Alden DiBernardo is the musical force behind the folk rock band Kingwell, and his debut album Redeemer, a collection of songs with themes revolving around hope, pain, freedom, nature and God, has been in the works since 2011.
An upbeat, mellow tone is set from the very start of the album, with reverb-laced acoustic guitar and strumming banjo creating the mood for “In My Arms” behind DiBernardo’s rich voice, which occasionally reaches falsetto pitches. The song repeats the same chord progression throughout the song, but the addition of more intense percussion, vocal harmonies and additional banjo riffs make the track interesting to listen to until the very end.
“Better Times Are Coming” introduces electric guitars into the band’s instrumental repertoire. This song is a bit more upbeat but retains many of the same themes of the first song. The complementary acoustic guitar riffs in “Shadows” set this song apart on the album, and the smooth electric guitar motifs lead the way into a full chorus and a progressively complex song. This tune is arguably the best on the album, due to the successful aggregation of many sounds and lyrics that blend so well.
Beginning with a soft, slow strum, “Animus” is a six-minute song that gradually builds in volume and intensity until the final measure of the song. On the other hand, “The Rift” is a six-minute tune that maintains a relatively stable dynamic range throughout the entire track. Because of this, “Animus” is a bit more engaging of a song, while “The Rift” can seem to drag on slightly. However, the harmonica intro of “Placid” lifts the album out of the uniformity and simultaneously brightens the mood of the album greatly. The combination of harmonica solos and unique chord progressions make this song a definite highlight of the album.
The album concludes with the vibrant, sunny “By Your Thread” and finally with the super anthem “Redemption,” a pensive, subdued and melodic song finalized by a slow fade of sound into nothingness. As a whole, Redeemed displays genuine talent in lyrics and sound, giving fans more than enough reason to believe that Alden DiBernardo is only beginning his journey into making successful music.
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