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Halford's Rebirth. - 88%

hells_unicorn, February 20th, 2007

Rob Halford has always had a high place in the metal world, either with Judas Priest or after leaving their ranks for more than ten years. After bouncing back and forth between 2 other projects, the latter being a misguided industrial project known as “Two” which yielded something so ugly that only its mother (Trent Reznor) could love it, the former Priest front man decided to re-establish his credibility as a singer with a solo project bearing his name. Thanks to the productive genius of Roy Z and the combined efforts of 4 rather strong musicians we’ve been given a release that is worthy of Halford’s voice.

“Resurrection” lives up to its name and resurrects the great spirit of Judas Priest that lived throughout the 70s and 80s, albeit with some added darkness courtesy of Roy Z’s special brand of production. A large collection of speed metal tracks worthy of the high octane children of Exciter found on both “Painkiller” and “Ram it Down”, combined with some riff happy heavy rock that could be found on “Screaming for Vengeance” and “British Steel”. All the while Halford himself remains perfectly capable of utilizing the full range that he had on display during Priest’s high period.

The album kicks off with the title track, which is cut right from the Painkiller formula featuring plenty of high end vocal majesty and double bass driven speed. “Made in Hell” follows suit with a similar tempo, but more toned down vocals and an interesting retrospective on the roots of metal in Birmingham. “Locked and Loaded” is slower and heavier, but doesn’t sacrifice any of established energy. “The One you Love to Hate” is a brief duet between Halford and Maiden vocalist Bruce Dickinson, setting a good collection of lyrics flipping the bird to the establishment to music.

Although the album consistently rocks and features plenty of solid and memorable tracks, “Silent Screams” steals the show. This is probably the longest song I’ve heard with Halford singing, and his vocal performance crosses over from being simply amazing to being God-like. Similarly, the music behind him is dark, haunting, and loaded with atmosphere. It is an epic ballad in the sense that it has plenty of changes, as well as quiet and loud sections, but the lyrical content would suggest something a bit more sinister than what the term epic is normally associated with.

I picked this album up at around the time I had gotten into Gamma Ray and immediately I knew where they got their high speed and original sound from. Even though Gamma Ray plays much faster and closer to the Painkiller sound, fans of Kai Hansen’s music will find a lot of things on this album to love. Likewise anyone who wishes that there had been a Judas Priest release with Halford during the early part of the new millennium should get this if they haven’t already, it’s a worthy purchase.