Title - ‘Redeemer of Souls’
Artist - Judas Priest
As everyone on the planet with an ear cocked towards heavy metal music knows, Judas Priest are an incredibly successful English heavy metal band formed in Birmingham, England waaay back in 1969. Known for twin lead guitars, a wide operatic vocal style, and for introducing the S&M leather-and-studs look into heavy metal (!), they have sold over 50 million albums worldwide.
Indeed, the band is widely recognized as one of the finest and most original heavy metal bands of all time, with many artists within the genre having cited them as a major influence.
And so here for their brand new album, Redeemer of Souls, Judas Priest - singer Rob Halford, guitarists Glenn Tipton and Richie Faulkner, bassist Ian Hill and drummer Scott Travis - finally bring their fans some new music. Since their last studio album was Nostradamus (2008), and nothing special at that (sorry), some six years on and they thankfully have their feet back under the musical table.
Released as a standard version and a deluxe edition with five bonus tracks, Redeemer of Souls raises the bar (from Nostradamus, as noted above) and hits the ground running with ‘Dragonaut,’ a balls-to-the-wall rush from the gates of Hell, if ever there were! The title track, ‘Redeemer of Souls’ is next and story tells it like it is: from the JP point of view, of course.
The band that MTV once ranked the second "Greatest Metal Band" of all time (Guns ‘n’ Roses were number one at that time), Judas Priest continue onwards with both ‘Halls of Valhalla’ and the pounding ‘Sword of Damocles’ along next. One of the best tracks on this new album, for my money is ‘March of the Damned’ as it finally allows us to hear a rip-roaring guitar slow. Like the ones they used to make.
The poppiest track, if there is such a thing here I ‘Blaze of Glory,’ and that is backed by the first slow track of the musical presentation, ‘Hell & Back.’ I say slow as it begins like that, but then 30 seconds in changes its mind/direction and we’re off and flying, as normal! ‘Cold Bloodied’ is next and comes complete with its own guitar solo, before the heavy vocals of ‘Metalizer’ and the freeflowing ‘Crossfire.’
As the bells toll for ‘Secrets of the Dead,’ the album comes to a close - unless you have the deluxe version of Redeemer of Souls as then you would be listening to some six (6) more extra tracks - with ‘Battle Cry’ and the closest thing to a true ballad on the entire album; the aptly titled ‘Beginning Of The End.’
Reviewed by: Russell A. Trunk