Rating:
7.3
Judas Priest - Redeemer Of Souls
8 July 2014


Disc I
01. Dragonaut
02. Redeemer Of Souls
03. Halls Of Valhalla
04. Sword Of Damocles
05. March Of The Damned
06. Down In Flames
07. Hell & Back
08. Cold Blooded
09. Metalizer
10. Crossfire
11. Secrets Of The Dead
12. Battle Cry
13. Beginning Of The End

Disc II [Deluxe Edition bonus]
01. Snakebite
02. Tears Of Blood
03. Creatures
04. Bring It On
05. Never Forget


Quietly setting aside the musty orchestrations and unfamiliar, off-putting theatrics that suffocated Nostradamus, Judas Priest have once again decided to ditch all excessive trappings for a "good, old-fashioned" sort of album.

The opener, "Dragonaut" (no, not the Sleep song), begins the album rather inauspiciously. Mid-paced and wanting imagination, the song trots along with a simplicity that would have been catchy, gutsy Judas Priest 30 years ago, but now sounds played-out by the second chorus. Songs like "March Of The Damned," "Hell & Back," and "Cold Blooded" suffer the same fate; they would make acceptable filler on Point Of Entry or British Steel, but they don't have much more potential. As many have already pointed out, the production raises a lot of questions - "why?" being a common one. This album didn't exactly need another drain on its soul.

It's no secret that Judas Priest are getting old, especially after the distressingly lackadaisical performances on this album. Of course, they sound pretty damn good for a band whose debut album dropped four decades ago, and fronting a metal band at 62 is no small feat. Kudos to them for persevering for all these years. Yet at some point these qualifiers can no longer fully make up for the ravages of time.

You might hear some high notes in the background, but Rob Halford cannot muster his trademark legendary power with any consistency. When he ventures beyond his mid-ranged parts, he quavers, breaks, and stops just short of failing. "Battle Cry," while otherwise a highlight of the album, offers one of the best demonstrations of Halford's ailing vocals. Fortunately, he is sensible about his abilities, and doesn't stretch himself too recklessly; while Halford maintains that the lack of high notes was a stylistic choice rather than a physical limitation, it would not be unreasonable to assume that one begat the other. With K.K. Downing also down for the count, Judas Priest hardly operate at full capacity these days; Richie Faulkner does a fine job of covering the bases, but this isn't exactly just a flesh wound.

To their credit, Judas Priest have faithfully fulfilled one of the greatest demands fans make of the bands they love: to write an album that sounds like albums they have already released. In throwing off the chains of Nostradamus, Judas Priest have additionally bypassed several other albums and landed squarely in 1980. Redeemer Of Souls could easily be an odds-and-sods compilation from the band's distant past, but due to the quality of the songs as much as their sonic style. There are a few worthwhile songs to be found, such as "Sword Of Damocles," "Halls Of Valhalla," and the title track. Overall, the songwriting is fairly passable - but when other factors come into play, Redeemer Of Souls turns out much weaker than it could have.

It is always disappointing when an extraordinary band like Judas Priest releases something that is far from extraordinary. While the title track, "Battle Cry," and a few other choice moments from Redeemer Of Souls make strong cases for their existence, this album ultimately amounts to little more than some average Priest weighed down by shoddy production and the simple effects of aging. In my heart I know that I should not enjoy Redeemer Of Souls as much as I do, and few others will; I may return to this album from time to time, and it has grown on me, but let's hope that Judas Priest have something much better up their sleeves to leave us with.

Performance: 7
Songwriting: 7
Originality: 5
Production: 5


Band profile: Judas Priest
Album: Redeemer Of Souls


 



Written on 15.07.2014 by
ScreamingSteelUS
I'm only in this for the money, fame, glory, power, and personal satisfaction.

In my spare time, I fight dragon-pig-C.H.U.D.s in space.

I feel obligated to use up all of my allotted space, so... nah, I'm out of stuff to say.
More reviews by ScreamingSteelUS ››



Comments

‹‹ Back to the Reviews
Comments: 25  
Users visited: 351  
Search this topic:  


Dentura - 15.07.2014 at 11:28  
Good review, I agree with much of what's said here. The production is definitely crap and the band sounds tired, though they managed to make a few highlights for me.
ManiacBlasphemer - 15.07.2014 at 13:36  
Pretty unbiased review and I find the rating quite fiting. This ain't the worse Priest album, with a better production it would've sparked an 8 even though instrumental wise and vocal wise, they are no longer in their prime time.
Sword_Chant - 15.07.2014 at 14:44  
Great review! Agree with all those points, though I would say Halford wasn't all that sensible with his vocals... particularly in 'Halls Of Valhalla' towards the end he goes for the really high pitched scream, that really hurt my ears on first listen. I thought the same with 'Battle Cry', it's evident he struggles to hit those higher notes. The quality of the songs are poor enough so I thought the really high pitched vocals ruined a few of the songs completely.

