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Review: Judas Priest - Redeemer of Souls Tour
Judas Priest
Redeemer of Souls Tour
Venue: Ice Hall
City: Helsinki, Finland

Show date: June 04, 2015
Guests: Five Finger Death Punch

Review online: June 12, 2015
Reviewed by: Luxi Lahtinen
Readers Rating
Redeemer of Souls Tour

Rated 4.89/5 (97.78%) (9 Votes)

There's no stopping the Metal Gods, I see. One of the true creators of the British Heavy Metal sound, Judas Priest has visited Helsinki who-knows-how-many-times during their ongoing and supposedly last extensive world tour in support of their 17th studio album, Redeemer of Souls. The latest visit to the capital of Finland occurred on June 4th 2015. Redeemer of Souls has been doing well worldwide, even taking the peak position on album charts in countries like the Czech Republic and Finland shortly after the album was released. The fans still appreciate what these Heavy Metal icons do, it would seem. The millions and millions of Priest albums sold over their four decade career represent hard evidence of the band's popularity and success which peaked again after vocalist Rob Halford returned back to ranks in 2003 after going his own way with a solo career for a while.

The Priest caravan arrived in Helsinki with Los Angeles-based Five Finger Death Punch supporting their show at the Ice Hall. Five Finger Death Punch plays the type of "core" music that The Metal Crypt has never supported and if skipping their performance raises an argument with some, know that we here at The Crypt don't give a shit.

When Judas Priest's turn came to show what British Heavy Metal is truly made of there were around 6,500 hungry metal fans waiting to see their heroes to perform some classic Priest songs. Most of them got what they wanted to hear, e.g. "Metal Gods", "Victim of Changes", "Hell Bent for Leather", "Painkiller" and so on and the four new songs from the band's latest album also seemed to go down well with the enthusiastic and supportive crowd. Priest played confidently and it's absolutely wonderful to see how well the band's "new" axeman Richie Faulkner has seamlessly become a part of the Judas Priest machine. He more than capably fills original guitarist K.K. Downing's leather boots. The guy obviously enjoys playing in the band and Priest could hardly have found a better replacement when K.K. decided to retire from the band in April, 2011. Richie was on fire and looked like a younger version of K.K. as he showed off like a true guitar virtuoso.

As for vocalist Rob Halford, age has unfortunately affected his voice quite a bit. Whenever he tried to reach one of his trademark high-pitched screams it looked like he really had to put some extra effort into the attempt. Sometimes they came out all right but other times he wasn't quite able to live up to past vocal glories. From the perspective of a longtime follower of the band, it made me a bit sad but only at times. Despite this Rob's glowing charisma and stage presence in the live situation remains unmatched. He's the Metal God and without him Judas Priest would never be the true Judas Priest.

Compared to their previous visit in Finland, which happened at Sauna Open Air festival in Tampere in 2011, Priest weren't able to surprise people with their song selection this time unless you count "Devil's Child" or "Jawbreaker." Both songs have been a part of their live set from earlier in their career so they weren't really "surprises." Now if they had thrown songs like "Heading Out to the Highway", "Never Satisfied" or "The Sentinel" like they did last time, that would have raised the surprise factor a bit higher.

To sum up, if this was really their very last show here in Finland, I can happily say that I left the show with a wide smile spread all over my face. Judas Priest pulled off a good, but not great, show which was 100% Priest from the first minute to the final encores ("The Hellion/Electric Eye", "You've Got Another Thing Coming" and last but not least, a real frenzied showstopper, "Painkiller"). This was TRUE British steel to the max. It feels kind of unreal to think that there won't be any more Priest tours once this one reaches its end. I have a relatively optimistic mind so I'll end by saying "never say never" and see you next time, Judas Priest!

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