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Album Review: Judas Priest – Redeemer of Souls

Judas-Priest-Redeemer-of-SoulsRecord Label: Sony Music Entertainment UK Limited

Release Date: 8 July 2014

Songs:  18 (on deluxe edition)

Length: 84 minutes (deluxe edition)

Style:  It’s Judas Priest

Albums:  Seventeen

Nationality:  United Kingdom

For fans of: Metal

What is there to say about such a storied band?  Formed in the sixties and still kicking it Judas Priest style.  They sound great, that’s for sure.  I have read a few things about how “heavy” this album would be, but personally it just sounds like Judas Priest.  There are some moments heavier than others, but nothing that supersedes the high-octane of Freewheel Burning, Ram It Down, or Painkiller.  The lack of those types of songs doesn’t make Redeemer of Souls any less satisfying.  In fact, the album is quite satisfying and highly representative of what you would expect from the band.  It’s all around heavy, rhythmic, and energetic. Read the rest of this entry

Roundtable Retro Album Review: Judas Priest – Sad Wings Of Destiny

Judas Priest coverLabel: Janus Records

Release Date: 1976

Songs: 9

Length: 40 minutes

Genre: Heavy metal

Studio Albums: 16 studio albums

Location: UK

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Reggie’s Top 25 Favorite Cover Songs #16 – The Sentinel

05313Judas_Pries1984Judas Priest’s 1984 album Defenders of the Faith has some cool songs, to include Eat Me Alive which was on the PMRC’s list of wicked bad (for you) songs.   How silly and fearful people were back then of glorious metal!  Where is the PMRC today?  Bueller…Bueller…Bueller?  Though that song isn’t the subject of one of my favorite cover songs, The Sentinel is.  You can find it on Machine Head’s awesome album Unto The Locust (2012 deluxe version).  Machine Head, in my opinion, has strung together some seriously quality cover songs (hint for another appearance much later on my list).

Those riffs at the beginning of the song belong on a (best of) riff list.  Machine Head recorded a spot on cover of the Judas Priest classic.

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Reggie’s Top 100 Favorite Albums of All Time #30-26

As we journey down the path to my number 1 favorite album of all time, you will likely see more and more classic metal albums appearing on the list.  Many of these albums have been my favorites for decades while some are relatively new….only came into my life in the last couple of years.  This all-time list is an ongoing effort started by our friends at The History of Metal page on facebook.  Each day we list another album until we get to the end which should take us just up to the end of the year.  Below is my next list of five as we near our way to #1.  Enjoy!

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Monday Metal Madness: While They Were Away

Last week, voters overwhelmingly chose Ozzy as their preferred frontman of Black Sabbath.  Thank you for voting, I am sure the Ozzman would be pleased.

Carrying on with this basic concept, let’s talk about the vocalists who took over the reigns while both Rob Halford (Judas Priest) and Bruce Dickinson (Iron Maiden) took their hiatus.

Rob Halford left Judas Priest in 1992 shortly after the Painkiller tour.  He went on to form the band Fight; something a bit different from his long-time band Judas Priest.  Priest soldiered on when they hired Tim “Ripper” Owens to fill the unique role as Priest frontman.  This lineup went on to release two studio albums – Jugulator and Demolition.

Bruce Dickinson left Iron Maiden in 1993 to go solo.  Blaze Bayley was hired to fill vocal duty in Maiden and did so for The X Factor and Virtual XI.  Interestingly, his vocal style was not as similar to Dickinson’s as Ripper was to Halford.   Fans had mixed feelings about the new lineup despite it lasting for two studio albums.

These are two huge bands that went through basically the same thing during pretty much the same time.  Who do you think did a better job while Halford and Dickinson were away?  Check out the videos and cast your vote.

Judas Priest with Ripper Owens

Iron Maiden with Blaze Bayley

Reggie’s Top 100 Favorite Albums of All Time #75-71

Continuing on with our Top 100 list at The History of Metal, I bring you my next five with a little bit of justification.  If you haven’t checked out The History of Metal or THOM as we call it, please do it’s a cool forum to talk about and share metal.  The page creator does a great job as keeping topics fresh and he also takes the time to pose challenges to the group; Top 100 Albumsbeing one of them.  I think the best part of this whole challenge besides getting to see everyone else’s choices is to reminisce about why I love these albums so much.  It gets me listening to some of these I haven’t heard in a while.  Not to mention, seeing everyone elses favorites gets me to explore some things I haven’t heard yet.  Enjoy!

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Video of the Week – Double Dip

Since Machine Head’s new album, Unto The Locust (extended edition) will have two cover songs, I want to honor those bands for whom Machine Head is covering.  Since MH did an excellent job covering The Police (Message in a Bottle) and Iron Maiden (Hallowed be thy Name), I am excited to hear new cover tunes of Rush (Witch Hunt) and Judas Priest (The Sentinel).  Here is a double shot of Rush and Judas Priest for this week’s Video of the Week – Double Dip.  I hope you had a great week.

Album of the Week, 12 February 2011- Jugulator

Hello to our heavy metal chosen ones.  The weekend is finally  here, and that means it is time for another album of the week. 

This week’s album of the week is “Jugulator” by Judas Priest. 

This album was the first Judas Priest album to feature Tim “Ripper” Owens.  The album was released in October, 1997, and features 10 songs:

Blood Stained
Dead Meat
Death Row
Burn in Hell
Brain Dead
Bullet Train
Cathedral Spires

There are two ways you can look at this album.  The first is to consider it another Judas Priest album with a new singer.  This view would lead you to think that Judas Priest has completely changed their style, and would not be the same without Rob Halford.  This would be a valid viewpoint for this album, and nobody would be able to argue your viewpoint.  The second stance you could take on this album is to view it as a separate entity on its own terms, considering the album a great heavy metal album.  I prefer to see this album on its own terms, and to that end,  I enjoy this album.  This is a lot heavier album than previous Priest releases, meaning there is a heavier sound with much heavier lyrical themes.  There are a lot of dark songs on this album, and I feel this was a great change for the music of the band (even if it was a short change).  As you can see from the track titles, Judas Priest attempted to turn the darkness and intensity up to 11, which I feel they did in spades.

I would have to say my favorite tracks on the album are “Death Row”, “Burn in Hell”, and “Bullet Train”, but each song from the album has characteristics that make it unique and worth listening to. 

There is one part in this whole album that I would particularly like to point out.  As a musician, I tend to look for heavy musical parts that make the hair on the back of my neck stand up.  During the song “Brain Dead”, there is a thrash metal section, about two thirds of the way through the song.  The part barely lasts 20 seconds, but the first time I heard it, I rewound the CD and listened to it about a dozen times.  It is just a great double-bass thrash beat.  Enough said.

But that is not the only great part in the album.  Many of the songs are great heavy, dark, and powerful metal songs, almost thrash metal in places. 

I have an interesting story that goes along with this album (i am playing fast and loose with the term “interesting”, but you have read this far, why not read further?).  My parents went away for a week or so and left me money for food and other necessities.  It wasn’t much, but I was glad they trusted me to make decisions on my own and allowed me to manage money on my own terms.  As a teenager, this was a big deal.  No sooner did they leave was I in the record store buying this album with the money they gave me.  Don’t lecture me about priorities, I know what’s important, damnit! 

Have a great weekend, everyone.  Let the metal flow.