I felt March Of The Damned was the best song because the vocals weren't so forced like other tracks, for that reason he hit the notes better and overall turns out to be quite a nice JP track. The rest is really average Priest though.
Malignar - 15.07.2014 at 17:04  
I have no idea why the production is so bad. The guitars sound terrible. It definitely isn't a bad album, just kind of tired and boring.
Troy Killjoy - 15.07.2014 at 17:46  
Well they don't sound as bad as Christopher Lee.

But damn do they sound old.
quirin - 15.07.2014 at 19:56  
Thanks for this review. Your findings do not come as a surprise to me, and I fear them accurate.

Last time I saw them live (Nostradamus era), they told the crowd that they'd quit... And by seeing Halford resting on a fake throne in between songs, I figured it was the right decision. Well after all it's their call, but apparently they should better have stuck to that first idea.

So you didn't enjoy Nostradamus then? Fair enough, but it sounded to me as a possible 'fresh' start and seemed to open unexpected doors to the conceptual side. Anyway, it's not about Nostradamus here, so let's just say I'm glad you spent your time exploring this dispensable album.
Orangutoad - 15.07.2014 at 21:44  
You obviously like the album slightly more than I do, and gave it a little higher score than I would have, but I agree with most of it. I get too emotional when hearing a band I love as much as Priest produce something as mediocre and tired as this, so I'm definitely not the right person to ask about it. I will get overly dramatic about it, as I have in other posts. However, I feel this is a fair and honest review from someone who can keep calm about it. Good work. I like your reviews.
ScreamingSteelUS - 15.07.2014 at 22:49  
Written by quirin on 15.07.2014 at 19:56

So you didn't enjoy Nostradamus then? Fair enough, but it sounded to me as a possible 'fresh' start and seemed to open unexpected doors to the conceptual side.

Overall I enjoyed Nostradamus, but it should have been half as long and utilized that sound more effectively. It wasn't a bad album per se, but I don't think the experiment paid off as well as it could have, and it isn't really the sort of thing I'd want to hear from Judas Priest.
satans nuts - 15.07.2014 at 23:15  
Spot on review. I do fear that they set the bar sooo high with painkiller that everything else gets hidden in its towering shadow!!!
Dana - 15.07.2014 at 23:38  
I was really trying to make it sound better to myself but can't help it but notice that I'm really not enjoying it much, then I put some old Judas priest and covered the stains by remembering how awesome this band will always be to me.
Angelic Storm - 15.07.2014 at 23:38  
Painkiller is a very good album, but it definitely isn't Priest's best work. That's their stuff from the mid-70's.
ScreamingSteelUS - 16.07.2014 at 01:10  
Written by Orangutoad on 15.07.2014 at 21:44

You obviously like the album slightly more than I do, and gave it a little higher score than I would have, but I agree with most of it. I get too emotional when hearing a band I love as much as Priest produce something as mediocre and tired as this, so I'm definitely not the right person to ask about it. I will get overly dramatic about it, as I have in other posts. However, I feel this is a fair and honest review from someone who can keep calm about it. Good work. I like your reviews.

Thank you!
Marcel Hubregtse - 16.07.2014 at 02:00  
Written by satans nuts on 15.07.2014 at 23:15

...I do fear that they set the bar sooo high with painkiller...



Painkiller is only good when compared to the albums just before that one was released but cmpared to f.e. Sad Wings and Sin After Sin it was a pretty weak effort.
deadone - 16.07.2014 at 03:03  
Written by Angelic Storm on 15.07.2014 at 23:38

...it definitely isn't Priest's best work. That's their stuff from the mid-70's.



I'm not a Priest fan by any stretch of the imagination but I agree 100% with this. They sounded their most original and most creative in the period 1976-78. There's some seriously good stuff back then and very innovative. The sound was also really nice for the most part - there's a real richness to it similar to what you'd find on Queen or Rainbow albums of the era.

I always find it interesting how the more they "aped" popular trends in the 1980s, the more people appreciated them.
Orangutoad - 16.07.2014 at 16:32  
Written by deadone on 16.07.2014 at 03:03

Written by Angelic Storm on 15.07.2014 at 23:38

...it definitely isn't Priest's best work. That's their stuff from the mid-70's.



I'm not a Priest fan by any stretch of the imagination but I agree 100% with this. They sounded their most original and most creative in the period 1976-78. There's some seriously good stuff back then and very innovative. The sound was also really nice for the most part - there's a real richness to it similar to what you'd find on Queen or Rainbow albums of the era.

