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Two Essential Tracks - 83%

vargvikernes2, February 12th, 2009

A lot of people say that Judas Priest material has been going downhill since 1980's magnum opus release British Steel. This point seemed to have been driven home with the last album, Nostradamus, an underrated concept album about the life and times of Michel De Nostredame, a philosopher and visionary.

A few months before its release, Priest gave us a couple of tracks from it in the form of the Nostradamus EP. Its two songs, Nostradamus and Visions, both come from the second disk of the double-album, and represent the dichotomy of the music in the new album. Nostradamus is a melody-driven metal anthem, and long by Priest standards (Almost seven minutes! How long was Breaking The Law, 2:35 or something?) in the vein of older material like Killing Machine, with an orchestra playing in the background. Visions is almost nothing but orchestration, an interesting counterpoint to the riff mastery of Nostradamus. Clearly, these songs point out how different the music in the new album is.

If you can find a cheap copy of this EP, it may someday be a collector's item, but it's redundant if you already have the Nostradamus album. If you're knew to the Nostradamus argument, this might be a good place to start. Solid, if short.