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A Mixed Bag - 58%

BurntOffering, January 17th, 2008

Well after the ridiculously lame "Turbo" Priest comes back with this. The production is weird on here. I assume it's a drum machine, as it doesn't sound very organic. The guitar tone on the other hand sound chunkier than usual and the soloing has become much more intense. This production sound over all does sound a tad bit rushed though.

We start with the title track which is some amazing speed metal, no doubt about that. I must say though there are traces of Turbo left over though. This song would be absolutely perfect if it weren't for th "Shout it out, we're all together now
Shout it out, we join as one, one" poppy part. Good thing it lasts all of 10 seconds. The solo is jaw dropping. A Priest classic for sure and a great way to start the album.

The next three songs are mediocre and midpaced. The lyrics are also really bad. As I said, some of Turbo still reeks on here. They're okay songs with some decent riffage, but it's really glossed over with poppy melodies at times. Think of stuff like "Some Heads are Gonna Roll" but not quite as cool or convincing.

"Hard As Iron" could definitely be on the album after this. Awesome speed metal, and great soloing. Basically a precursor to Painkiller. They should play this one live, one of my all time favorite Priest songs.

"Blood Red Skies" is fucking epic...well, it starts out that way at least. They hadn't done something of this caliber since "Dreamer Deceiver" (the best Priest song ever), but that's just the intro. The rest of the song isn't quite as good. Then the drums come in and it's kind of weird and will throw you off. It starts sounding way too electronic. The chorus is excellent, and the break in the middle is quite spectacular. Sorry, but the drums totally kill the overall epicness of this track.

The rest of the album is quite unspectacular and forced. I'm a Rocker? Pleeeease. "Monsters of Rock" is a pretty cool song but the lyrics are fucking retarded.

Well, at least they got that last bit of Turbo retardedness out of their system here, and we get a classic two years after this. The speed metal songs here are quite good, especially "Hard As Iron" which almost sounds like Grave Digger. Is it worth getting? Yeah, I suppose if you're a huge Priest fan. The songs that are good are really good, but there's a lot of mediocre to sift through.