Judas Priest - Firepower

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cos I wanna talk about this outside of the metal thread. and also just...Judas Priest in the 21st century, in general.

It's impressive to me because being metal grandpappys is fucking difficult as hell if your vocalist has any kind of range, and isn't like a Bobby Liebling type vocalist. Your voice will be deteriorated after decades of touring, even if you preserved it well. Even Dio's range was diminished in his later years despite sounding great. Bruce still sounds good but he doesn't have his highs.

Rob had a bigger range so he had more to lose. I liked Redeemer of Souls a lot but one thing that frustrated me at times is how one-note Halford's voice could be at times due to his diminished range/having to rely on the rasp all of the time. But the songwriting had mixed results too - the first four songs or so are fire, and then there's quite a bit of lesser material, though the album finishes strong. They probably could have used a few more simple, catchy tunes amongst the Painkiller face-melty moments.

I just feel like this one feels more inspired and more PRIEST?!! y'know? I like that they didn't feel pressured to deliver some megastunt like another Nostradamus, or a goddamn "Loch Ness", and once again kept to their strengths. I only really feel like there's one clunker on this one ("Never the Heroes", and it's not terrible or anything!).

The melodies are still more atmospheric than Screaming for Vengeance-era Priest, but there are definitely more economical songs here, less focus on ripping faces off and more restraint. it works better for what they are now, because Rob's shrieketto has to be supplemented with a lead guitar squeal at the same pitch to make it sound richer.

"Guardians" is a beautiful instrumental segue into "Rising from Ruins" which reminds me a little of a more low-key "When the Night Comes Down".

Major props to Richie Faulkner too. Like on Redeemer of Souls it definitely felt like he was still feeling his way around even though he acquitted himself well, and while he's not going to make anybody forget K.K. Downing, he really has built chemistry with Glen Tipton faster than I thought possible. I feel like the guitar work feels less forced here and more fluid.

I mean...I'm excited, what can I say? I remember being a kid largely navigating the seas of metal, stopping at the mall on New Year's Eve 1998 (pre-party), and looking for some new music to throw in my Geo Metro cassette player, and finding Judas Priest's Painkiller for $5...throwing it in and thinking "THIS is the Breaking the Law band?". The first time Halford hit the chorus on "Hell Patrol" I had chills.

If you'd have asked me that evening if this band would still be around when I was 37 years old, I would have laughed. Ripper was already in the band by then and the band was seen as waning. I would have expected them to be done within 5 years at that time.

Even during their Halford reunion in 2005, I wouldn't have expected another 13 years after that. I really expected them to one-and-done it. and I'll be honest, I didn't like Angel of Retribution.

This is how metal ages gracefully, and yet it's not THAT terribly removed from what they did 30 years ago in terms of bite. It's not cringe-worthy and doesn't feel weird. Halford still comes across as a consummate badass on stage. There's no cleck!

ok enough posting, I'm gonna resume listening to this shit.

what are your alls thoughts?

fuck the NRA (Neanderthal), Tuesday, 13 March 2018 03:14 (three months ago) Permalink

this seems pretty good
though the one thing about me is i love false metal, the falser the better

so my favorite priest is pop priest british steel > turbo

i like painkiller but it's not my favorite era (ram it down is kind of an interesting transitional album in retrospect)

that said, i like painkiller and this is sounding good, though it's weird sometimes they feel influenced by bands that were influenced by them if that makes sense?

The Desus & Mero Chain (upper mississippi sh@kedown), Tuesday, 13 March 2018 14:50 (three months ago) Permalink

I think the 80s era of Priest is some of their best (particularly Defenders).

what you said makes sense. I noted on the last album, Redeemer of Souls, that it sounded like there was some european power metal influence sprinkled in (possibly by Faulkner, but I don't know his pedigree) that wasn't there in the past.

I guess over time it becomes difficult to determine how much of your inner musical voice is your original voice vs how much of it has been influenced/modified by the groups you inspired.

The interesting thing about this one is I find it catchy and enjoyable af and yet it doesn't really have the memorable choruses of 80s Priest like Defenders, Screaming, British Steel. Not that I think it's meant to, but it definitely doesn't have the immediacy of those albums.

fuck the NRA (Neanderthal), Friday, 16 March 2018 15:33 (three months ago) Permalink

Agreed that this album doesn't have the big-ass hooks of their 80s work (I always want to like Ram It Down, but ultimately only the first two songs are any good at all and their version of "Johnny B. Goode" is mind-crushingly awful), but it has the right sound. Instantly recognizable as Judas Priest, but just different enough to count as something new.

grawlix (unperson), Friday, 16 March 2018 19:25 (three months ago) Permalink

i have been playing the shit out of it

fuck the NRA (Neanderthal), Friday, 16 March 2018 19:38 (three months ago) Permalink

wow the setlist on this tour is nuts. "Sinner", "Some Heads are Gonna Roll"...and "Saints in Hell".

i was really skeptical about the last one but he sounds really good on it!


fuck the NRA (Neanderthal), Friday, 16 March 2018 20:12 (three months ago) Permalink

this rules. reminds me of maiden going ultra-maiden again on brave new world

reggie (qualmsley), Sunday, 25 March 2018 15:26 (two months ago) Permalink

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