Laws of Entropy: Are Redshift the Future of Prog?

Prog-metal newcomers Redshift made waves in 2019 with their debut, Cataclysm. Now, following up that with their sophomore album, the band have pushed the boundaries even more with a six-track concept album. Trying to address life’s struggles as a young person is a hard task, especially when doing it in prog form. How do Redshift do? Check out our review to find out!

‘Birth’ pulls no punches, opening fast, heavy and chaotic. It’s a perfect setup for the rest of the album, trust me. It is interesting that a prog album goes so hard to start with too, and not a two minute ambient build-up. I love it. After a second great riff we get the verse, a simple yet oddly timed section that feels equal parts Dream Theatre and Karnivool. It was cool that the drums, guitar and vocals all hit the same beats, too. The chorus is huge and catchy too, sounding more like Chevelle’s latest stuff.

The strings that come in for the bridge add another great layer on top of all the rest. It gives off heavier ‘That Golden Rule’ vibes. Then we suddenly get some screams, taking me off guard but they sound awesome and fit so well. The guitar then rips into an insanely fantastic solo, leaving the bass and drums to hold down the rhythm perfectly. We get riffing heaven afterwards, the drums doing perfectly of changing it up every couple of bars to add so much prog to it. Then there is a slightly jarring drop out to just clean guitars, but it soon heads into the final chorus and epic outro solo/breakdown. I LOVED this. What a way to open an album, and a shorter track was definitely the right call. Playlisted!

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‘Discovery’ starts off slower, a clean guitar and some synth, but within seconds a huge, technical riff comes in over the top. Honestly, the whole first minute of this track blew my mind a little. It was just insane riff after insane riff, with drums keeping up masterfully. The harsh vocals come in for the verse and, when combined with the heavy instrumentation, make this sound like a melodeath song. The cleans coming in around the 1:45 mark was great, sounding odd in the best way.

The band just keep hitting the listener with fast riffs and alternating vocals before we get the first thing that resembles a chorus at 3:30, a huge, catchy section with some awesome vocal harmonies. We get an awesome synth solo towards the back half that lead to another frankly crazy guitar solo. It’s not fair that this much talent exists, I’m not at all jealous… Another great track!

A long one up next, as ‘Civilisation’ is 11+ minutes. It starts slower than the previous, building up steadily like I expected the opener to. Then it explodes into a huge riff and growl, before again getting Gojira-levels technical. In fact the song overall has a more death Gojira feel to it. The double vocals were a nice touch in the cleans too, the (I think?) female vocal adding a great layer to it.

Honestly it’s so hard to keep track of and write about every change in part, as there are so many riffs, beats and vocal styles just in the first four minutes that I’d be here all day. It drops down to an insane little Primus part around the middle, the riff being INSANE. The lead part where it gets lighter around 7:30 is also great, it almost venturing towards reggae for a moment. Honestly if you can cope with the length check out this track, every part of it is phenomenal.

‘Entropy’ caught me completely off guard with a piano intro. It was an odd, awesome change of pace. It also lead into a pretty poppy verse, a great riff that followed the piano melody and some almost indie-like vocals. It’s a bop, filled with bouncy, heavy bluesy/jazzy riffs and vocals. The change in styles was a welcome change and one of my favourite parts of the album. Especially when it quickly takes a shift into extreme metal. It still holds the same theatrical edge to it even as it gets heavier, giving a Cradle of Filth meets Ward XVI feel. It even heads into an easy listening, jazz breakdown in the middle. It’s weird in the best ways, and makes our playlist!

The sci-fi themes continue with the synth-led ‘Singularity’. The mostly clean, MJK-style vocals were amazing, and gave heavy radio-friendly single vibes. It’s a fantastic track, but it’s also the one before the one that I’ve wanted to talk about this whole time…

The album closer, ‘Blueshift’, is 21-minutes long. That’s insane. That’s as long as most sitcom episodes. This is going to be a journey.

Thankfully they don’t blast straight in, taking a minute to reach the first, quiet riff. The big chords and drums before it also added a very epic feel to it all. The open, ethereal verse almost reminds me of parts of Iron Maiden’s Final Frontier album. The soring vocals are damn impressive, too. It’s three minutes before we get the HUGE chorus, the massive size and epicness feeling akin to a power metal track. The synths throughout add so much, giving some awesome melody and depth to the sound. The death growls come in at five minutes, adding some awesome heaviness.

The riffing in the middle is insane. Like minutes of technical awesomeness. The strings come in every so often to help build a riff even more which was also great, especially when it added a new melody. The transitions between riffs remind me a little of Machine Head at their peak (The Blackening, not Burn my Eyes, fight me, Max). It drops down at about the 14-minute mark into a pretty evil sounding clean guitar chord progression. It slowly builds back up into more soloing and riffing to close out a FANTASTIC track. If you can handle the length, check this out, it was amazing.

Overall: I loved this. It usually takes me a fair bit to ‘get’ prog, but this appealed to me immediately and kept me listening throughout. They are one of the most talented collection of musicians I have ever heard, and if they continue to make music together, they are going to go far!

The Score: 9/10