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Judas Priest

reedemer

Redeemer Of Souls 

Columbia/Sony

 

With their first studio album release since 2008’s Nostradamus, Judas Priest is well and truly back. Despite the departure of guitarist, K.K. Downing, long-time fans of the band are sure to be satisfied with this offering, which has been teased as a ‘classic, return-to-roots’ album, and hints of previous works may be heard in many of the songs.

This is an important album for Rob Halford and co. due the critical panning of Nostradamus, a double-disc concept album that many fans felt was far too slow for one of the world’s premier metal bands, and one can’t help but feel that this was at the forefront of their minds when writing this intense, melodic and at times destructively heavy record.

While the keen listener may be able to describe similarities between this album and previous works such as Screaming For Vengeance (1982), Ram It Down (1988) and Painkiller (1990) with a touch of Angel Of Retribution (2005) thrown in for good measure, there is no denying that the album still possesses its own ‘sonic theme’ and avoids sounding disjointed, almost in the face of some strange production choices by producers Mike Exeter and guitarist Glenn Tipton, who offer a ‘higher-end’ recording, almost scooping the testicles out of many of the tracks. Almost.

It remains to be seen if this album will attract new audiences – however, from the riveting title track, to the raging Halls Of Valhalla and the bluesy-groovy Crossfire, this is a must-have for Priest fans.

 

PATRICK SPICER

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