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Judas Priest


Review by Gary Hill

This is the second studio album for Priest with new vocalist "Ripper" Owens. It really makes one wonder why they are still calling the group Judas Priest. In all honesty, the group's new embracing of more modern musical textures will probably have a disorienting effect on fans of the classic sound. This disc has more in common with Rob Zombie, Korn and Alice Cooper's Brutal Planet than it does with Halford era Priest. That said, it is a very intriguing album that presents some cool musical structures. One has to wonder, though, if the fans of the darker more modern style of music that Priest is reaching for these days will even give half a chance to something by Judas Priest. That is why I seriously question their decision to release this album under that moniker.

If you are a fan of more modern dark metal, by all means, pick this one up, you will most likely enjoy it. However, if you are a fan of old school Priest, give it a listen first to see if you are up to the transition.

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Track by Track Review
Machine Man
With a gritty and very hard-edged texture, this cut is lyrically a remaking of Hell Bent For Leather. However, this time it is a car rather than a motorcycle.
One On One
Coming across closer to old Priest, but still with a strong modern edge, this track is quite strong.
Hell Is Home
This one is very dark. It starts in a mellow balladic mode that feels a bit like something from Alice Cooper's Brutal Planet. As it carries on, it burst forth in metallic fury, screaming into the main section of the song.
Jekyll and Hyde
With a rather speed metal oriented texture at first, this one drops down to a weird sort of metallic sound. It again calls to mind Cooper's latest disc. The bridge on the song has a more mainstream modern hard pop/rock style and the break after it really rocks.
Close to You
This piece is about a man struggling to deal with the death of his lover. It is a very powerful and emotional rock ballad. The number is one of the most potent on the CD.
Devil Digger
Another that comes in with a quite modern hard edged texture, this is also one that feels a bit like that aforementioned Alice Cooper album. It is nothing special, though.
Another hard edged and frantic number, this one rocks out in a more traditional Priest fashion. In fact, it comes the closest of anything on this album to sounding like the Judas Priest of old. No, it is not about vampires, but rather about lawyers.
In Between
This cut is one of the tracks on the disc that starts mellow. It jumps up fairly quickly to the hard rocking edge, then drops back to an acoustically driven mode for the verse. It has some of the more interesting lyrics of the whole album and is quite sonically dynamic. This is definitely one of the best cuts on the CD.
Feed On Me
This piece feels a lot like Rammstein at times.
Although this one really does not feel anything like Priest, it is an awesome number. It comes a lot closer to sounding like a cross between Rob Zombie and Korn, but thre are moments that even seem a bit Yesish. This is definitely one of the hottest cuts on the CD.
Lost and Found
This one starts in an acoustic ballad mode. That mode carries a big chunk of the song with a gradual building process going on. It rocks out from time to time, though.
Dark and hard edged, this one really smokes as far as the energy department. It does feel a bit generic at times, though.
Metal Messiah
A modern speed metal sound starts this composition. It is a gritty and quirky number that almost gets a bit in the rap mode at times. It seems kind of an odd way to end the disc.
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