by John Kindred
- Publisher –
Monument performs balls-to-the-wall aggressive Traditional British metal that will rip out the cones in your speakers if you hit “Play” with the volume cranked. From the streets of East London, Peter Ellis, former White Wizzard vocalist, takes up the calling and unleashes a barrage of metallic fury on the band’s EP titled Rock the Night. Ellis is joined by guitarists Lewis Stephens and David del Cid, bassist Jim Ramses and drummer Matt C.
Monument is another up-and-coming group that delivers revitalized New Wave of British Heavy Metal, dubbed NWOBHM for short. But calling it that doesn’t convey the real meaning of this reborn genre as much as hearing it will. The wall of sound that Monument delivers pushes the drivers of your speakers to the limit, as the thunderous bass, pounding drums and metal guitars rip at your soul. Top it off with vocals inspired by Maiden, Priest and Lizzy Borden, and the icing simply melts right off the cake.
The twin axe attack harkens back to those ‘80s giants who defined the genre and pushed metal to the extreme edge of the sonic landscape. The five-song EP opens with the title track and features none other than current Judas Priest guitarist Richie Faulkner, who performs a guitar solo. The music’s ferocity hits you in the gut from the get-go. Energized with brazened riffs and a driving beat, Ellis opens up with full-on-metal vocal that demands a “take-no-prisoner attitude.” By the time you slip into “Carry On,” your mind will be flashing back to days when metal burned like a flame that never could be extinguished. The song features a dual harmony riff, which is the catalyst that hurries over the hammering of Matt C’s drums. Ellis belts out the lyrics with reckless abandon.
If you’re looking to get a breather, well, “Midnight Queen” isn’t going to deliver. The band chooses to keep the tempo moving. The song injects a head-bobbing groove, carried forth by the rhythmic chant of Ellis’ vocals. The band isn’t afraid to deliver anthem-style choruses, as each song, until now, features gang background vocals that help raise the intensity level. The solo is melodic and catchy and moves into a more intense jam as it progresses. It sounds as if Stephens and del Cid are taking turns trading off licks, and they end the solo with a dual harmony run. “Fatal Attack” features a dual-lead melody that eerily is reminiscent of Iron Maiden. Again, the tempos haven’t let up. “Blood Red Sky” wraps things up handedly, with a slightly slower song, although not that much slower. Like all the songs, it is melodic, metallic and features all the elements that die-hard NWOBHM fans will love. The production is over the top in its slickness, and it sounds crisp. Overall, Monument makes a bold statement as it enters the ring as a Metal contender. Monument definitely is worth all metal fans checking out.
Genre: New Wave of British Heavy Metal or New Wave of Traditional British Metal
Peter Ellis – Vocals
Lewis Stephens – Lead Guitar
David del Cid – Lead Guitar
Jim Ramses – Bass guitar
Matt C – Drums
1. Rock the Night
2. Carry On
3. Midnight Queen
4. Fatal Attack
5. Blood Red Sky
Hardrock Haven: 8.9/10
by John Kindred
Staff Writer –
Judas Priest originally was formed in 1969 in Birmingham, England, but they didn’t solidify the core of the band until 1974 before recording their first studio album Rocka Rolla. Originally a four-piece outfit rounded out by Halford, Downing and Hill, their record label suggested adding another guitarist prior to recording their debut album. This brought Glenn Tipton into the fold and the rest, as they say, is history.
Launching a music career that has spanned four decades, Rob Halford, Glenn Tipton, K.K. Downing and Ian Hill forged a legacy that has influenced countless generations of musicians and indoctrinated legions of fans. The band has withstood many storms that tested their mettle, but they have survived and persevered. Even today, lineup changes have not deterred the band’s audio assault on the world.
Over the years, the core members of the band, Rob Halford, Glenn Tipton, K.K. Downing and Ian Hill, have been the forerunners of their style of rock. While known to the world as a Heavy Metal band, continued growth as a group and as individual musicians has evolved through several genres over the course of their careers. Starting out as a psychedelic hard rock band in the early ‘70s, they have traversed the genres from hard rock, heavy metal and thrash metal.
