It’s been six long years since Judas Priest’s last record, the unfairly criticised, and actually quite excellent Nostradamus. In those six years, Priest have “retired”, come back and lost half of their iconic axe duo when K.K. Downing quit the band in 2011.
Judas Priest- Redeemer of Souls
The end product of all of that is the acceptable, yet unremarkable Redeemer of Souls; a record on which Halford and Co have obviously chosen to play it safe, which is all well and good. What the majority of Priest fans want to hear is no-nonsense, four to five minute anthems with plenty of overdriven guitars and Rob’s trademark falsetto holding everything together.
Redeemer of Souls has all of these basic ingredients and is by no means a bad Judas Priest album; it’s just lacking that extra bit of something which would make it a true classic. The vocals and guitars aren’t mixed particularly well, which makes the whole affair sound a little bit dull.
A shame, as these elements should really be the highlight of a JP record. The album does have its moments of magic though; opening track ‘Dragonaught’ is a thoroughly solid track. ‘Halls Of Valhalla’ sounds like it could have come out of the Painkiller sessions (not a bad thing in anyone’s books), and is the one song on the album that you could see achieving the same status as some of their classic hits.
Overall, a solid effort from some of metal’s founding fathers, but could have used a better production job.
Review by Alex Loach