingplanet / Regulator / Ring Leader
It seems only fitting that an album entitled «blackhearted» opens with what sounds like an ominous beating of a heart. After all, at the core of Redemptus’ sound is not so much a strict adherence to a genre, but emotion in the broadest term possible. Neither exclusively dark nor light, or as they say “where there’s love, there is pain…” That said, to evoke emotion through music requires musicianship and there’s plenty of that to go around, not firmly anchored in one style but reflecting a mastery of many. For a band that has surely seen sludge and doom thrown their way, there’s little of that in direct fashion to be found; at least that idea of sludge as heavy, filthy, feedback laden punk that bands like Dystopia is not there directly, nor is doom in the doom metal sense. What is there is traits of them, such as the general heaviness of it all, the glacial pace of album closer «Doomed to Crumble» and the feedback added to it. Before getting there, one finds «Heads you Win Tales I Lose» hinting at noise rock with its intro and plunging into post metal with that beautiful “nothing will wake you up like suffering” line. There’s more straightforward post hardcore in «It was never meant», a song in which bassist and singer P.R. also displays his vocal range for all to see. He’s not the only one with space to shine throughout «blackhearted», with guitarist P.S. signing a hell of a first album with the band, and drummer M.M. expertly controlling the tempo. This is particularly evident in longer pieces such as «Still Resemble the Silence», with its seamless mood shifts, or «Purged by Light Engulfed by Darkness», which uses samples to deal with suicide in a rather tasteful manner. All in all, a great third album for the trio, easily their most refined and differentiated to date.
«blackhearted» was released on September 7 by Gruesome, ragingplanet, Regulator, and Ring Leader on cassette, cd, digital, and vinyl formats. It can be found here, here (both cd, digital, and vinyl), here, and here (both also have the cassette available)