The voice of the band is Rob Halford, although Tim “Ripper” Owens admirably captained the ship for a few years and albums. Halford’s “hellion-ish” vocals pushed the envelope, reaching beyond the typical archetype for a hard rock or metal vocalist. Priest has had a few drummers sit behind the kit and bash the skins over the years, but Scott Travis (Racer X), who, since 1989, has elevated the metallic fury of the band to new heights. The twin guitar attack of K.K. Downing and Glen Tipton set standards for Metal bands worldwide to follow as they took their aerial assault to new levels of technical virtuosity.
The Complete Albums Collection Box Set is really the complete anthology of the Robert Halford -led Priest. The anthology contains the 15 studio albums and three live albums that, again, feature the four core members of the band: Rob Halford, Glenn Tipton, K.K. Downing and Ian Hill, who all appeared on the band’s discography from 1974 to 2009. Again, albums that feature Tim “Ripper” Owens as Priest’s vocalist are excluded from the collection, which, in truth, is only three releases. The Complete Albums Collection Box Set isn’t 100 percent complete, but it’s damn close.
This is quite a comprehensive collection of music. Each album is packaged in replica mini-LP sleeves, reproducing the original cover art. Also included is a 40-page booklet with photos, album credits and liner notes by rock journalist and Priest fan Greg Prato. The majority of the albums are the re-mastered editions, including recently re-mastered albums Rocka Rolla and Sad Wings Of Destiny. The album Hell Bent For Leather appears under its original name, Killing Machine, a change brought on before its release in ’78 by Judas Priest’s record label.
Are you ready for a Judas Priest audio marathon? Starting with 1974′s Rocka Rolla fans can retrace the steps of the band as the find their way from a fledgling psychedelic almost hippy-rock to harder-edged heavy rock. The band travels many roads from their commercial-metal excursion on the 1986 Turbo, to their thrash-inspired 1990 Painkiller and moves along to the dynamic heavy metal return of Halford on 2005′s Angel of Retribution. Judas Priest certainly has cut its own path in the music industry.
Even today, change, it seems, is inevitable. In 2011, K.K. Downing retired from the band, creating the opportunity for new guitarist Richie Faulkner to become the latest member in the Judas Priest family tree. The Judas Priest machine moves on as the band rolls forward on its last world tour, Epitaph, but don’t fret because they plan to continue to release new studio albums and perform live on a smaller scale.
Genre: Heavy Metal
Rob Halford (v)
Glenn Tipton (g)
K.K. Downing (g) [from 1970 to 2011]
Ian Hill (b)
Scott Travis (d) [from 1989 to present]
Alan Moore (d) [appeared on Sad Wing of Destiny]
John Hinch (d) [appeared on Rocka Rolla]
Simon Phillips (d) [appeared on Sin After Sin]
Les Binks (d) [appeared on Stained Glass]
Dave Holland (d) [featured on albums released from 1979–1989]
ALBUMS INCLUDED IN ‘THE COMPLETE ALBUMS COLLECTION’:
Rocka Rolla (1974)
Sad Wings of Destiny (1976)
Sin After Sin (1977)
Stained Class (1978)
Killing Machine (1978)
Unleashed in the East (1979)
British Steel (1980)
Point of Entry (1981)
Screaming for Vengeance (1982)
Defenders of the Faith (1984)
Ram It Down (1988)
Angel of Retribution (2005)
A Touch of Evil…Live (2009)
Label: Epic, Columbia, Legacy Recordings
Hardrock Haven rating: 10/10
by Deb Rao
Staff Writer –
October 23, 2011 at The Joint, Las Vegas, NV.
Metal fans came out in full force as Judas Priest’s Epitaph Tour invaded The Joint in Las Vegas with special direct support act Black Label Society for a sold out performance on Oct. 23. Las Vegas is known for bringing the top performers in the music business into Sin City and tonight metal’s finest took the stage for a full metallic assault.
