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The Only Review That Matters- Redeemer of Souls
Judas is Rising
Ever since my dad first played me Metallica's Master of Puppets album when I was ten, I've been hooked on metal. Over the next few years, I started to listen to more and more metal bands like Motorhead, Iron Maiden, Black Sabbath, Megadeth, Slayer, and many others. One of my favorite metal bands of all time has always been Judas Priest.
To me, they signified what a heavy metal band should look and sound like. From their black leather attire to there loud guitars and recognizable vocals, they paved the way for many metal bands there after. Along with Sabbath and Maiden, they are continually cited as influences by scores of other artists. And since The mid- 70's, they've produced many heavy classics such as Breaking the Law, Screaming for Vengeance, and Painkiller. On July 8th, the released their latest album, Redeemer of Souls.
This is Judas Priest's first album since 2008's Nostradamus. I've been waiting for this album since the band announced it a few years ago. This is the first Judas Priest album not to feature guitarist and co-founder, K.K. Downing. He is replaced on this record by former Lauren Harris guitarist, Richie Faulkner. The rest of the band's line-up remains unchanged( guitarist Glenn Tipton, bassist Ian Hill, drummer Scott Travis, and lead vocalist Rob Halford). And now... the review.
What I liked- The first thing I think of when I hear the first song is, this sounds like a Judas Priest album. Its not an experimentation album at all. It exactly would you would hope an expect from a Judas Priest. All the songs are very well produced. A read that guitarist Glenn Tipton actual took part in co-producing the record. From the rhythm, lyrics, riffs, and solos, this is what priest has made there name on. I was pretty skeptical on Richie Faulkner coming into the band. I had never heard his guitar playing before and I wasn't sure if he was the right fir to replace someone like K.K. Downing. But I have to admit, the dual lead guitar playing by Tipton and Faulkner are near perfect in this album. Another thing I noticed was how different the solos sounded compared to previous records. It was a lot faster and used more effects and techniques like tapping. Travis and Hill gave each song great rhythm and kept the pace throughout the album. And the there's Rob Halford. Even at age 62, the Metal God still knows how to deliver operatic and meaningful vocals to every song.
With songs like Dragonaut, Snakebite, and the title cut, this album seems destined for live play. Of the 18 songs, Dragonaut has to be my favorite. Every aspect of it screams heavy metal. The thunder storm intro reminds me of Slayer's Raining Blood and is a great precursor for what about to come for the rest of the song and the album.
What I didn't- I have always said that I feel that Scott Travis is one of the most underrated drummers in metal. So the one issue I had with this album was that there wasn't really a recognizable song where Travis could showcase his skills. I wish there could have been a song that opened with his drum playing. Something like what he did in his first record with the band, Painkiller.
Another thing that disappointed me were the songs Beginning of the End and Never Forget. It's not that there bad songs and its not that they're more melodic in tone They're deep and meaningful songs, its just they're lyrical content will effect every die hard Priest fan. The lyrics of n=both songs imply that this might be it for the band. Therefore my disappointment is the quality of the songs, its the context. Its just hard to imagine one of the greatest heavy metal acts of all time calling it quits.
Bottom Line- Priest is Priest. You know what you're going to get when you buy a Judas Priest record. You'll hear a loud, dual guitar sound, a powerful rhythm section, and loud, operatic vocals. This is the band showing that they can still compete with the heavy metal acts of today and let them know who did it first. For a band that has been around for over 40 years, they stay true to their roots and can still produce a great metal sound. And despite my early skepticism, I can appreciate Richie Faulkner as guitarist. In highly recommended checking out the album. The band before announced retirement in 2012 but came back to record Redeemer of Souls. So I hope that I was just over thinking the song titles. But I do know that all good things must come to an end. So if Judas Priest does decide to hang it up after this tour, than this album is a great way to go out.