Artist: Judas Priest
Album: Redeemer of Souls
When it comes to bringing heavy metal to life, there are few bands who stand out like the mighty Judas Priest. For 30 years, Priest has been bringing you their unique way of story-telling and they don’t look primed to quit any time soon! Their latest aural masterpiece, Redeemer of Souls, is quite honestly some of their best work to date. Not being a huge fan of their previous album, Nostradamus, this excited me quite a bit. Maybe it’s the added shreds of new guitarist, Richie Faulkner? Maybe it’s the fact that Rob Halford has brought another incredible story to the table? Maybe it’s just the re-energized nature of the band in general? Whatever it is, they have proven that they will not leave their thrones without a fight!
Redeemer of Souls destroys any pre-conceived notions you might have had about this band being “too old”, “too tired” or “recycled”. This is apparent from the fiery opener, Dragonaut. The album doesn’t show any signs of slowing down as the band slays through tracks like “Halls of Valhalla”, “Sword of Damocles”. Fans may think they’ve been pulled back to Priest’s glory days throughout the album. While not as wonderful and as hard-hitting as some of the tracks on the album, even tracks like “March of the Damned” (a track about a zombie apocalypse, it seems) are a pretty good listen. It’s not until we get to the final and, admittedly, most depressing track on the album “Beginning of the End” that we see just why they had fans wait for this album. It seems as though the torch is being passed to the younger bands and they may be finally retiring from the metal scene. Could this be true? I have absolutely no idea but that’s definitely the vibe I get with this track. I certainly hope not but you can say they’ve had one “Hell” of a run in the span of their 3-decade career. Will there ever be another band like Judas Priest? Probably not but metal draws one hell of an influence from these talented fellows, some even credit them with being the pioneers of metal music.
With the release of Redeemer of Souls, we may see the end of this band but their legend, their music and their image are timeless. If they’re leaving, they’re proving that they want to go out at the top of their game and that’s just what they’ve done with the release of Redeemer of Souls. Be sure to pick up your copy, out now on Epic Records!