Black Label Society featuring Zakk Wylde hit the stage at 8:10 P.M and got the crowd pumped up for Judas Priest. The Las Vegas Chapter of BLS fans showed up in full force. Zakk Wylde and company took the stage with a vengeance. Highlights of the set were, “Suicide Messiah,” and the 10-minute guitar solo that followed ”Fire It Up” by Zakk Wylde. The guitar virtuoso held the audience spellbound shredding the strings in perfect execution. The guitar solo tradeoffs between Zakk Wylde and Nick Catanese shined. One of strongest songs of the evening was “Concrete Jungle.”
I had the opportunity to speak to Black Label Society guitarist Nick Catanese regarding the tour and Black Label Society’s longevity. Nick comments, “The tour is going great. It has been amazing getting to see Judas Priest perform every night! I can’t believe I have been doing this now for 15 years. We’ll will be out on the road with Judas Priest through Dec. 3.”
Black Label Society Set List:
Bleed For Me
Demise of Sanity
Parade Of The Dead
Fire It Up
Veteran rock band Judas Priest has an illustrious career that has spanned over four decades. Tonight one of the greatest rock bands in metal history chronicled their rise to rock stardom in a two and half hour set. Opening with ”Rapid Fire”, Judas Priest front-man Rob Halford took full command of the sold out audience. Amidst a sea of pyrotechnics and smoke, and a stage show that bedazzled the audience complete with lasers and a video backdrop that displayed various album covers of the bands 16-studio album career.
Singer Rob Halford was in great vocal form, introducing every song with a little bit of rock and roll history. The momentum of the night built, as Judas Priest launched into ”Never Satisfied” from Rocka Rolla. One of the highlights of the set was the remake of the Joan Baez song, “Diamonds And Rust,” as the acoustic metal ambiance filled the venue. Perhaps, the most exciting moment of the evening transpired when the audience sang the chorus of ”Breaking The Law” louder than Rob Halford. During the evening, Rob sported many costume changes including a long leather spike metal coat, and a silver metallic cloak during ”Nostradamus.”
The momentum of the night never ended, as Halford hit the stage with his Harley during ”Hellbent For Leather.” The hits kept on coming as ”You’ve Got Another Thing Coming” and final encore, “Living After Midnight” roared through the speakers. Perhaps Rob Halford summed it up best, as he commented during the 2-hour long set, ”We’re a classic metal band. That’s what we do best.” From the response of the audience, this was surely a magical night that will go down in metal history. The lights may shine bright in Vegas, but nothing could outshine guitar virtuoso Zakk Wylde and the spellbinding performance of Metal God Rob Halford.
Judas Priest Set List:
Heading Out To The Highway
Victim Of Changes
Diamonds And Rust
Dawn Of Creation
Beyond The Realms Of Death
Blood Red Skies
The Green Manalishi
Breaking The Law
Hellbent For Leather
You’ve Got Another Thing Coming
Living After Midnight
by John Kindred
Staff Writer –
The Grandfathers of Metal are a quartet of egos molded into the guise of one of the most influential NWOBHM ever to grace the stage and are known to the world as Judas Priest. The band’s longevity has spanned 40-plus years. That’s four decades! Throughout the bands successful career, there has been dissension in the ranks, as members have left and were replaced, Judas Priest carried on.
The voice of the band is Rob Halford, although Tim “Ripper” Owens admirably captained the ship for a few years and albums. Priest has had a few drummers sit behind the kit and bash the skins over the years, but Scott Travis, who, since 1990, has elevated the metallic fury of the band to new heights. The guts of the band, bassist Ian Hill and guitarists Glenn Tipton and K.K. Downing, have kept the train on the tracks without derailment through these transitions.
In 2011, Judas Priest has called it quits, well, not really. With continued plans to records and release new music, the band has called it quits to the grueling rigors of the road when it comes to touring the world. With one final hurrah, the band plans to close out this portion of its career with the Epitaph World Tour. Dissension in the ranks reared its head once again, leading to longtime guitarist K.K. Downing retiring from the band and walking away from the group’s final world tour. This created an opportunity for guitarist Richie Faulkner to join Priest.
