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A decent enough live offering from Priest - 75%

ScreamBloodyDeath, October 4th, 2008

Judas Priest’s second official live album was released with much bombast and an accompanying video; the question you’re probably all asking is “Is it any good?”. Well that’s a two part answer, there are really excellent things about it and some not so desirable things too. I’m going to start with the good and then point out it’s shortcomings.

First off, the production is crystal clear. This was one of the first metal concerts to be recorded using Sony digital tape and it really shows. You can even hear Ian Hill’s bass if you listen carefully! Another positive point is the performances themselves are excellent. Rob Halford had recently cleaned up his addictions and he's absolutely on fire here, hitting all the highs with ease and confidence. Songs such as Breakin' the Law and Heading Out to the Highway have extra lead breaks and solos not on their original studio versions.
Lastly, the increase of tempo really helps some songs. Freewheel Burning in particular borders on thrash!

Now for the negative: I've always said good album art, while not necessary, is an asset. This album has probably one of the ugliest sleeves I've ever seen on an official commercially released product, take a look for yourself. Next, this album was recorded on the Turbo tour. Take what you will from that fact but I feel that the amount of Turbo songs in the set list really detracts from the album. Especially considering Out in the Cold is the first track! I'm not sure who thought opening the set with a ballad was a good idea but it doesn't set the mood well at all.

Overall, it's pretty enjoyable but the set list just kills it for me. Now to be fair, the band has said in interviews that they didn't include classics such as The Ripper or Tyrant because they were already on Unleashed in the East. I understand not wanting to repeat themselves but I believe that with less emphasis on Turbo and more tracks from bonafide heavy metal classics like Screaming for Vengeance and British Steel, it would've made a good live album even better.