Well if this is supposed to be the rejuvenation of the mighty JUDAS PRIEST you’ve got another thing coming. This is simply a woeful under achievement by a group of musicians that should know better. Going through the motions is the only apt phrase for the disaster that is ‘’Angel Of Retribution’’. Let me tell this is not a ‘’Brave New World’’ or a ‘’Dance Of Death’’ return to form for one of Metal’s finest exponents.
The song titles are hugely laughable and embarrassing ‘’Wheels Of Fire’’, ‘’Deal With The Devil’’ and Hellrider’’ etc which would be passable if JUDAS PRIEST wasn’t into their fourth decade. The lyrics are just terrible, clichéd and uninspiring. When you hear the Metal God shrill ‘’ride to live, live to ride, wheels of fire forever’’ then times up I’m afraid. Where is the pummelling aural assault of ‘’Painkiller’’ the building epic of ‘’Victim Of Changes’’ or the killer riffs of ‘’The Sentinel’’ or ‘’Freewheel Burning’’? Must be on another JUDAS PRIEST album ‘cause they ain’t on ‘’Angel Of Retribution’’.
Each song is an echo on yesteryears success. Solos blister skin, drums hammer down and Halford screams most probably with fist in the air saluting Metal but this is so utterly disappointing as JUDAS PRIEST have done all this before and done it much better. The least said the better about the SPINAL TAP absurdity of the epic last track ‘’Lochness’’ This song is a total disaster from start to finish. What were the band thinking of coming up with this idea? If you take this turkey out of the albums running time then ‘’Angel Of Retribution’’ clocks in at under forty minutes. We’ve been waiting for a Halford return for what seems an eon and we get what is essential a bonus disc compared to most bands offerings these days. This is very much standard Metal being played by a once colossus Metal band.
Often quoted as the true Heavy Metal band JUDAS PRIEST is resting on past, glorious campaigns. This is a record that was always going to be made come hell or high water. However the unimaginative way it’s all been put together reeks of a cash in. I’ve no doubt when PRIEST play live they will go down a storm but the storm will calm when they play any of the dross from ‘’Angel Of Retribution’’
A complete let down is putting it mildly. (Online April 19, 2005)