Redeemer Of Souls review by Judas Priest

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  • Released: Jul 8, 2014
  • Sound: 8
  • Lyrics: 8
  • Overall Impression: 8
  • Reviewer's score: 8 Superb
  • Users' score: 8.1 (44 votes)
Judas Priest: Redeemer Of Souls
3

Sound — 8
A significant alternation within the lineup, as well as the somewhat confusing notion behind what was advertised as the band's farewell tour, surrounded Judas Priest's seventeenth studio album "Redeemer of Souls" with feelings of confusion and doubts about the band's future. This new effort marks the band's first to not include founding member and pivotal songwriter K.K. Downing, who has since been replaced with former Lauren Harris guitarist Richie Faulkner. How Judas Priest would continue without such a driving force behind their approach was unclear, however based on the performance found on this new album, perhaps it was this same shift in the band's roster which ultimately benefited their chemistry. 

Coming off of their 2008 studio album "Nostradamus," which received largely mixed responses from dedicated listeners for it's synthesizer-heavy sound, "Redeemer of Souls" serves as a strong return to the classic Judas Priest approach. Surpassing the efforts of the past few decades, the members of Judas Priest revert towards the sound of their hailed late 1970s efforts, such as "Stained Class" and "Sin After Sin." Incorporated in the compilation of elements found throughout "Redeemer of Souls" are moderate elements of the praised heavy metal style of "Painkiller," which is particularly evident during such selections as "Halls of Valhalla" and the striking power chord-fueled "Dragonaut."

"Crossfire" reintroduces Judas Priest's seemingly long forgotten blues rock influences, beginning with a bass line which borrows some of the swing from Black Sabbath's "N.I.B.," before ultimately evolving into a solid rhythm guitar-bracketed anthem. "March of the Damned" and the album's title track "Redeemer of Souls" similarly showcase a more confident musical approach, placing predominant attention towards energetic chord progressions and commanding lead vocals. 

"Metalizer" and "Battle Cry" particularly showcases a strong resurgence of the "Angel of Retribution" sound, by pairing scratching high octave vocals with menacing guitar work and thunderous kick drums. A more melodic stance similar to that found on "Ram It Down" surfaces with "Cold Blooded," while "Hell & Back" reincorporates a familiar intricate picking introduction not unlike those consistently found throughout the previously mentioned "Nostradamus." While the album offers more than a few subtle nods to the group's past, the outcome remains strikingly consistent with a performance which couldn't be better developed to appease the appetites of dedicated listeners.

Lyrics — 8
Definitive lead vocalist Rob Halford largely remains to his lower singing octave throughout the majority of the album, which attributes a form of nostalgic quality to "Redeemer of Souls." For a 62 year old heavy metal singer, if he stayed true to this same style it would be more than understandable. However, it arguably wouldn't be an authentic Judas Priest effort without boasting some impressionable primal screams; Rob Halford achieves this same feat on multiple occasions, for example the soaring stance found on the beginning of "Metalizer," and the climatic gradual rise towards the bridge of "Halls of Valhalla." While it's safe to say he uses his operatic weapon sparingly, the range and power of Rob Halford is still remarkably well preserved.

Overall Impression — 8
Following a somewhat questionable double rock opera effort, Judas Priest execute a staggering return to their original approach on their seventeenth studio album, "Redeemer of Souls." The addition of Richie Faulkner seems to have revitalized this veteran heavy metal group, who with his aid as primary songwriter have compiled their most signature sounding release in over a decade.

