Six long years have passed since the release of Judas Priest´s last, very disappointing album, Nostradamus – six, very eventful years: KK Downing (git) left the band after 40 years, Richie Faulkner replaced him and the Priests went on their “Epitaph” farewell tour, taking them around the globe. During that time, the band reconsidered their farewell and has now released a brand new studio album called Redeemer of Souls. It´s an album that nobody expected. So, what´s the verdict? It turned out to be a good album but it does not reach the band´s classics like Painkiller and British Steel. It´s good because of songs, such as as Dragonout, Halls of Valhalla, Swords of Damocles, Cold Blooded and, to some extent, the title track. All are midtempo songs with brilliant choruses and detailed guitar arrangements. There´s also a great ballad right at the end of the album, called Beginning of the End.
But why is Redeemer of Souls only a good album and not a great one? Well, there are two different reasons. Reason one: The sound could be better. In my opinion, it is too much “retro”, meaning that it has not enough punch and not enough clarity either. Rob Halford´s vocals, for example, suffer from too much reverb and effects. Reason two: The composition of the album is not ideal. Most songs are midtempo and the few faster and slower tracks only come at the end. This is not generally bad but not optimal either. As I said above: Redeemer of Souls is a good album but not an all-time classic.