Album Dive: Judas Priest – Redeemer of Souls (2014).

( While listening to Invincible Shield, I realized that I hadn’t done a review or album dive into Redeemer of Souls or Firepower for The Black Rock and Heavy Metal. Now, I find it very easy—and even relaxing—to look at older albums from decades ago and decide what albums were the strongest of that decade. As a result, most of my time is spent listening to stuff from the 1970s into the 1990s. There’s definitely stuff from within the last 20 years I haven’t listened to but one band I’m pretty caught up on is my personal favorite: Judas Priest.

Album Dive: Judas Priest – Redeemer of Souls (2014).

One of the things I wanted to do was touch on each Priest album before really digging into the best and worst parts of the band’s iconic releases. So, while there’s still Invincible Shield from 2024 to look at let’s take a gander at Redeemer or Souls—for a refresher or first look. This album was significant as it was the first album without long-time Priest guitarist and co-founder K.K Downing, the entrance of Richie Faulkner, and pretty much sharpened the sound of Angel of Retribution.

When it comes to Judas Priest, I tend to say follow their “of” albums to trace their sound and how it grows over time. The sound here is a more seasoned  version of what we heard on Angel of Retribution.

The First Act of ‘Redeemer of Souls’

So, Redeemer of Souls starts off with “Dragonaut” which wasn’t the strongest song to run as an opener on the album but this wasn’t your usual Priest album. If anything you could say it was lacking in firepower a bit throughout. The second and third tracks had stronger claims to being an opener but this is the track arrangement we have.

Again, the arrangement can make for a totally different listening experience in most cases. In the case of Redeemer of Souls—eh. Who knows? This album had a strong concentration of mediocre tunes and stuff that could’ve been left off. That’s another thing: less is more sometimes. While many artists drop releases with 15-20 tracks, oftentimes they can get it done with 10-15 of the strongest tracks on the album and have a near-untouchable release.

In the first half, we have standout tunes in the titular track and “Halls of Valhalla”. I feel they “Halls” is the stronger of the two. They sounded like they could’ve been bangers on Angel of Retribution easily. A tune that wasn’t going to be a banger but still had some muscle to it was “March of the Damned”. It was just above mid but I wouldn’t call it a highlight among the first seven tunes.

Strongest Tracks: Redeemer of Souls, Halls of Valhalla*

Act Two

The second act features six tracks capping off this 13-track journey. Now the first three tracks on this side of “Cold Blooded”, “Metalizer” and”Crossfire”? Not particularly bad. These songs could’ve been on Angel of Retribution with stronger nods to “Metalizer” and “Crossfire”. They have a shortness to them which make them punchy and at this point in Priest’s run, I prefer screeching Rob Halford with a punchy, powerful Priest.

Once we get to the last three tracks, we’re in longer tunes territory and I won’t lie, it didn’t work for me. This is a hard assortment of tracks to try and rearrange for the stronger album. Some songs—like these three—run a little long and if you tune out and let the music just run the speakers, you won’t know where one song ends and another begins. I often caught on that “Battle Cry” was playing because I’d heard it a bit before listening to the full album.

Oddly, this was one of those time where the B-side didn’t totally show the A-side how it’s done.

Strongest Tracks: Metalizer, Crossfire

Recommendation: Skip

By the time we reach track eight, this album really just flows from one song to the next without any song after the third really standing out up until this point. That’s not entirely a bad thing but you could say it is when the album had been in the works for three years and it’s six years after the last release. Not only that, it was a release that many were mixed on. I’d say the average take on Nostradamus from those I asked has been “It’s alright.”

Meaning Redeemer just had to be better than “Alright” or at least match it. Unfortunately, it was a bit flat listening to it years later. It’s odd because I actually remember enjoying this album for the most part. If you’re exploring Priest for the first time, I’d say this isn’t the best introduction. If you’re rusty, this one is skippable and didn’t get better after a decade of marination.

Staff Writer; M. Swift

This talented writer is also a podcast host, and comic book fan who loves all things old school. One may also find him on Twitter at; metalswift.