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First of all, I'd like to start by saying I'm relatively new to Judas Priest's music. Of course, I've heard their stuff before, but I've never really listened. I heard about this new album "Nostradamus" coming out... a concept album. 2 CD's... being hailed as a "Masterpiece". Just like everyone else, I heard the promo track "Nostradamus" on the internet and was banging my head and thrusting my horns. On top of that, being somewhat fascinated by ancient prophecies and Nostradamus my interest really started to grow, and upon it's release I bought my first ever Judas Priest record - and what a record it is! If you take this at face value for what it is, then you can really appreciate the greatness of this album.
I'd like to start by mentioning that Rob Halford absolutely tears it up on this - for a 56 year old man you've got to give the guy some credit. His voice is truly powerful and epic. There are some truly emotional and epic moments on here that make this record one to be reckoned with.
The music is relatively simple throughout. There are very few scattered dual guitar riffs, but when they do happen it is a feast for the ears. However, most of the riffs here are BAD-ASS. The opening riff to "Prophecy" is killer - even though it's so simple my grandmother could probably play it. Of Course, "Nostradamus" is the fastest and heaviest track on the record, but that doesn't mean the rest is bad.
Yes, there are a lot of slow songs here. At first I wasn't too impressed with them, but after a few repeated listens they grew on me, and now I can't stop listening. The melodies are simple yet memorable. The keyboards are atmospheric. The album probably could have been a lot shorter, and only 1 disc long... but in reality, there really is no bad material on this disc. Every song has it's place and is solid. I'm sure Judas Priest knew this and hence decided on the double concept album format. If that's the best way to express their artistic intentions then so be it.
So if you're a fan of MUSIC then I'd recommend this album. If you want fast head-banging metal front-to-back about chicks & booze then skip over this. It has an old-school metal vibe to it, great artwork, solid lyrics, and of course the performances by Halford and Company are excellent. Although a bit late, I now consider myself a Judas Priest fan due to this album, and have already collected some of their past albums. "Nostradamus" is a must own for any metal fan.