After a lengthy hiatus, New York’s Braindance are back with a vengeance on their new CD Redemption. Although the band had been hinting for over a year of the imminent release of this project, the street date was repeatedly pushed back due to various members leaving the band and interrupting the recording process. The setback however, was well worth the wait, as Redemption is a remarkable achievement for Braindance. This band combines such varied genres as metal, techno, progressive rock, ambient, gothic, and electronic to form a style that is light years ahead of most groups recording today.
Many of the elements from the bands previous recordings are present in full force, such as the bone crunching guitar riffs, techno drum beats, symphonic keyboards, and excellent male and female vocals. Tunes like “Relentless” and “Resurgence” combine all these characteristics perfectly and help create classic songs for the ages. Guitarist Vora Vor lays down slabs of rhinoceros riffs that would make Tony Iommi proud, as well as some lightning solos to boot, which proves that women can kick ass on guitar as well. Sebastian Elliott is an extremely exciting singer, alternating between low, Peter Steele influenced groans to rocket fueled higher pitched passages, all executed with the utmost conviction and passion. Combine his vocal prowess with “the look” (black leather, make-up, muscles) and you have a singer just waiting to be discovered by the masses. In fact, everything about this band just screams talent, from the masterful lyrics filled with despair and angst all the way to the arrangements. It’s obvious that the folks in Braindance are big movie buffs, as on the previous CD we get treated here to many audio snippets of classic lines from many popular and obscure movies. While the rampaging guitars, manic techno beats, and chirping keyboards clash with each other on “Requiem”, we hear Kevin Spacey’s classic line “…do me a fucking favor-shut up, listen, and learn!” from the often-overlooked film Swimming With Sharks. All throughout Redemption the band tosses in little snippets and surprises to keep things interesting, and it’s quite a fun time trying to identify everything you hear.
As of this writing the band has added a few new members and seems to be back at full strength. Elliott and Vor wrote and completed most of this CD, with several of the past members contributing on keyboards, bass, drums, and backing vocals, but the finished product sounds like a well-oiled machine that is ready to take no prisoners. If you want something new and different that is still very heavy, has hooks, plus complexity and atmosphere, this is your best choice. Redemption is a future classic from this band that needs to get discovered, and one of my picks for Best of 2001.