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The Priest is back!!! Rob Halford is back in the trenches of the metal war with Downing, Tipton and Hill and the band has finally found that rock and roll groove that made them a powerful force in the late 70's and early 80's. Sure, the fucking nerds (you know who you are you pencil necked pieces of shit) will whne that this isn't "Painkiller" but this...in my opinion is MUCH BETTER in many ways. THE PRIEST OF THE 70'S ARE BACK!!! The production is tight (possibly a little too tight)
I normally don't do song by song breakdowns...but with a record of this size it's absolutely fucking nessecary. So here we go...jumping on the wings of the "Angel of Retribution"...
1. Judas Rising: This is the records classic. No doubt. The opening tribute (but not rip-off) to "Victim of Changes" flows gently like a stream and eventually builds into an epic boiling sea of guitars and drums that function more like a classical piece than a piece of heavy metal. Rob's lyrics and summoning voice bring out the apocalypse and it's forms making this song the albums TRUE epic and an emotional opening to the return of the Gods.
2. Deal with the Devil: There is no doubt that this is the catchiest number on the record. The hammering opening riff and catchy vocals show that Priest can still deliver the goods like anyone else. The chorus will stick in your head for the next year and thats what really matters here. This is probably the catchiest thing the band has done since "Jawbreaker".
3. Revolution: This call to arms is the worst track on the albums but is by no means bad. The band sway and crunch through a strange 1970's styled song that works new things into the old "United" style anthem. It's a lot of fun, but hardly the reason to buy this record.
4. Worth Fight For: This odd 1980's ballad will please many and piss off even more. It's not a metal tune, but is quite creative despite what seems to be a slight Kreator nick. Otherwise...it's a quality ballad type tune if you dig that sort of thing.
5. Wheels of Fire: This is one of my faves...total rock and roll and lyrics to set burn rubber and leave the world behind. This track is a total rock and roller that the "Painkiller" fans with hate, but the fans of the great rock and roll past will love. Eh...fuck'em!
6. Demonizer: Whoa...this megaton "Stained Class" meets Slayer monster has some rather silly lyrics but is a catchy cruncher overall. This will take a listen or two...but the groove and shouts of "...out demos out!" will win the masses over with nary a moment!
7. Angel: This second ballad is quite powerful with its references to "Sad Wings" and it's sad vibe that hooks someone in and shows them the softer side of Rob Halford's voice. If one needs a comparison, the bonus track "Turn on Your Light" from "Defenders..." is the closest song to this. Rob puts on a clinic of notes here that needs to be recognized for it's catchy chorus/melodies.
8: Hellrider: This is another classic that mixes the classic 1970's vibe of Priest and mixes it with an intense Slayer vibe. This is a classic despite the rather silly lyrics and Rob shows that he is in firm control of the mic. Such dramatic delivery from the Metal Gods show that even in his mid-range he understands the epic nature of the chord changes.
9. Eulogy: This little ballady piano piece is quite fun but the lyrics are leading up to the guffaw-inducing final track. This should be listened to on it's own...as the lyrics aren't have as offensive until we move into...
10. Lochness: HA! The music on this piece if amazing. The opening strains of guitars-as-babpipes and the ominous main riff rule the house. Sadly...the lyrics will please the geeks and give them a "monster" to enjoy. This is sad really...and I only hope that Rob himself has a sense of humor about the whole affair. We can't explain it at all...but...the music and vocals rule...right?
For all you geeks, nerds and video-game losers who wants another record built for drooling and not-getting-laid I'm sorry. This album isn't for you. Get lost, go play your dungeons and wagons crap and get the fuck out of my face. Judas Priest has found the rock and roll lust that drove them intially and delivered a quality slab of heavy fucking metal that might not challenge their legacy...but it sure as hell fucking rocks.
Buy or die ya geeks!