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Groovay! - 79%

Nightcrawler, December 11th, 2002

Glenn Tipton's only solo album is very different from any Priest stuff, and is a very interesting release indeed. It has a lighter vibe than late Priest material, both in songwriting and production, and the sound is in general quite commercial. This is some really strange heavy metal - it's strange, but metal - filled with tons of groove, and some notable rock influences, and also some definite touches of Jugulator every once in a while.

The most interesting part about this, however, is that Glenn does the vocal work, and he does it very well. He has a deep, fairly rough and extremely groovy voice and a cleaner and fairly high voice, and sings in every way in between the two. It took me ages to get into his voice, and the entire album in fact, but it was definitely worth it.
The guitarwork again is nothing like Priest, except with the occasional screeching Jugulator styled riff (and you can see that Demolition got a few ideas from here, too). Like I've said, it is insanely groovy and catchy, which is the strongest side of the album. And his bizarre but incredibly cool voice also add to this.
But fear not, seeker of heavy riffs, for you'll find those as well. Just take a look at Kill Or Be Killed and especially Fuel Me Up, whose vers riff could easily be taken for thrash with different vocals and production.

And there's some other extremely talented musicians on here, most notably none other than the legendary Cozy Powell, who handles drums on a few of the tracks here (Extinct, title track and The Healer). Billy Sheehan and C.J. De Vilar also lays done some wicked basswork, which is just perfectly loud in the mix.
Everyone's least favourite Trujilo also handles bass on some of the material here, and while he's not completely worthless, he's by far the weakest bassist on here, and shall be spoken of no more.

How about the actual songs? It's a very consistent album, and while there isn't really anything absolutely mindblowing there isn't a single song that stands out as weak or sub-par. From the first to last track, everything is completely solid.
There are, however, some that stands out as being exceptionally cool. First off the above midpaced and insanely groovy Hard Core, featuring some killer riffs and the best vocal work on the album, when he goes up and down from his lower to higher voice in practically every single vocal line, and it sounds excellent. And the lyrics own you, too.
Enter The Storm is a slower song with a whole bunch of time changes. Mainly, there are the acoustic verses and that monstrous chorus section- Holy motherfucking crap, that riff is heavy! Do not mistake for brutal, fast or aggressive- just plain heavy.
Baptizm of Fire is an instrumental song, except for that short spoken part in the middle. Lots of great instrumentation on this one. Killer drum intro, monstrous riffs that for the most part get heavily backed up by the powerful bass, and even a really cool church organ part is to be found.
Kill or be Killed is probably the heaviest song on here, with some excellent riffwork as the standout factor- that shredding, high-pitched riff at about 2:00 is something that could've been taken right from Jugulator. And this song also features some killer lyrics. "The pacifist won't last- his view means nothing." Hell yeah.
And of course, we have the acoustic Left For Dead, which has some instrument sounding more like a banjo than anything else. Still, it is extremely cool, and features another great set of lyrics. The chorus melody is also very infectious, like on many other songs found on Baptizm of Fire.

Yeah, so these are the highlights. But like I said, there is nothing bad to be found here, and I'd definitely recommend this. However, you might wanna give it a few listens, because it's pretty strange and takes some time getting into.