JUDAS PRIEST — Redeemer Of Souls

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JUDAS PRIEST - Redeemer Of Souls cover
3.65 | 43 ratings | 5 reviews
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Album · 2014

Filed under Heavy Metal


1. Dragonaut (4:24)
2. Redeemer Of Souls (3:58)
3. Halls Of Valhalla (6:01)
4. Sword Of Damocles (4:54)
5. March Of The Damned (3:54)
6. Down In Flames (3:52)
7. Hell & Back (4:44)
8. Cold Blooded (5:25)
9. Metalizer (4:34)
10. Crossfire (3:49)
11. Secrets Of The Dead (5:38)
12. Battle Cry (5:15)
13. Beginning Of The End (5:04)

Total Time 61:51

Deluxe Edition bonus disc:

14. Snakebite
15. Tears Of Blood
16. Creatures
17. Bring It On
18. Never Forget


- Ian Hill / Bass
- Rob Halford / Vocals
- Glenn Tipton / Guitars
- Scott Travis / Drums
- Richie Faulkner / Guitars

About this release

Release date: July 11th, 2014
Label: Sony Music Entertainment

Thanks to diamondblack for the addition and Lynx33, adg211288 for the updates


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Specialists/collaborators reviews

Judas Priest's first album of the post-K.K. Downing era finds Richie Faulkner settling in as new guitarist and the band taking a bit of a back-to-basics approach, following the not-quite-prog-metal excess of Nostradamus. No big overarching concept here - just Judas Priest metal the way they usually do it.

Well, not quite the usual way. There's a somewhat lo-fi production approach here - we're not talking full-blown kvlt black metal recorded on a dictaphone in the middle of the woods nonsense here, but there's a sort of garage-ish quality to proceedings.

I can see the logic behind doing this: sometimes Priest's studio recordings have ended up failing to carry the power they can convey live with the exact same songs, and that's usually been because studio polish obscured some of the rougher edges of the work in question. Turbo is a good example of what I'm talking about; that album's not rated that highly by many fans, but everyone loves singing along to Turbo Lover when Priest whip it out live, and that's all down to the live difference.

Still, this does mean the sound of the album takes some getting used to and can sound flat at points, and I wouldn't be totally shocked if they did another mix of it later on. It does, however, manage to achieve the goal of avoiding the album becoming overly-polished, and makes it sound like a lost set of tapes from their heyday, which perhaps means it's working exactly as intended. Certainly, I'm sure you could slip some of these songs into the middle of a set from the British Steel to Defenders of the Faith era and they wouldn't sound incongruous at all.
Judas Priest's seventeenth album Redeemer of Souls, the first without guitarist K. K. Downing, sees the band moving away from the concept album style of the previous release Nostradamus and back into more familiar territory; standalone heavy metal songs as you may expect a long running band like this to be making this far down the line. The results are not exactly spectacular but Redeemer of Souls offers up one of the more satisfying releases of the band from their post-Painkiller years and it's a lot less patchy than Nostradamus was, though in the previous album's defence, it's not as adventurous either.

For me, Redeemer of Souls is a good album but not a great one. It's just a classic band showing that they can still get the job done even if it doesn't rival their best work. And to be honest I don't ask any more of Judas Priest. Sure it would be nice if they, like Iron Maiden, continued to deliver upper tier goods in their later years instead of the rather patchy run they've had from Jugulator onwards but if they didn't do enough for you between the years 1974 - 1990 then I guess you're just the kind of person who is never satisfied. With that said I have read some stuff that implies this will be the last album of the band, but I hope not, as it would be nice for the leather rebels to bow out with something really spectacular as their epitaph.
In 2014, Judas Priest returned with their 17th full-length studio album, Redeemer Of Souls, stripping away the concepts and extras from their previous album Nostradamus and returning more-or-less to the direction of their 2005 Halford-reunion record Angel Of Retribution.

Stylistically; its classic Heavy Metal; not too heavy, not too soft. There are one or two more somber and reflective moments, but nothing you could call a ballad, and one or two fast moments but nothing you can call Thrash. In that sense, Redeemer Of Souls is a very focused and consistent record – all very positive. The drawback however is that Redeemer Of Souls is something of a strange album, its exactly what a lot of fans wanted in a lot of ways – just giving you a full album of the best songs from the last few albums with no messing about – but it is unfortunately delivered a little bit too politely and calmly, so it can’t really be called exceptional or exciting.

Lyrically, everything is on track with what you’d expect (and somehow feels oddly grateful somehow, which is a plus) and the vocal performance is as good as can be expected – not the shrill phenomenal highs of Painkiller or the variety of the ’70s era, but equal to the last two records. New guitarist, Richie Faulkner fits in well and luckily doesn’t let the side down despite the odds. So far so good. The production is solid and clean, although a little flat. That’s the first thing against the record.

Musically, the performances are also solid but a little flat. Its not as if anyone is running away with passion or “playing the fuck out of it” at any stage, ever, but nothing is poor or mishandled. Likewise, the songwriting is never poor and there is no track that feels like it needs cutting – but nothing is likely to become your favourite Priest song ever. There’s a lot of great potential, but it could’ve done with a slightly heavier sound, slightly harder drumming, slightly wilder vocals, slightly more passionate guitar solos. Maturity and sophistication are welcome, sure, but there’s no competing with sounding hungry.

