Redeem the Exile have been hard at work touring the regional circuit and this Olympia, WA band’s sound reflects the current Northwest trend in metal and hardcore. The seven track EP opens with an instrumental track, “Homesick,” with dissonant tones in the guitar melody, building for over two minutes before finally rewarding listeners with a well-written thematic change and guitar solo. The minimalist vocals at the last minute fit the ambient style of the track, and its purpose is accomplished, hyping the listener for the same type of ambient, melodic hardcore.
In truth, the rest of the EP lets us down. Many tracks offer juvenile guitar work and a vocal style often overstated and underdeveloped. At times the music can be truly remarkable, but quite sloppy in other places. The band excelled on the first track with their take on ambient-laced metalcore, but as they lean into the melodic hardcore genre, the biting tone of the vocals becomes distracting. It’s too bad; it covers up the lyrics, which have a lot of depth. (Listen to Coffins: “Come to taste and see that this tragedy is that we deny the very name we claim to be.”) The lyrics get a gold star, but it is not surprising the vocalist once tore a muscle in his throat.
With their growing popularity and blend of old-school sound with an ambient strain of hardcore, Redeem the Exile is poised to start making big waves in the scene — if the West Coast rockers can manage a little more musical development and direction.