For almost 50 years Judas Priest have done countless tours and sold more than 50 million copies of their albums collectively making them one of the biggest names in metal.
After leaving the band in 1992 after the release of ‘Painkiller’ and triumphantly returning in 2005, Frontman Rob Halford has recorded several albums since with Priest but with the release of their 18th studio album ‘Firepower’ it really feels like Halford and the band have taken things to a new and exciting level.
Produced by legendary Tom Allom and co-produced by Andy Sneap, who has also taken over live guitar duties for Glen Tipton due to the recent sad announcement of Parkinson’s Disease diagnosis. ‘Firepower’ is like a living, breathing metal machine and showcases some of the bands best work in years.
Kicking off with the title track, ‘Firepower’hits hard and fast and barely gives you a chance to catch your breath for the duration of the record. Songs like ‘Evil Never Dies’, ‘Never the Heroes’, ‘Lightning Strike’ and ‘Flame Thrower’ are concrete proof that even at their age and experience, you can always evolve and write great tunes for the new and old generations of fans while not compromising the key elements of the bands style if you are willing an open to it.
The production on this album is also phenomenal thanks to Allom and Sneap, I have always felt the biggest letdown about earlier Priest records was that the technology of the time wasn’t good enough to really let Halford shine, and now through today’s high quality recording systems, programs and know how, Rob’s vocals can finally cut through and you can hear and feel the power in every note he sings.
The guitar work is also mind blowing, with Glen Tipton and Richie Faulkner really playing to the bone and having a blast while they are at it. Every riff is expertly written and delivered in a way that complements Halford’s depth and range on every song,while the solos cut through like a knife and will no doubt inspire a bunch of new young shredders to pick up their axes and try to learn them.
Judas Priest are one of the last true living legends of metal and they sure as hell still know how to deliver quality albums and live shows and I’m pretty damn sure ‘Firepower’ is just the beginning in a new era of Priest, solid 10 out of 10 for this one!
Judas Priest - ‘Firepower’ is out March 9 via Sony Music