JUDAS PRIEST — Redeemer Of Souls (review)

JUDAS PRIEST — Redeemer Of Souls album cover Album · 2014 · Heavy Metal Buy this album from MMA partners
4/5 ·
Warthur
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.
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