Highlights include “Metalizer,” “Battle Cry” and the title-track, which are three of the livelier tracks on the record. If you are on the fence about the album’s merits and haven’t bought yourself a copy yet, those tracks are probably the best advertisement available.

Overall; This is a completely rock solid and almost perfect album from a veteran band who really know what they are doing, but could’ve done with just a bit more “umph.” Its good, but its not special.
Redeemer of Souls (2014) is the seventeenth full-length album by British heavy metal act Judas Priest. Redeemer of Souls marks the first Judas Priest album to be released in six years following the double disc effort that was Nostradamus (2008) and it is also the first album not to feature guitarist K. K. Downing, who retired from the band in 2011. He has been replaced by Richie Faulkner (Deeds, ex-Lauren Harris), who has been involved with the writing process for the album.

Judas Priest have really slowed down their output in the last couple of decades, making Redeemer of Souls only their fifth album since Painkiller (1990), which was the album that marked the end of Judas Priest releasing a full-length at least every couple of years, something that they'd kept up with ever since debut Rocka Rolla (1974), as well as being singer Rob Halford's last album with them until Angel of Retribution (2005). I haven't been especially impressed by that much the band has done post Painkiller. To me Jugulator (1997) and Angel of Retribution were good efforts (the former based more on its own merits rather than a Judas Priest album) but Demolition (2001) to me was the all time low for Judas Priest. The prior Nostradamus had its moments but the ambitious double album kinda felt like Judas Priest were trying too hard to me and I think they might have come up with a better effort if they'd stuck to a single disc of material.

Redeemer of Souls on the other hand, while no masterpiece to challenge the likes of Painkiller, Sad Wings of Destiny (1976) or Stained Class (1978), sets a stronger impression. To my ears this one is easily their best work in over twenty years. The songs aren't instant classics by any means but quickly show themselves as being more memorable than a lot of the recent Judas Priest work. There's the odd downer moment such as Hell & Back but the material is generally on the same quality level although I will say that the first half of the album feels a bit stronger than the second half with songs like Halls of Valhalla, March of the Damned, Down In Flames and the title track being highlights. There aren't any real surprises on the album for a Judas Priest album in 2014 except for perhaps a brief growling section in Halls of Valhalla. It's traditional heavy metal played by veterans (well and one younger guy) and while it doesn't have the lasting appeal of their older work it's satisfying to know that Judas Priest have still got it. 4 stars.


(Originally written for Heavy Metal Haven: http://metaltube.freeforums.org/judas-priest-redeemer-of-souls-t3794.html)
siLLy puPPy
My first impression upon listening to the 17th studio album by JUDAS PRIEST is that it is the ultimate tribute album to themselves. After a strange foray into the world of progressive rock with their previous album “Nostradamus,” the band decided to abandon all of that experimenting and retreat back to what they know best after a painful verbal lashing from critics and fans alike (although I didn't think it was all that bad). The band also saw the exit of founding member K.K.Downing after nearly 40 years and the debut of new guitarist Ritchie Faulkner who was unknown to me but played with the Lauren Harris band. The rest of the lineup is the same as the “Painkiller” era with Ian Hill, Glenn Tipton and Scott Travis showing no sign of slowing down.

REDEEMER OF SOULS has a diverse plethora of sounds, most of which sound like they could have been from that long lost album that came out after “Painkiller.” In fact a whole bunch of them have riffs that remind me of tracks from that album. “Redeemer Of Souls” = “Hell Patrol” “Halls Of Valhalla” = “Nightcrawler” “Metalizer” = “Metal Meltdown.” There are also hints of their earlier years with one of the bluesiest numbers since “Rocka Rolla” with “Crossfire” and even a return to the acoustic intros with sound effects that graced the Ripper albums of the 90s such as on “Secrets Of The Dead” before churning out the classic anthem riffage that sounds like a combo effect of “Screaming For Vengeance” meets “Jugulator.” There are atmospheric keyboards, epic lyrics, wailing guitar solos and despite the retro effect an occasional surprise or two.

After all is said and done this is meant to be a classic sounding PRIEST album and therefore sounds a little like a PRIEST-by-the-numbers release, however for the band who was one of the first and most important innovators in heavy metal music and have a classic sound that never sounds dated or cliché, I have to admit that a self-tributing album that doesn't dish out many surprises is not a bad thing especially when all of the tracks are as catchy and headbangin' as anything that emerged in their heyday of the 80s. True it is that Halford has lost just a little luster in his high range but the band captures some of that 90s thrash energy that lends itself to his comfort in settling in the lower registers. After a few listens I can happily say that I have fallen for this album and although it will never replace the absolute best releases of their discography (“Sad Wings,” “Stained Class,” “Painkiller”), it is far from their worst (“Point Of Entry,” “Turbo”) and one that can assuage a restless fan base that despite the mighty PRIEST having the occasional itch to meander into new musical arenas, are always able to take it all in stride and revert back to their classic metal god status.

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