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Rob Halford returns to heavy metal? How this one could be even mediocre? That phrase really could wrap it up, but since I am writing a review and not having a discussion with some friends, let me explain my point of view a bit more.
I am not the kind of blindfolded fan that would worship any "return" or "reunion" album without a good reason. And the good reason always means good songs. So if we're talking about good songs, we're talking "Resurrection", "Made In Hell", "Twist", "Cyberworld" to name a few. I didn't rate this with a 91/100 just because it's the Metal God singing over a few flat and predicable heavy metal songs. I gave it a 91 because it's the album everybody expected from Halford for a full decade. And with this I mean a straightforward, kick-ass heavy metal album that would make the hair stand on your back. For once in his career, he is trying to prove a point, he is trying hard to convince us that he's not finished when it comes to heavy metal. And he delivers the goods-if anyone deserves this quote, it's him after all. He is screaming like there is no future at all and proves the haters wrong. He's still got it and nobody can doubt that-"Night Fall", "Saviour", "The One You Love To Hate".
I decided to leave a last paragraph about "Silent Screams". It's the kind of song that you get a tattoo with the lyrics, or get it played at your funeral, or at your wedding or...you get the point. "Groundbreaking" is little of a term to describe it, "epic" is too. Just take my word that it is the best thing that Halford ever did since 1990-and I'm not quite sure that it might be even deadlier than some of the "Painkiller" stuff, too. Starting in a keyboard-backed way, it then starts to lift off with a marvellous chorus riff, so it can break down to a headbanger's mania and then again ascend to Asgard with the double-layered vocals. Clocking in at about 7 minutes that do seem like a millisecond in eternity, "Silent Screams" is a sort of wake up call. Wake everybody up, Rob's back. Wake Ripper up, pay the man, he did the job but it's time to go home. Wake Glenn and KK up, they got some phone calls to make.
Thank God everybody woke up.