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Not Painkiller, but not bad... - 76%

asklater, March 11th, 2005

I just bought this album about a week ago, wondering what Fight sounded like after being disappointed in the new Judas Priest album, Angel of Retribution. While this isn't classic Judas Priest, it's still a lot better than Priest has put out since Rob Halford's departure.

The album starts off with Into The Pit, a great metal anthem that coulda been on Painkiller. It keeps up the fast pace with Nailed To The Gun, a great thrash track with screamed backing vocals on the chorus. These two songs get War of Words off to a great start.

From there, the pace slows down a bit, but without getting light and sappy. There are no love ballads here, just mid-paced rockers like Life In Black and Immortal Sin.

The title track, War of Words, comes in fifth, and while it's not what you'd expect from Rob Halford, it's a great anti-government thrasher. The next track, Laid To Rest, is another mid-paced rocker, nothing special, but not too bad, either.

Seventh track For All Eternity is the obligatory ballad. It's still got balls, though, as the heavy chorus riff tells you. I'm not a big fan of ballads on metal records, but, on the scale of things, this one ain't too bad...

The next song, Little Crazy, is a slow, heavy, modern rocker, with a riff that hits you like a ton of bricks. Rob's voice is uncharacteristically deep, but it suits the song well.

From there, the pace picks up again, as the album ends with four fast tracks. Contortion has another shout-em-out chorus combined with some good 90's thrash riffing, and is one of my favorite tracks from the album. Tenth track Kill It is good, but doesn't really stand out.

Eleventh track Vicious is the one song that I didn't like at all. Halford goes back to a higher-pitched voice, which contrasts against the backing instruments. And the chorus, with everybody shouting Vicious, Vicious! Fucker, Fucker! is caveman dumb.

The last track, Reality, A New Beginning is a good way to end it. Halford integrates the high-pitched vocals with the thrashy background quite well on this track, sounding a bit like a sneering Dave Mustaine. When the track ends, however, there's a five minute silence, before "bonus track" Jesus Saves kicks in.

Now, this is a BAD way to end an album. Halford's vocals sound unnatural, as if they were sung through a vocoder or some other device. And, after all, the song is about Jesus, which is just plain lame. I probably woulda given War of Words an 80 if it wasn't for Jesus Saves...

I must say, this record can't be compared to the classic Priest albums at all. It follows the metal trends of the era, the sorta slowed-down grungey thrash sound. But it's not a bad record at all, and some songs (Nailed To The Gun, War of Words, Contortion) are really good. A decent find at a used record store; I paid 8 bucks for it, and I'm not disappointed.