JUDAS PRIEST – Redeemer Of Souls

JUDAS PRIEST - Redeemer Of Souls
  • 8.5/10
    JUDAS PRIEST - Redeemer Of Souls - 8.5/10


Release date: July 8, 2014

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The Metal Gods hath returned amid death, doom, and destruction raining down upon the forsaken as soldiers born from the past on sad wings of destiny … powerful, unflinching, and proclaiming the Heavy Metal Faith like hellhounds on a full moon night! After 6 “long” years and a tour through the intimate, inner turmoils of Nostradamus, Judas Priest have released unto the Metal Community Redeemer Of Souls to once again show the world “how it is done” in the Traditional Metal/NWOBHM subgenre. This time, however, the band had a “new” writing nucleus … out went KK Downing, and (to join Glenn Tipton and Rob Halford) in came in his younger prototype, Richie Faulkner, who, for most in the Metal community, remained untested with respect to his creative song-writing acumen (let it be known, though, that Faulkner quickly established himself as substantially more talented at wielding his axe in a live setting than KK Downing could ever dream).

It’s difficult to specifically pull out Faulkner’s true “influence” on the sound or song structures within Redeemer Of Souls, but it’s clear the band took a more deliberate approach to their delivery this time around. Virtually all of the 13 tracks included are “thick” and dark sounding (if not Doomy) and generally all are mid to slow-tempo … yet very heavy. There’s one ballad – the last track “Beginning Of The End” – and a true Sabbath-esque track in “Crossfire” that could easily have fit in well on Black Sabbath’s first release – but the rest are true “Priest” with few frills or gimmicks – just chainsaw ripping guitars, Scott Travis’ signature drum pounding, Ian Hill’s thumping bass lines, and of course … of course … the platinum pipes of the Metal God himself, Mr. Halford.

Redeemer Of Souls starts out with “Dragonaught”, which is the best opener Judas Priest has had for any album since “Electric Eye” from the Screaming For Vengeance release. From there, the quality diminishes just slightly, but there are really no clunkers, other than possibly the aforementioned “Crossfire,” which impresses with its initial Bluesy Doom riff only to have vocal lines that get tiresome quickly. Most of the tracks follow in some way the theme of the fictional Soul Redeemer character.

There is also a “Deluxe” version of Redeemer Of Souls, which includes 5 bonus studio tracks … unlike many bands who issue bonus tracks of clearly inferior quality, the 5 songs on offer here could EASILY have fit into the “main” CD (but perhaps not thematically). Four of the tracks follow the slow to mid-tempo format, whereas the last song is touching message to the millions of Metal fans around the world that The Priest has no intent of “calling it a day” just yet … and that’s just the message the Metal Community needed to hear. Hopefully it won’t take another 6 years for the next Judas Priest release … but enjoy now the likely top contender for 2014’s album of the year.


  • Dan Skiba

    Dan is a former partner at Metal Express Radio, and also served as a reviewer, photographer and interviewer on occasions. Based out of Indianapolis, USA he was first turned on to Hard Rock music in the mid-1970s when he purchased Deep Purple's Machine Head as his first album. He was immediately enthralled with the powerful guitar sound and pronounced drumbeat, and had to get more! His collection quickly expanded to include as many of Heavy Rock bands of the time that he could get his hands on, such as Ted Nugent, Judas Priest, and Black Sabbath, to name just a few.

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