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Something for Everyone - 75%

caspianrex, October 13th, 2009

I've got good news and bad news about Halford's Resurrection. The good news is: there's something for everyone on this album. The bad news is: there's something for everyone on this album. Okay, have I confused you yet? Allow me to elucidate. It's like having a favorite restaurant. You may love Mexican food, or you may love Chinese food, or you may love good ol' American food. Chances are you have favorite restaurants that specialize in one of these foods. But how many people have a favorite restaurant that serves every kind of good food? Once the same restaurant serves tacos, pizza, burgers, and egg rolls, it loses the distinctive identity that makes it so good.

Now, to apply my restaurant metaphor to Halford's Resurrection. People love the classic albums of Judas Priest: British Steel, Hell Bent for Leather, maybe even Painkiller. And people love Iron Maiden, and all kinds of non-NWOBHM metal. But do they want all of those styles on the same record? Not usually. So when they hear an album like this one, that combines the newer metal sound of Roy Z's considerable talents, the classic voice of Rob Halford, and the guest vocals of Bruce Dickinson on the admittedly hard-rocking "The One You Love to Hate," the reaction...varies.

Oh, there are definitely nice moments on the record. The aforementioned duet with Dickinson is exciting. Hearing these two voices together is an abundance of riches, one you don't often get to experience. I find the lyrics and music of the title track "Resurrection" to be an interesting glimpse into the mind and (dare I say) soul of Rob Halford. (I'm not sure exactly who "the Son of Judas" is, but we'll let that slide for now.) "Made in Hell" is a fun little "looking back at the old days" rocker. And the mighty Halford vocal quality is consistently strong.

Other moments don't shine quite as brightly. Or rather, they shine with a borrowed light. "Cyberworld" sounds considerably more like Iron Maiden to me than Halford usually does (interesting, considering Bruce's presence on the album), while the intro to "Night Fall" sounds like Roy Z channeling Eddie Van Halen. And "Saviour" is...well...lame. (The lyrics sound like Rob had a rhyming dictionary close at hand.) While the band plays consistently well, there isn't anything here that you won't hear on a hundred other metal albums.

But, overall, as mentioned above, the main problem with the record is what should be its greatest strength. In attempting to assimilate so many different styles and sounds of metal, the album lacks much of what should make it Halford. A little Judas Priest here, some Iron Maiden there, a dash of Van Halen for flavor. It's not a bad album, it's just not all that Halford has consistently shown us he has in him. I suspect that's why the review here tend to range from "loved it" to "hated it." Something for everyone can sometimes add up to very little for anyone.