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Halford's 2001 "Live Insurrection" is an absolutely brilliant live album. This release consists of several songs recorded live during Halford's 2000 and 2001 "Resurrection" World Tour joined with a few bonus tracks.
Disc one from Halford's live album, which consists of fifteen well selected tracks, opens with the title song from the band's 2000 LP, "Resurrection", followed by the fast paced "Made In Hell". The third track is, surprisingly, but certainly not disappointingly, a song taken from Fight's 1993 "War Of Words" LP, "Into The Pit". Fight is the band Rob Halford formed in 1993 after leaving Judas Priest, accompanied by drummer Scott Travis. Although Fight released only two studio albums and one EP, along with many singles, their albums were packed with great songs. "Nailed To The Gun", "Live Insurrection"'s fourth track, is also taken from Fight's 1993 studio album. The fifth and eleventh songs from Halford's 2001 release, "Light Comes Out Of Black" and "Life In Black", were recorded in the studio and added, with the help of some studio magic, to the album. Although these song were not actually played live, they sound great make a nice addition to "Live Insurrection". The sixth, seventh and eighth songs from Halford's live album, "Stained Class", "Jawbreaker" and "Running Wild", are Judas Priest classics played wonderfully by "The Metal God"'s newly formed band. "Slow Down", from Halford's "Resurrection", is the ninth track followed by the band's lead singer's duet with the mighty Iron Maiden vocalist : Bruce Dickinson. "Hell's Last Survivor" and "Sad Wings", "Live Insurrection"'s next two songs, are original tracks written by Halford, with the help of guitarists Mike Chlasciak and Patrick Lachman, and make a great addition to Halford's live album. After over fifty minutes of live heavy fucking metal, "Live Insurrection"'s first disc ends wonderfully with two songs from the band's 2000 studio album : "Saviour" and "Silent Screams".
A short fourteen second introduction followed by the speedy track "Cyberworld" appear first on "Live Insurrection"'s second disc. Halford plays an absolute Judas Priest masterpiece next : "The Hellion/Electric Eye". It would a great disappointment if this fan favorite didn't appear on this live album. Therefore, the band certainly made a wise choice by selecting "The Hellion/Electric Eye" as part of their set list. The next six tracks from disc two, "Riding On The Wind", "Genocide", "Beyond The Realms Of Death", "Metal Gods", "Breaking The Law" and "Tyrant", are all Judas Priest songs that appear on some of the British heavy metal band's greatest studio albums : "British Steel" and "Screaming For Vengeance" to name a couple. As the "live" section of Halford's release comes to an end, the "bonus material" part of it begins. "Screaming In The Dark", a newly recorded studio track, follows the live version of Judas Priest's "Tyrant". The next two bonus tracks that appear after "Screaming In The Dark", "Heart Of A Lion" and "Prisoner Of Your Eyes", are Judas Priest songs that, surprisingly, we're never recorded as part of a studio album.
Halford's "Live Insurrection" is an absolutely wonderful heavy metal album. Releasing a live album with a group after only releasing one studio album is an almost impossible thing to do. However, as usual, Rob Halford finds a way to do the impossible. Halford's first live performance should, certainly, be welcome to join any metal collection.
Well after releasing the first studio album under the Halford banner Rob Halfod comes up with a live album for his 30th year in music and what we have here is the best live album ever released in any genre of music, it just happens to be METAL!!!
The album practically leaves you speechless as songs you felt couldn't get any better get a shot of adrenaline right into the heart. A set list that spans Rob's whole career, from Judas Priest classics like "Running Wild" and "Stained Class" to songs from the first Halford album, they are all played with an intensity and energy I've never heard before. Quite frankly I would say that with a live album like this there might not even be a point in buying "Resurrection" as all the songs here sound 100 times better, but unfortunately songs like "Locked and Loaded" and "Drive" are not played live so buying "Resurrection" is necessary.
The album starts off with the first two cuts from "Resurrection" and goes into one of the most inspired performances I've heard. The album then goes on to show the Metal Gods career with Fight and then Judas Priest. Actually the Halford band plays Judas Priest better than Judas Priest can, just listen to "Running Wild", "Electric Eye", "Riding on the Wind", and "Beyond the Realms of Death". Another good thing that was done with this live album is that the two songs that were originally released exclusively on the japanese version of "Resurrection" ("Sad Wings" and "Hell's Last Survivor") are available here in live form.
