Metal Review: Judas Priest: Redeemer of Souls (Deluxe Edition) (2014)

Judas Priest Redeemer of Souls

Purchase Judas Priest Redeemer of Souls

I know that it is not cool to like Judas Priest, or maybe it has become cool as sort of a retro thing, but the fact of the matter is that I have been a fan of the Metal Gods since I fell in love with metal as a wee little lad. Many a night were spent walking the neighborhood with a boombox blasting classics albums like “Sad Wings of Destiny,” “Screaming For Vengeance” and more. I have always waived the flag for The Priest.

Okay, perhaps “Nostradamus” was a tough pill to swallow, but I gave it the old college try. It was just too much of a departure and the majority of the album did nothing for me. With Judas Priest coming off of their most disappointing album followed up with the loss of KK Downing, “Redeemer of Souls” had a lot to prove. After a few listens, I can tell you that they have proved that they still have it.

You will never confuse “Redeemer of Souls” with “Defenders of the Faith,” but it is a very nice album with plenty of highlights. Vocalist Rob Halford is his normal Metal God self, which says a lot because his voice is nowhere near what it once was, but he still has one of the best voices in metal.

The album starts off pretty pedestrian with Dragonaut and the title track, but Halls of Valhalla offers up a little more energy and substance to chew on. Sword of Damocles starts off a nice trend of tracks that showcase the obvious guitar skills of Glenn Tipton and newcomer Richie Faulkner. The best display of their interplay is Cold Blooded, which starts off as a standard track and becomes one of the best musical tracks on the album.

March of the Damned has all of the potential to become a metal anthem, but with the band not touring as much, I am not quite sure if any of their new songs will ever become sticky enough to become household names like songs like Breaking the Law and Living After Midnight.

Metalizer plays off like a song from the “Painkiller” era. It is one of the fastest tracks the Priest has written in years. Crossfire is just a straight rocker that gets stuck in your head, along the lines of Crossfire also.

Secrets of the Dead is a heavy beast of a track that has a nice flow to it. Beginning of the End closes out the album proper with a nice, mellow track.

As far as the Deluxe Edition goes, it contains 5 bonus tracks along the same lines of disc 1. Most original tracks that get included on bonus discs are the ones that could not make the regular album.

Snakebite is your run of the mill tracks that we have heard from Priest for a long time. Perhaps that tough with Whitesnake rubbed off on them a little. Tears of Blood is a nice track with some nice riffwork and some fine hooks throughout. Creatures is another pedestrian track while Bring it On excels on many levels from the riffs all the way through the vocals. On the other hand, Never Forget is a very forgettable track. Kind of a strange title.

Overall, “Redeemer of Souls” is a nice album, but will never go down as one of Priest’s best works because of the quality of their previous albums. It will fare better than albums like “Nostadamus” and “Ram it Down,” which are despised by most of the metal community. It is a wonderful return to form though. My biggest gripe is not about the album, but the lack of touring that the band will have in the coming years.

Judas Priest: Redeemer of Souls (Deluxe Edition) Rating

7.5 Stars (7.5 / 10)

Redeemer of Souls (Deluxe Edition) Track Listing

1. Dragonaut
2. Redeemer of Souls
3. Halls of Valhalla
4. Sword of Damocles
5. March of the Damned
6. Down in Flames
7. Hell & Back
8. Cold Blooded
9. Metalizer
10. Crossfire
11. Secrets of the Dead
12. Battle Cry
13. Beginning of the End

Disc 2

1. Snakebite
2. Tears of Blood
3. Creatures
4. Bring it On
5. Never Forget

  • James DePaolo

    I respect the review, and like you I am a major Priest fan from way back…this new record the songwriting is just horrible. Now if you look at the lyric sheet of any Priest record that is not the strongest suit but this record it really is bad. Rob still has that voice, and he delivers for the most part. The guitar work is amazing, but the songs I just feel that since the reunion after Ripper left, the cds are not that great and are borderline embarrassing. We will never get a Hell Bent or Defenders I know, but my god they make Ram it Down look like Zeppelin 4.The new record, it is going to take time but I just wish they would have let Epitaph be the end. That was an amazing live record that captured their passion and what they are about better than anything else since they reformed.