I always find it interesting how the more they "aped" popular trends in the 1980s, the more people appreciated them.


I actually agree with this, especially concerning their 80's work, and although I still loved it...it was indeed "trendy 80's hard rock." However, I feel they were born again hard with Painkiller. That album is when they rose above the rest and brought back that late 70's Priest originality into a new era of harder, faster speed metal. It was Priest pissed off and on a rampage after being dragged into court over a bunch of BS, and it's still one of the few metal albums that are a perfect 10 in my book.

Painkiller raised the bar incredibly high and everything they've done since then just pales in comparison. Angel of Retribution was decent, but still nowhere near the badassery of Painkiller.
Murder - 16.07.2014 at 20:19  
Written by Angelic Storm on 15.07.2014 at 23:38

Painkiller is a very good album, but it definitely isn't Priest's best work. That's their stuff from the mid-70's.


Stained Class >>>> all the other albums, of course IMHO and because that is my favorite Judas Priest album.
Dedcalm - 18.07.2014 at 01:51  
Written by Murder on 16.07.2014 at 20:19

Written by Angelic Storm on 15.07.2014 at 23:38

Painkiller is a very good album, but it definitely isn't Priest's best work. That's their stuff from the mid-70's.


Stained Class >>>> all the other albums, of course IMHO and because that is my favorite Judas Priest album.


I disagree. Imo Painkiller is their best. I love all of their previous albums with the exception of Nostrodamus. I'm a fan but like i said. I think age is ruining an amazing reputation.
Zaphod - 18.07.2014 at 18:39  
I am extremely biased when it comes to Priest, but I fear even I won't enjoy this one and I just keep postponing listening to it...
Ilham - 18.07.2014 at 18:59  
Written by Zaphod on 18.07.2014 at 18:39

I am extremely biased when it comes to Priest, but I fear even I won't enjoy this one and I just keep postponing listening to it...

No need to postpone, it won't take long to understand what it's worth. Do it now, get it out of your way.
Orion79 - 18.07.2014 at 21:49  
7 is a very high score. 5/10 IMO
Zaphod - 18.07.2014 at 22:14  
Written by Ilham on 18.07.2014 at 18:59

Written by Zaphod on 18.07.2014 at 18:39

I am extremely biased when it comes to Priest, but I fear even I won't enjoy this one and I just keep postponing listening to it...

No need to postpone, it won't take long to understand what it's worth. Do it now, get it out of your way.

You're right...
Which is why I listened to it. And yes, the band sounds old. And I guess this album would have sounded better if it was recorded by a young Judas Priest. Overall though, even a youthful, more energetic band couldn't make it sound great; I feel like the best songs here are on par with some of the filler on their better albums.
And this time the part of me that forces me to like everything Judas Priest puts out isn't even doing an effort. Maybe it's the lack of KK.
Floflo79 - 30.07.2014 at 14:24  
This album is pretty good. I don't know why people says that it's bad. "Battle Cry" is a really great song, the new guitarist is very good and the album cover is badass as hell !
Troy Killjoy - 30.07.2014 at 18:19  
Written by Floflo79 on 30.07.2014 at 14:24
I don't know why people says that it's bad.

If you don't know why people say it's bad then you must not read a lot of reviews or comments online. There are plenty of reasons why people dislike this - songwriting, production, vocals, etc.
Floflo79 - 31.07.2014 at 09:19  
I know that some people says that the production, vocals, songwriting... are bad. I said that I didn't know why people says that it's bad because I didn't understand it, not because I didn't know it.
DeathRay68 - 06.08.2014 at 22:58  
Agree. I have to say that Halls Of Valhalla, Sword Of Damocles, and Battle Cry have definitely grown on me... However, as someone else said, after listening to these I find myself going back to the older albums of my Priest collection such as Screaming For Vengeance and Defenders Of The Faith to hear this band pummel in their prime. The guitar solo on Ram It Down still blows me away, and leaves me wondering why that song didn't make it on Guitar Hero...

Advertise on Metal Storm


Login or register to post here.



Similar topics

Forum Topic Similarity Started
Albums Judas Priest - Redeemer Of Souls 7.5 28.04.2014 by J. N.
Reviews Judas Priest - Unleashed In The East 5.5 03.10.2006 by Spyroid
Articles Getting Into: Judas Priest 4.5 18.07.2007 by Bad English
News Judas Priest - New Video Online 4.5 24.06.2008 by Lord TJ
Articles Judas Priest - Sheffield, England, 13th February 2009 4.5 15.02.2009 by Marcel Hubregtse



Hits total: 4653 | This month: 168