After the live performance is over with there are three studio songs, one being a new Halford songs and the two others being lost Judas Priest songs that Halford has recorded. All three smoke with "Screaming in the Dark" sounding like a heavier "Resurrection", "Heart of a Lion" being a Judas Priest rocker, and "Prisoner of Your Eyes" being a Judas Priest ballad.
Overall, if you're only going to buy one live album ever, this is the one you should buy because this album is an example of why live albums exist.
First, get the naysayers out of the way. Why make your second album a live album? Well, when you're material is this strong, I don't think there's a problem with it! But doesn't it sound strong because it's been tinkered with in the studio? Who cares when it's this good?! Isn't there a problem when about 2/3 of the music is Priest songs? Nah, Priest rule, and since Rob had a hand in writing most of them he's got a right to sing 'em! And if Priest ain't gonna play 'em anyway (nb: Genocide, Tyrant..) then someone's gotta do it! Now, onto the album...
What you have here is just over half of Halford's debut album, a load of Priest songs (each album from Sad Wings to Defenders about evenly represented, apart from Killing Machine), a bit of Fight and some rareities. It's a bloody brilliant tracklist, and the songs sound fantastic here, Beyond The Realms Of Death probably coming out best. If you don't know most of these songs already, shame on you! But this would actually be a fine way of checking them out, as these are represented true to their original counterparts and sound very clean, yet still possessing a lot of extra energy. A good range of Classic Metal is represented here.
The addition of studio songs to a live album is kinda bizarre, but it's a new concept we'll have to get used to, I guess ^_^ I was rather disappointed when Screaming In THe Dark didn't end up on Crucible as I was expecting it to, so here's your chance to enjoy this straightforward Halford-style rocker. Heart Of A Lion is very reminiscent of that rousing Priest style of song, while Prisoner Of Your Eyes is still a nice ballad. Seeing as I haven't said it yet, I'll say it now - SILENT SCREAMS rules!!!
Yes kids, it's that fucking good. As is the custom with Judas Priest, and people that were at one point the lead singer of Judas Priest for nearly 20 years, live stuff sounds much better than studio stuff. That includes Priest, Fight, and Halford stuff on here.
Priest stuff: definite highlight has to be Stained Class. It's pretty much a thrash number - like it was supposed to be in 1978 had there been better production. Genocide and Tyrant are also nice, since they had not been played since about 1980... also, a very good version of "Beyond the Realms of Death". These last 3 are definitely comparable to the versions on Priest in the East, and in the case of Beyond, may be even better. Halford hasn't sounded this good since about the 1982 tour... from more recent stuff, there is Jawbreaker, and also The Hellion/Electric Eye, which are definitely done very well.
Fight stuff: Fight was merely okay in the studio, but here the songs are totally well-done. "Nailed to the Gun" becomes total thrash metal. "Into the Pit" and "Light Comes out of Black" are the two other Fight selections that are played back-to-back-to-back, and then later in the setlist, "Life in Black" appears. This last one is probably the best, since it is done in a completely menacing style.
Halford stuff: Most of the Resurrection album is here, except mercifully "Twist" is left off, because that song blows totally. Same with "Drive" - Halford knew what to put on here. "Resurrection" begins the album, and "Made in Hell" is second - probably the two best songs on the Resurrection album, and over here live is where they sound up to their full potential. There's just something to be said about Rob Halford in a live environment - the buttons and dials of the studio just cannot possibly capture all the energy. "The One You Love to Hate" and "Silent Screams" are on here as well, and both are very good.
The Japanese version of this album contains the bonus "Blackout", which is a Scorpions cover - done very well. Much better than the original. Not sure why they chose that song to do, but overall well executed.
There are three studio songs on here. Why, I really don't know, apparently there was space at the end of disc 2. I hardly ever listen to them when I listen to Live Insurrection - they are very very good, but just out of place. I'm not taking any points off, the album still gets a 97 rating, because one already has to swap disc 1 for disc 2, ejecting disc 2 three songs early is not that big a deal.
Overall, this is the best live album since the one and only Priest in the East!