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Label: Epic Records/Sony Music

Release Date: July 8, 2014

Rating: 10/10

Reviewed by: Todd “Toddstar” Jolicoeur

Judas Priest is one of those bands that will always draw emotion from fans and non-fans alike.  The latest release is part of that same line of thinking.  This is a disc that people seem to love or hate, but isn’t that the case with all great discs?  “Dragonaut” kicks the disc off in the right direction with killer guitars, heavy bass, and thundering drums.  We would be remiss to mention the lead vocals of the Metal God himself, Rob Halford.  This track kills from opening note to last.  Title track “Redeemer Of Souls” has a heavier sound and classic feel to it, while Halford stamps his vocals all over the track.  The rhythm section of Ian Hill and Scott Travis provide a heavy bottom end on this track.  “Sword Of Damocles” is a guitar heavy track that leans on the strength of axe masters Glenn Tipton and Richie Faulkner.  This rocker is a bit slower in tempo, but no mellower in its rock groove.  “Down In Flames” morphs form a guitar instrumental into a cool rocker that features the guitars prominently, while the Hill’s bass lines drive the track from start to finish.  “Cold Blooded” has a more modern sound that moves between modern and classsic, while maintaining that Judas Priest vibe.  The tempo is a bit tapered, but the guitars and vocals mesh well and drive the track.  “Crossfire” opens with a funky blues riff and sheds a little light on some of the music at the heart and soul of these musicians.  This is a killer track that is sure to get fists and horns in the air pumping in unison.  “Battle Cry” is another grat guitar track that allows the duo of Faulkner and Tipton to add another classic sound and dualing riffs to the arsonal of Priest classics.

“Halls Of Valhalla” opens with a guitar intro that harkens back to the feel and sound of other Priest classics.  The drums and bass kick in underneath the dual guitar attack and the song takes off, just in time for the vocals to drop into the song and seal this track with the legendary Judas Priest sound.  “March Of The Damned” comes across with a killer chugging guitar sound that builds into another track with a classic vibe.  The vocals are all heavy and all Halford, but there is a fuzzy sound that takes you back to some of the mid-80’s rockers this band turned out.  “Hell & Back” is a beautiful piece that allows the guitars to turn down and Halford to sing… and then the bass and drums click and this track gets heavy and horns worthy.  The feel of this track gels with the rest of the songs on this collection and adds to the depth of the disc.  “Metalizer” is a drum intensive track that allows Travis to flex his muscles a bit and features a classic Halford wail in the intro, while the guitar give life to the verses and chorus.  “Secrets Of The Dead” is a heavier song that builds from a loose guitar riff intro into a twin-guitar rocker, supported by an aggressive rhythm section.  “Beginning Of The End” is the most mellow track on the disc, giving everyone a little room to show another side of themselves as artist, especially Halford – his vocals in this track demonstrate his raw ability as a singer.  The guitars tango to produce a beautiful sound that permeates the track and nicely closes the disc on a high note.

If given the option, make sure to pick up the deluxe edition of the disc, as it features an additional 5 tracks.  “Snakebite” has a total 80’s metal sound from the chugging guitars to the constant drum fills that include tons of cymbals.  The vocals are anthemic and are build for a live audience.  “Tears Of Blood” also seems to pull from the past, while keeping its roots in the modern metal sound.  The guitars are riffy while the bass and drums lead the charge and keep this track moving.  “Creatures” builds itself around Halfords voice and the results are another track full of killer drums and riffs that are classic in sound and feel.  “Bring It On” opens with a mellow guitar riff when the bass line kicks in and soon the drums and vocals are on board and this song is off and running.  Much like “Beginning Of The End,” this rocker relies less on thick guitars and heavy bass and drums and more on musicianship and the strength of the vocals.

Category: CD Reviews

About the Author ()

ToddStar - that's me... just a rocking accountant who had dreams of being a rock star. I get to do the next best thing to rocking the globe - I get to take pictures of the lucky ones that do. I love to shoot all genres of music and different types of performers. If it is related to music, I love to photograph it. I get to shoot and hang with not only some of my friends and idols, but some of the coolest people around today.

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