Judas Priest
Redeemer of Souls


3.0
good

Review

by Elliott S. Edwards STAFF
July 7th, 2014 | 207 replies


Release Date: 07/08/2014 | Tracklist

Review Summary: "...feel as though nobody cares, if we live or die..."

Should we really be excited for a new Judas Priest album? Admittedly, the prospect of comeback albums have become far less exciting than they once were at the tail-end of the '00s. Some albums have fared better than others (Black Sabbath's 13, Metallica's Death Magnetic, Swans My Father Will Guide Us Up a Rope to the Sky), and some have seen themselves age poorly in lieu of critical malling and poor sales figures (specifically referring to The Stooges' The Weirdness, although Aerosmith's Music from Another Dimension! will suffice). What cannot be denied is that these albums often become defining works for many bands; they signify the point where they either sank or swam, where the skill was proved or shown to diminish with aging. Precisely where Redeemer of Souls fits in this spectrum though is a constantly baffling and difficult question to answer, yielding mixed results overall.

Rob Halford has said the case for Redeemer was to prove that Priest were still a viable heavy metal band; after the overindulgent Nostradamus, it was arguably a necessity to right that wrong in their career. Opener "Dragonaut" could make a decent case for being being worthy of the fabled description British Steel vs. Painkiller, combining an '80s radio friendly vibe with a ballistic vibrancy reminiscent of the latter album. Other singles attempt their hardest to meet the difficult goal set out and succeed in varying measures; the title track rolls along with modesty in its heart but is ruined by an underwhelming performance from Glenn Tipton and Richie Faulkner. Other songs may be well-written but more often than not face a critical flaw, as "Sword of Damocles", "March of the Damned" and "Halls of Valhalla" all fall flat on their face for various reasons; Halford not hitting operatic and indulgent high notes, Tipton and Faulkner playing with a weedy and thin guitar tone, Scott Travis playing far too simple drum lines. In reality, the album doesn't live up to its unbelievable and ridiculous imagery, instead deciding to settle and force its passion through as a selling point.

For the most part, it suffices. The likes of "Down in Flames" and "Hell & Back", while utterly dreadful, at least aren't a dime a dozen. Ultimately, the ilk of "Crossfire" and "The Beginning of the End" dominate the record, pronouncing Faulkner and Tiptons weathered leads and Halford's overblown lyricism. There comes a point though where sympathy and wanting to see our heroes succeed overshadows the reality of what they are doing. It's clear Scott Travis can still belt out rapid gun fire drum lines, and the twin-axe attack of Tipton and Faulkner is just as good as that of KK Downing and Tipton (as evidenced by Epitaph). If there is one overriding disappointment, it's that Priest aim to play it safe more than anything, and while it saves Redeemer from any huge embarrassments, it ultimately stops it from succeeding on most terms.

It begs the question; have Priest really survived the last 40 years? It's a little selfish and unreasonable to expect Rob Halford could still wail like a banshee and think Scott Travis could still be capable of performing 6-minutes+ of double bass pedal machine gun action, but then isn't it unreasonable to return knowing you're incapable (or unwilling) of delivering to these standards? It's obvious that Priest still have 'it', and among their reunited peers they shine above the rest in terms of non-diminished musicianship. In that sense, Redeemer of Souls isn't a classic along the lines of their earlier career, but does qualify as proving that even though they may have aged beyond their classics, Judas Priest can still lay claim to the title of Metal Gods.



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user ratings (373)
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other reviews of this album
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Comments:Add a Comment 
Arcade
Staff Reviewer
July 6th 2014


8410 Comments


somewhere between 2.8~3.2, so 3 will suffice. album's a bit eh but it's definitely worth the listen for curiosity's sake.

Digging: Zola Jesus - Okovi

tempest--
July 6th 2014


20471 Comments


m/

best band ever

Friday13th
July 6th 2014


5854 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

nice summary quote

Digging: Fleming and John - Delusions of Grandeur

BMDrummer
July 7th 2014


13944 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5 | Sound Off

Nice review, might as well check this soon

Judio!
July 7th 2014


8399 Comments


been waiting for this review ever since you dibbed it ;] Nice write up, shame this doesn't live up to their other stuff but I can't say I'm particularly surprised.

Arcade
Staff Reviewer
July 7th 2014


8410 Comments


cheeerz fellas

yeah it's not great like i said but the people going around giving it crap scores are being way too harsh. there's certainly nothing offensive on offer

WhiteNoise
July 7th 2014


3564 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5

Is this worse than Angel of Retribution? I actually have a huge soft spot for that record.

trackbytrackreviews
July 7th 2014


3315 Comments


There's nothing defensive on offer either which makes it kinda boring

stop
July 7th 2014


22 Comments


How can you listen to this and not think "yea, this is absolute trash and I am being personally insulted by spending time with it".

It is beyond my comprehension that an adult would sit down and listen to horrible non-compositions and some guy yelling "dragonaut is near".

Insurrection
Contributing Reviewer
July 7th 2014


24396 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

first priest album i heard in full. probably not the best place to start... had some pretty decent riffs tho



nice review man

Digging: Protest the Hero - Pacific Myth

Oswaldo88
July 7th 2014


34 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5 | Sound Off

Boring

Cimnele
July 7th 2014


1239 Comments


Should probably have started with Stained Class lol

Arcade
Staff Reviewer
July 7th 2014


8410 Comments


@Whitenoise: nah this isn't as good as AoR, probs stick with that

@stop: worst troll

@Insurrection: should probably go listen to Painkiller, damn that shit is solid

betray
July 7th 2014


9122 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Ins, listen to Painkiller and Stained Class and then Sad Wings then Screaming then Steel then





fuck just listen to them all besides the last two

pedro70512
July 7th 2014


4166 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

This certainly isn't the disaster it could have been.

Arcade
Staff Reviewer
July 7th 2014


8410 Comments


basically don't listen to the tim ripper owens material, turbo, ram it down, nostradamus. this is next but it's probably the last album i'd recommend

ExplosiveOranges
Contributing Reviewer
July 7th 2014


4408 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0 | Sound Off

Glad to see you did the album justice, Arcade. Mindpos.

Arcade
Staff Reviewer
July 7th 2014


8410 Comments


cheers oranges

NocteDominum
July 7th 2014


7314 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

i find this nonredeemable unfortunately.

Apollo
July 7th 2014


10670 Comments


"first priest album i heard in full. probably not the best place to start... had some pretty decent riffs tho"

What in the actual f*ck?!



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