JUDAS PRIEST — Angel Of Retribution

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JUDAS PRIEST - Angel Of Retribution cover
3.71 | 70 ratings | 5 reviews
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Album · 2005

Filed under Heavy Metal


1. Judas Rising (4:13)
2. Deal With The Devil (3:54)
3. Revolution (4:42)
4. Worth Fighting For (4:18)
5. Demonizer (4:37)
6. Wheels Of Fire (3:46)
7. Angel (4:24)
8. Hellrider (6:23)
9. Eulogy (2:52)
10. Lochness (13:29)

Total Time 52:44


- Rob Halford / vocals
- K.K. Downing / guitars
- Glenn Tipton / guitars
- Ian Hill / bass guitar
- Scott Travis / drums

About this release

Released by Epic, February 28th, 2005.

Bonus disc has the following tracklist:

1. Breaking The Law (live) (2:26)
2. Metal Gods (live) (4:06)
3. A Touch Of Evil (live) (5:38)
4. Hell Bent For Leather (live) (3:49)
5. The Hellion / Electric Eye (live) (4:17)
6. Diamonds And Rust (live) (4:16)
7. Living After Midnight (live) (4:23)

Total Time 28:55

Thanks to Pekka, Raff, Lynx33, adg211288 for the updates


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Specialists/collaborators reviews

Judas Priest's fifteenth album Angel of Retribution from 2005 marks both the band's return to the Painkiller line-up, Rob Halford now being back at the front of the band where he belongs, but also their much needed return to form after the career low point that was the second Tim Owens fronted effort Demolition (though to reiterate my review for that album I lay no blame at Tim's doorstep). It's also rather back to basics traditional heavy metal without the band doing any messing around with the more modern groove metal sounds of the Owens era, but that's exactly what they needed to do at that point in their career.

The songwriting is at its highest level since Painkiller on Angel of Retribution although the album as a whole is still a way off from that sort of top tier standard. There are many excellent songs that stand out for me from the album though including what I'd call the aptly named opener Judas Rising as well as Deal with the Devil and Hellrider. With the closing Lochness Judas Priest also try their hand at an epic and although it's far from a favourite of mine from the album, I think that's pretty decent as well. In my view the track actually flirts with traditional doom metal at times. It's got some quite different vibes to the typical Priest song. Overall this won't ever be a favourite of mine from Judas Priest, they have too much stronger work from the 70's in particular for that but it's one of the better post-Painkiller albums.
Judas Priest’s Angel Of Retribution album was released in 2005 and saw the return of original singer Rob Halford on his first Judas Priest studio album for fifteen years.

The album received a lot of positive press due to the return of Halford, but don’t get too suspicious, this album wholly deserves the praise on its own merits too. The songwriting is superb, with a good selection of heavy and interesting tracks and a few ballads for variety.

The material does a great job of mixing everything that was great about Judas Priest and tastefully modernising it; the songs don’t actually sound like Stained Class or Defenders Of The Faith but they definitely do still feel like Judas Priest nonetheless.

Highlights include opener ‘Judas Rising,’ the heavy ‘Demonizer,’ and the speedy ‘Hellrider,’ all of which mix signature Priest sounds with a modern attitude, and the semi-ballad ‘Worth Fighting For,’ which is a genuinely enjoyable song, in a different style than the band usually work with.

The album ends with the infamous track ‘Lock Ness,’ which is something of a laughing stock, but if you object to it you can end the album one track early and still have a top quality full length Priest album. If you think about it, all the classic Priest albums were only about eight to ten tracks long or so and ‘Lock Ness,’ is the eight minute thirteenth track on an otherwise great album.

Apart from the controversial ‘Lock Ness,’ the album is basically flawless, with big riffs, nice solos, great drumming and Rob’s fantastic vocals. In summary; a top drawer album, not just ‘good for a reunion album,’ but just plain good.
The Angry Scotsman
Judas Priest, the band that gets heavier with age!

Then again, what else could we expect from the metal gods? Bands tend to mellow with age, of course this is below the Priest, they got heavier and faster with age. I was surprised how much so when I first heard this album years ago, I couldn't believe this was Judas Priest. They have kept up with the times, and produced a heavy metal album for 2005 just as they did back in the early 70's.

The albums starts out strong with Judas Rising. A powerful build leads to the mid paced, heavy and unrelenting song. Scott Travis' double bass drumming may not be a machine gun but the sheer endurance is mind blowing. Epic song, with some great soloing and some impressive rhythm work, (opposed to Priest's usual tremolo picking away).

Deal With The Devil is a more traditional heavy metal song, mid paced, riffy, awesome solos. Straightforward heavy metal song structure and some old school Halford!

Revolution is a very intriguing song. Quite slow and heavy, with some interesting vocals. Amazing riffing. Right now I am slowly rocking my head as I type, it can't be helped.

The next song, Worth Fighting For, is lighter then the previous songs and has a more 70's hard rock feel. Groovy song, mellow vocals and more melodic soloing.

Demonizer on the other hand kick in with a heavy, dissonant, almost Slayer sounding riff. Throw in some pounding drums and chuggy bass. This song has that unrelenting Travis double bass and technical riffing. A real juxtaposition with the previous song.

Wheels of fire. Straightforward song, not much to write home about.

Angel. My favorite song on the album, and maybe one of my favorites from Judas Priest. They can crank out the heavy but here we see they can also write something melodic and beautiful. Sends a shiver through my arms. Amazing song, melodic and beautiful.

