It has been six years since the metal gods Judas Priest released the concept album Nostradamus. Since then, guitarist K.K. Downing retired from the band and Judas Priest embarked on their Epitaph World Tour for the past 2 years, thought to have been their last. Now with Redeemer of Souls, the seventeenth album from Judas Priest, new guitarist Richie Faulker is paired with lead guitarist Glenn Tipton, showcasing killer riffs and solos that combined with powerful vocals from Rob Halford. The album has lots of range from blazing metal tracks to some of the slower, gloomy atmospheric tracks.
“Dragonaut”, the opening track, is a fast and thrashy song that kicks off the album and sets the tone. The title track then kicks in with a more guitar solo-focused approach before “Halls of Vahalla” displays some of Halford’s top-notch sonic vocals. The next four tracks take a slower yet crunchy direction. Fans of “Diamonds and Rust” will really like this part of the album. The album kicks into high gear once again with “Metalizer”.
One really great stand out track is “Secrets of the Dead”; It’s easily one of the catchiest guitar riffs of 2014. The last two tracks, “Battle Cry” and “Beginning of the End”, end the album very appropriately.
Overall, Redeemer of Souls is a fantastic release from Judas Priest. It’s much better than Nostradamus, but comparable to Angel of Retribution. This album is a message to the fans saying there’s still a lot left in the tank. Be sure to catch Judas Priest with Steel Panther this fall as they will be kicking off their tour in Rochester on October 1 and stopping in Brooklyn eight days later on October 9.
Key track: Secrets of the Dead
Redeemer of Souls can be purchased here.