The 17th full-length studio album by legendary British Heavy/Speed Metal band.
Band's first album without founding guitarist K. K. Downing, who quit the band in 2011 and was replaced by new guitarist Richie Faulkner.
"Welcome to my world of steel" sneers Rob Halford on the punchy, surprisingly Spartan "Dragonaut". The antithesis to 2008's overblown "Nostradamus", "Redeemer Of Souls" feels quaint in comparison, eschewing the largely fantasy-driven conceptual style of the ambitious, yet undeniably cumbersome, two-disc set in favor of a more refined, Classic Rock approach that edges closer to the band's late-'70s offerings like "Sin After Sin" and "Stained Class". New guitarist Richie Faulkner, with his golden mane and tight, controlled riffing, suggests a wax Downing just sprung to life and simply walked out of Madam Tussaud's museum and into the band's rehearsal space, and his tasteful, yet undeniably meaty playing alongside Glenn Tipton goes a long way in helping to restore some of the classic Judas Priest luster, especially on standout cuts like the aforementioned "Dragonaut", the nervy and propulsive "Metalizer", and the rousing title track.
Still, this is a band that's well into its fifth decade of being "Hell Bent for Leather"; they've explored, both successfully and occasionally at great cost, nearly every shadowy nook and suspicious looking crevice of the genre, and the album's stalwart yet shopworn 13 tracks reflect that journey. That said, "Redeemer Of Souls" is also the loosest (attitude-wise), leanest (arrangement-wise), and most confident-sounding collection of new material the band has released in ages, and while it will forever tread beneath high-water marks like "British Steel" and "Sad Wings Of Destiny", it most certainly deserves to be ranked alongside albums from that era!
The album sold around 32,000 copies in the United States in its first week of release to land at position No. 6 on the Billboard 200 chart, the band's second highest charting position in the US. This marks the band's first Top 10 Album debut in the US. It has sold 110,000 copies in the US as of February 2016.
Limited Edition gatefold 180 gram vinyl.
Sony Music Entertainment UK Ltd./Columbia, 2014 (88843072421). Made in EU. First press.
1. Dragonaught 4:10
2. Redeemer Of Souls 4:00
3. Halls Of Valhalla 6:05
4. Sword Of Damocles 4:57
5. March Of The Damned 3:56
6. Down In Flames 3:56
7. Hell & Back 4:49
1. Cold Blooded 5:28
2. Metalizer 4:35
3. Crossfire 3:50
4. Secrets Of The Dead 5:39
5. Battle Cry 5:22
6. Beginning Of The End 5:07
Total playing time: 61:54 min.