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Review: Judas Priest - Redeemer of Souls
Judas Priest
Redeemer of Souls

Label: Sony
Year released: 2014
Duration: 62:11
Tracks: 13
Genre: Heavy Metal

Rating: 3.5/5

Review online: September 15, 2014
Reviewed by: Sargon the Terrible
Readers Rating
Redeemer of Souls

Rated 3.73/5 (74.69%) (49 Votes)

So, it's here. This is supposedly Priest's last album, and I suppose we'll see about that. Hard to believe it has been 6 years since the tepid Nostradamus and almost 25 years since a definitive killer album in Painkiller. The band's record in the decades since then has been very much a mixed bag, with more bad albums than good, some very bad. But recently the band has had a tiny renaissance, with the passable Angel of Retribution and the not-awful Nostradamus. Still, I was not sure what we'd get.

This is pretty emblematic for late-period Priest. The guitar sound is kind of smooth, and lacks punch. Halford rips out a few highs here and there just to prove he can; but it's not like the old days, and his tone has really started to decay. That wouldn't be so much an issue if his vocal lines were killer, but they are kind of slow and lukewarm and just blah. The album as a whole is slow, with a ponderous feeling and none of the high-octane wailing energy that used to characterize this band. Some of the riff work here is really pretty good, even if the half-assed production robs it of the impact it could otherwise have. Songs like "Halls of Valhalla" and "Down in Flames" could really kill if they sounded heavier, sharper, and would speed the fuck up like a half-notch.

Overall this sounds like a band going sleepily through the motions, aping their past successes and not really trying to kick ass. This is better than Nostradamus by a mile, and about as good as Angel of Retribution, but mostly it's just kind of tedious.

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