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Shockingly bad - 10%

Fatal_Metal, November 15th, 2006

This album is undoubtedly Priest's worst, worser than Turbo, Demolition and Jugulator combined. The strangest part about the album is that it starts off incredibly - 'Heading Out To The Highyway' is an awesome catchy opener although it too shows a more streamlined side of Priest. After hearing this track, I had (falsely) believed that all the critics were wrong. If this was what the album was like, it would definetly have joined its legendary predecessors on stage. Unfortunately, every other song on the album with the exception of On The Run are easily among Priest's worst. You pretty much get this right off the bat after the opener, Priest deserve a huge thumbs up for being considerate enough to tell the listener right away that they're going to suck, and do a really thorough job of it. 'Don't Go' is among the albums worst songs (an honour indeed!) with an incredibly repetitive half-riff and irritating vocals - this is a failed attempt at the antics of the psychedelic 70's. In fact, that's what a lot of the album sounds like - pseudo psychedelic 70's rock. Songs such as 'Desert Plains', 'Solar Angels' and many moments on the album are a complete blues-fest with a lot of meandering riffing in a failed, vomit-inducing attempt to rehash the glory of acid rock.

The entire album is boring, meandering, repetitive and has no place in a discography of a band like Priest. 'You Say Yes' has gay written all over it, with some horrendous sugar pop tendencies strewn all over it. 'Troubleshooter' is probably the worst song on the album and a top contender for worst Priest song ever along with other abominations like 'Abductors' (Jugulator) and 'Last Rose Of Summer' (Sin After Sin). Quite a tough contest indeed, as Priest may very well be (with the exception of their efforts till British Steel and Painkiller) the most inconsistent band ever and have a fetish for ruining albums with some totally vapid songs that have absolutely no place in it. We pretty much have nothing to cheer about except the opener and the closer. On The Run finishes the album off rather strangely. After all the sewage we've been through listening to this wreck, we've come upon a gem which ranks among Priests best! With an amazing vocal delivery, soaring chorus and great riffing this one just burns the entire album to ashes and flys away - leaving you stunned and unable to recover.

Well, the album can be summed up with three words - boring, repetitive and awful. If you have the remaster, it contains two nice bonus tracks - Thunder Road and a live version of Desert Plains. Thunder Road is a nice hard rock number that should have made it onto the album. Desert Plains which is quite boring on the album absolutely slays live. Priest have always been one of the best live bands out there, live even their worst stuff shines through. This is due entirely to the bands contagious energy when they perform with the guitars, vocals, drums and in other words everything on absolute overkill. In fact, the definitive versions of the songs on their studio releases are the live versions - such as Tyrant, which ruled on Sad Wings but was turned into a juggernaut in Unleashed In The East. So one would do good to hunt down as many Priest bootlegs he can, they're better than the studio releases!

In conclusion, stay clear of this release. Download Heading Out To The Highway, On The Run and the two bonus tracks and that's all you'd ever need from this wreck.