27 comments sorted by best / new / date

    Pretelethal
    Great album. Not the best Priest have ever released but it's still pretty awesome.
    Nuclearcrayon
    Rob really has such a good voice for a 62 year old! And who knew Richie could do such a fantastic job!
    ewolf5150
    As a huge Priest fan i was pumped for this album. the songs they released seemed very mediocre to me, but after owning the album since tuesday, i'm really digging it. much better than nostradamus and now those songs i didn't care for are some of my favs on the album. More proof that listening to songs on laptop speakers does them no justice. blasting them in your car is where its really at. Halls of Valhalla is my favorite song. Long live the priest!
    arabmetallion
    I was put off by the singles and those endless "previews" but the album itself is actually excellent. Sure, not every song on here is great but none of them are bad either. The ones that do standout though... man, do they kick ass! Halls of Valhalla, Sword of Damocles, Cold Blooded, Metalizer, Secrets of The Dead and Battle Cry are my favourites from the album and they hold up even against Priest’s classic material in my opinion. It isn’t painkiller 2.0, there’s more variety here and there’s even throwbacks to the older sound they had in the 70’s with hell & back and crossfire. Halford at 62 puts most singers in their primes to shame. Absolutely excellent vocal performances throughout the album, especially during Halls of Valhalla. Faulkner really seems to have really gelled with the band as well as contribute to the distinctive priest sound without really altering it all that much. My only complaint is the overly scooped/soft production on the guitars but otherwise its a really solid album.
    Skuzzmo
    Fucking outstanding album. I can't even begin to explain how good this release is.
    Yax
    Mostly killer, some filler. But the top material on the release is epic - And I think, the best track is Tears of Blood, which for some reason is one of the bonus tracks. Hell, it's just as solid as Jawbreaker, Bloodstone and Rock Hard Ride Free. Steller, stellar track.
    HARTATTACK69
    As a huge fan of Judas Priest, the fantasy genre, Nordic lore and Soul redemption this album is awesome.
    jarivaisanen
    Being a Priest fan since 79 this is so much more fun what I expected, great Priest riffs with amazsing Metal God vocals and btw I'm listening it on vinyl
    devonsdad
    When the title track was released I was disappointed. It did not seem to hold up to previous albums. I bought the disc on Tuesday, put it in my car stereo and turned it up. I love this disc. I think what I like most is, every song has strong ties to previous releases. I was also a huge fan of Nostradamus, but this one has taken it's place. The Metal God still can bring it. Priest forever.
    damillion
    Still can't get through the mix. The songs are ok, though not really as great as on many past releases. Besides, what was wrong with Nostradamus? It was fresh and cool.
    Chronologo
    The only "bad" in Nostradamus was the large amount of "intros". But I believe that many ppl don't understand that album. It's a fantastic piece of music, ambitious and epic
    Josh100_3
    Couldn't get into this to be honest. Seems they played it safe after Nostradamus.
    jaegerd
    This album has been queued for the past two weeks and it likely the best Priest album since Painkiller, maybe even Defenders of the Faith. Only one song they could have left off of the original 13 tracks disc. Heavier than ever, great guitar work, and great vocals by Rob. Yes, he can still hit some great high notes. Get it!
    vannett60
    it grew on me and now even when im not listening to it in my car its still in my head VALHALLA
    Anjohl
    They really mine a lot of their old tunes for this release, Redeemer = Hell Patrol, Tears of Blood = Electric Eye, and Crossfire = Head Out to the Highway. That being said, the album is an organic return to their classic sound by a band not trying to be something they are not. Rob definitely restrains from the shrieking he does on classic tune live to try to emulate a vocal range he cannot access as easily anymore. I think at least half of the tunes on "Redeemer" are instant classics, and if the band was smart, they would follow other "comeback" groups tours (Soundgarden, Metallica) and include a lot of the album live.
    paddinou
    When I heared for the first time I noticed the resemblances of Redeemer of souls (the song)and Hell Patrol or the impression of deja-vu in Secrets of the dead (the same sound and mood heard in A touch of evil). But after multiple plays the songs remain in your head and you have the same feeling you have with their classics tunes. I bought the cd 8 months after its release because of bad reviews by people for instance who thought it was boring and I was wrong. I'm also a fan of Death (the band), Mastodon, Celtic Frost or Lamb of god. If you compare to these bands you can judge Judas Priest are boring because they play classic metal. The album is not perfect but better than most of the new records by new bands acclaimed by critics and forgot the year after. I stop here before being boring (if I wasn't yet).
    Eissari
    To be honest i was kinda butthurt because K.K. is no longer in band and they were supposed to quit. BUT, after all its ****ing Judas Priest and i love this band. I thought some tracks released previously were kinda meh but ive started to like them. Im pretty sure i will go buy this album on cd soon as i can. It's probably not best album ever but im sure i will not be disappointed!
    judithtaylor196
    I LOVE this CD and it is on in my car in my ipod, Zune HD and on my pc as well. Halls of Valhalla is epic and I adore it. Battle Cry is second, but really there isn't one song on Redeemer I didn't love. The deluxe CD is great, but I wish they had put all the songs on a single disc.Still I love it. The music is epic and Richie Faulkner adds something special and breathes new life into this awesome band. Rob still has the pipes and truly makes each song his own. The rest of the guys? Perfect as always. I've been a Judas Priest fan since 1974 when I was 12 and I still love them today. LONG LIVE JUDAS PRIEST!