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A great album, but just not Priest - 95%

chrown, January 13th, 2008

I really like this album... No... I actually LOVE it. It's one of my favourite albums ever. The only problem is, that it's not Judas Priest. Well, of course it's them, but the feel, the sound and the music is just not Priest. The album is soft and inspired by the 70's progressive rockbands. I have heard from people that the songs in "real life" e.g. when played live, where a lot more powerful, and I easily can imagine that. But for me, there's nothing missing on this album with the production, sound and songs, except that I am a bit dissapointed since Caviar and Meths (which is actually a great short track) were supposed to be an epic 10 minutes+ song. It was later released by Priest's first singer Al Atkins on his album Victims of Changes in a long version (around 8 minutes).

It should be noted that some of the CD-issues of this albums has wrong track-splits in Winter, Deep Freeze and Winter Retreat, where Deep Freeze is actually the last bit of Winter, and Winter Retreat is both Deep Freeze and Winter Retreat.

The first track "One for the Road" is simply just one for the road. Nothing special here, just a hard rocking track.

Rocka Rolla, the title track, clocks in at 3:06 making it a short track compared to the others on the album, but it still is one of the strongest on the album. The sound is rocking, though there is a bit hiss on the production. The lead-guitar solo stuff that starts around 1 minute sounds a bit "happy" but still work very good with the song.

Winter - Starts out quietly where Halford sings some lyrics that's hard to hear. Then the song it self starts out and contains one of the best, most rocking riffs on the album. This is also the first time we really hear Halford's voice with the caracteristic sharp tone, though it's not the classic Priest scream. The guitar, bass and vocals stops and a quite boring and not very talented drum "solo" is added, until a bridge riff make the song return back to the inital riff and a final verse.

Deep Freeze - Just some guitar play-around in a couple of minutes. I cant really see the reason to include this track on the album, when Caviar and Meths could have been longer, and would have been more important to include.

Winter Retreat - Short song, with soft sound and lyrics. Nothing special, though you hear a side of Halford's voice you never heard before.

Cheater - Great song and in my opinion it has the most catchy line: "She was a cheater!" Well... You'll have to hear it to understand.

Never Statisfied - A track with a very weak sound on the guitars. I think it would be a great rock song with more power. The guitars just fall in with the drums and bass, and doesn't really creat any melody or such. Even with the powerless sound it's in my opinion a very very good track. After the first part of the song, it moves over to the most heavy riff on the whole album, the best in my opinion. A solo is played and the song returns to it's initial riffs and sound.

Run of the mill - The track is slow, quiet and somehow relaxing and has got a bluesy feel to it. It's too long though. At 8:32 it could easily have been cut a minute or two. The intro is in my opinion not necessary, as is the very very very long solo part in the middle. I think this mostly because I am a bit dissapointed that Caviar and Meths were not included on the album in it's intended length. If they had room for both tracks on the album, they should definitely not cut this one. It's still a good song. At the end you really hear halfords voice screaming with power, and that's something i really enjoy with this track.

Dying to meet you - A track with two parts, that I actually think could have been to different songs, since the first part is a bit in the same lane as run of the mill with slow riffs and soft sound/voice. Halfords voice in this part, is quite deep and I actually think this is one of his best vocal performances that I have ever experienced. The second part is faster and with Halford singing a lot higher than before.

Caviar and Meths - I think I have mentioned it a couple of times above. This track should have been included in it's originally inteded long run. Still this short instrumental part of the original track, is actually very awesome. I think it could have been extended and maybe even have been made to an instrumental Priest track. It's soft, relaxing, simple and yet very melodic. Because of it's short length (2 minutes) I often play it two or three times just to enjoy the soft and relaxing feel it has to it.