That is just to be followed by perhaps the most intense song on the album, Hellrider. Epic intro, crushing riff, more double bass drumming and more high pitched vocals then we've heard thus far. More awesome solos, though Priest does need to watch the pinch harmonic abuse, (in solos and riffs). Last minute and a half is powerful stuff.

Eulogy is a segue, entirely acoustic, slow and mellow clean singing. Transitions right into the grand finale:

Lochness. A 13 minute song!? Yes. I can honestly call this a progressive metal song, (and no not just because its over 10 minutes). Slow and ambient, slow and heavy, mid paced riffing with melodic and unusual soloing over it. The song actually progresses throughout. Very heavy, choppy sometimes surprising riffing a long and interesting song structure this may be the most challenging Judas Priest song I've heard. It's a great one though and has it all. Their career in a microcosm.

This is a great album. When I first came home with it and my mom asked what CD I bought she chuckled at the fact Judas Priest is still around. Well they are and they can still make great metal. Some lackluster songs, and it can drag a bit at times but this is an amazing album. Much heavier then a lot of Priest's work and Halford's vocals are still there, though he uses a lot more clean and "heavy" vocals. Does give the album another heavy touch. Excellent.

Four Stars
Time Signature
Judas Priest rising...

Genre: heavy metal

"Angel of Retribution" marks the return of the once exiled god to the upper echelon of metal deities and it is a very varied quality album.

The first track "Judas Rising", I think, carries on the style from the Ripper Owens fronted albums, but, of course, Halford's voice adds a certain uniqueness to the track, which is already excellent. "Deal with a Devil" is a solid heavy metal track with some nice guitar licks and a great chorus and equally great pre-chorus. "Revolution" is groovier track which kind of hearkens back to the days when Priest were very inspired by Led Zep. "Worth Fighting For" is more of an alternative (hard) rock melodic track, but I quite like it for sounding different and having a more twangy sound. "Demonizer" is a dark and semi-thrashy track (a bit like "Judas Rising" track that sounds a bit like the material from "Jugulator". "Wheels of Fire" is a nice heavy metal track, but one of the weaker moments of the album, as is "Angel" which one of Priest's less powerful ballads. "Hellrider" reminds me a bit of the material from "Painkiller" and therefore I, logically, like it. "Eulogy" is an epic ballad which hearkens back to "Epitaph" from "Sad Wings of Destiny", but without the Queen influence. And "Loch Ness" is essentially a dark and evil doom metal song and the best track on the album.

Recommended to fans of traditional heavy metal, but speed, power and thrash metal fans might also like it.

Members reviews

Yes, Judas Priest has returned. Stronger than ever with the new album Angel of Retribution, newly released in 2005. With all regards to the previous singer Ripper Owens, the return of ‘metal god’ vocalist Rob Halford has only proved that Rob was and is the perfect voice for Priest. The album kicks off with a thundering track “Judas Is Rising”, a thrashy modern track very much similar to their last two albums. It is not only the return of Rob Halford that made this one a kick ass record, also their return to glam rock style or I’d call it a ‘crunchy heavy metal Judas Priest recipe with a touch of rock n roll’ in some songs. Yes, the second track “Deal With The Devil” is pretty much rock n roll if you listen to it carefully, and the next thing you know you will bang your head wild! “Gotta deal with the devil/’cause you know that is real/Done a deal with the devil/From a heart made of steel”.

“Revolution” is a guitar driven mid-tempo track and so 80s! This track also seems to mark the reunion of Judas Priest with “Time to come together/Revolution/Living on forever/Revolution”. “Worth Fighting For” is another worth-listening to track. After three opening tracks, I guess you can rest a bit with this song. Driven by Ian Hill’s bass playing, this song could be an instant hit or the next single for the band. Also, this one has one of the best guitar solo that you might not want to miss. The next track, “Demonizer” is pretty much from Jugulator/Demolition musically era, a catchy track with its thrashy guitar-driven with a thundering double bass drums delivered by drummer Scott Travis. Not very much different than the opening track. “Wheels of Fire” is another glam rocker track. How I love to hear Glenn Tipton’s solo and KK Downing’s crunchy rhythm guitar on a song like this! To be honest, I’d prefer them to play this kind of music rather than a trashy heavy metal style which they offered on Jugulator and Demolition albums with Ripper Owens. But I guess I can’t complain much, though.

The first ballad on the album is “Angel”. A somewhat sad song with its beautiful lyrics line “And I know we’ll find/A better place and peace of mind/Just tell me it’s all you want for you and me/Angel won’t you set me free”. Musically less memorable but it has one of the best Judas Priest lyrics. “Hellrider” to my ear is Painkiller 2. Yup, it is pretty much similar although it lacks the energy and power as shown by Painkiller. “Eulogy” is another ballad from this band, a two minutes plus gloomy song (what can you expect? It’s an eulogy) followed by a closer track which probably the longest song Judas Priest ever recorded, “Lochness”, a ten minutes plus track to close this chapter of Angel of Retribution. Guess you already know what this song is all about by looking at the title. Please, be ready. This mid-tempo killer track will torture you apart for the next ten minutes or so.

I’d say that Angel of Retribution is a good return for Judas Priest. They somewhat quite succeed in combining the old materials pre-Painkiller with their new style during the 90s. They still can achieve more beyond this. Let’s give them more time to put back the chemistry that has created those great records during the 80s. Time is all they need and let’s hope that it’s not a one-time reunion. Credit must also be addressed to producer Roy Z. Once again he proved himself to be a talented mastermind on the production side.

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