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What's my name? The Ripper! - 87%

Frostreaver, January 7th, 2006

The first thing that came to my mind when buying this DVD was whether or not Tim "Ripper" Owens was a worthy replacement for Halford live. The answer to this is simple - yes he was. He had some big shoes to fill, but man, did he fill them well.

By the time Metal Gods is done, you already have a good feeling about the whole DVD - the band plays very tight, the crowd are well into it, and Ripper is very impressive. Though at times Ripper seems somewhat laid-back and even boring on stage (his stage antics somewhat resemble those of Halford), otherwise he's into it, and he really nails some massive screams. The scream after the calm interlude on Victim of Changes ("VIIICTIIIIM OOF CHAAAAANGEEEEES!!!") is hit with incredible power, surpassing Halford's original by far. Ripper sounds very good in the lower registers, but it's when he screams that you really get to see what he's made of.

The DVD is of suitable length, with plenty of great Judas Priest classics and newer material from Demolition. The stage and lighting is very simple but effective. The band look very good and play well on stage. There are a few flaws on some solos (Tipton on Painkiller being the most obvious one) but mainly the songs are executed to perfection. A few tracks from the concert are left out, which is a shame; I am especially disappointed that Beyond the Realms of Death was left out.

The bonus material isn't all that worthwhile - it's nice to watch, but nothing that special. However, that's only a minor flaw - the concert is the main thing, and that part of the DVD is executed in splendid fashion. The show is interesting from start to finish, and Judas Priest and Ripper really show what they're capable of.

Definitely a DVD worth getting for Priest fans, and it is also a good introduction to Priest for others, despite not having Halford at the front. Excellent release from the one and only Judas Priest.