Whether Judas Priest were consciously aware their next album might be their last and wanted to go out with the power of a firework display, or whether they were trying to redeem themselves in the eyes of the many fans dismayed by their 2008 double-disc rock opera 'Nostradamus' is unclear. What’s apparent is that 'Redeemer of Souls' is a bolt from the blue, a chugging, crunchy album filled with anthems, stormers, and radio rockers that conjures various elements from the band’s vast catalog into retrospective songs that buzz with urgency.
Not only do tracks like “Metalizer,” “Hell & Back,” and “Swords of Damocles"--the latter being the closest the band has come to pure power metal since 1976’s “Victim of Changes"--prove that Priest aren’t yet too old to scream for vengeance, they demonstrate that the band can write aggressive, incendiary songs without the input of longtime guitarist K.K. Downing, who had composed for all of the group's previous albums. His replacement, Ritchie Faulkner (ex-Lauren Harris Band), justifies his lofty position, contributing mightily in the songwriting department, including crafting the main riff to 'Redeemer' lead single "March of the Damned."
Thus rejuvenated and recharged, the Metal God and his cohorts have delivered their strongest record in over a decade. JON WIEDERHORN
Check out "March of the Damned" off 'Redeemer of Souls' below: