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Studio magic or not... - 100%

Nolan_B, August 22nd, 2008

This album is classic. It shows Judas Priest at their peak. This goes for every member. Rob Halford nails every note perfectly, KK and Glen both are flawless, the rhythm section is amazing. The stars aligned for this record. Rumor has it, Halford recorded his vocals in the studio. I personally don't care, because either way, it is perfect. If they had to touch up his vocals in the studio to make it perfect, so be it.

The production is suited for this live album. Plenty of crowd noises, but not so much that it drowns out the band. As soon as Exciter kicks in you feel like you are in the audience at a Priest show in '79. The atmosphere created is what many bands try to create with their live albums, but most fail. The guitars are heavier than any Judas Priest release before this one. I especially love the reverb and delay on Rob's vocals.

As for the setlist, it is close to the best it could be. It includes all of the classics that they had at the time: The Ripper, Exciter, Tyrant, Sinner, Diamonds and Rust, and Victims of Changes. I personally, would of liked the addition of Dreamer Deceiver/Deceiver, as it is one of my favorite Priest songs. The highlight song for me would be Victims of Changes. The ending screams are amazingly powerful. I had to download the bonus tracks because my version doesn't have them. I'm surprised they didn't include Hell Bent for Leather on every version.

I can't find a reason for anybody to not own this. Whether you're into black metal, death metal, doom metal, thrash, or power metal, I'm sure you could all appreciate this piece of work. If you aren't a fan of Judas Priest yet, this would definitely be the best place to start. This is my favorite Priest release, even in front of the studio releases. I really have nothing bad to say about it, other than the fact that I would of liked Dreamer Deceiver added.

This is the last effort from vintage Priest and everyone should own it!