With all that said, we now can jump ahead to the band’s latest studio release titled The Chosen Few. This is an interesting compilation of songs that was not culled by the band or label but by the band’s peers within the music industry. The compilation features 17 songs that appear in the chronological order, according to album release dates. With exception of the band’s last four studio albums and 1981′s Point of Entry and ‘88′s Ram It Down, the rest of Judas Priest’s albums are represented on the compilation.
This is not the first compilation release by Judas Priest. Besides the original albums that have been remastered and re-released, there are plenty of “greatest hits” packages out there. Fans ultimately are going to have to decide if they want to buy another one. It’s best, really, to allow the artists who chose the track listing to provide a reason why they chose their selection of favorite Priest songs.
Here is a sampling of their commentary, which can be read, in full, in the liner notes in the CD booklet. The bands and artists that picked the track listing include: Joe Elliott (Def Leppard), Steve Vai, Kerry King (Slayer), Randy Blythe (Lamb Of God), Alice Cooper, Slash, Joe Satriani, Klaus Meine (Scorpions), Geezer Butler (Black Sabbath), Chris Jericho (Fozzy), David Coverdale (Whitesnake), James Hetfield (Metallica), Vinnie Paul (Hellyeah), Corey Taylor (Slipknot), Gene Simmons (Kiss), Lars Ulrich (Metalica) and Lemmy (Motorhead).
GENE SIMMONS. KISS
“Priest has always meant one thing — take no prisoners. For decades, across one continent to the next, they have never wavered in their commitment to treating the Stage as Holy Ground. Do not tread lightly there. This is a place reserved for the few. The proud. The mighty. A toast then, to a band that has given its all to the fans. And the magic will continue when the next 15 year old puts on his first Priest record, pumps his fist in the air and is instantly transported to a land where only Metal Gods roam.”
“This has always been one of my favorite Judas Priest songs…. I just want to know what the fuck that note is that Rob Halford hits in the beginning of the song. Fucking hell!! That note is probably just below what only dogs can hear.”
KERRY KING, SLAYER
DELIVERING THE GOODS
“I could pick a dozen Judas Priest songs! Favorite band of all time. Picking one is far more difficult. Favorite album – Stained Class. Favorite song…being put on the spot I’d have to say Delivering The Goods off Hell Bent For Leather. Great song for all the reasons I like Priest. Killer riffs, killer lead into my favorite lead break they’ve ever done, straight into taking the song in a complete different direction. Awesome.”
RANDY BLYTHE, LAMB OF GOD
THE GREEN MANALISHI (WITH THE TWO-PRONGED CROWN)
“While the true meaning of the lyrics to Fleetwood Mac’s The Green Manalishi are apocryphal, the song has always seemed well, sinister to me. In the hands of The Metal Gods the tune becomes elevated to frightening. I still don’t know exactly what the The Green Manalishi is or what it does with the
two – pronged crown, but after hearing Halford’s snarling version, I sure as hell don’t want to meet
it in a dark alley. Hail Priest!”
LIVING AFTER MIDNIGHT
“For a metal band, Priest has always used tons of melody… when you have a singer as great as Rob Halford, you have to write great riffs WITH great melodies, you can’t just have riffs. Living After Midnight is the perfect example. This is Judas Priest’s most memorable anthem. This is every metal head’s party song, because naturally…the party always starts after midnight. Actually I think Rob has been to most of those parties.”
BEYOND THE REALMS OF DEATH
“The blueprint for the epic rock ballad. Copied thousands of times, never eclipsed.”
SLASH – SCREAMING FOR VENGEANCE
“Judas Priest have put out their fair share of great albums to be sure. But my all time favourite is Screaming For Vengeance. It was, and still is, one of the best metal records ever produced, and the title track is, in my humble opinion, still ahead of its time.”
COREY TAYLOR, SLIPNOT
YOU’VE GOT ANOTHER THING COMING
“Judas Priest: the blueprint for the ultimate heavy metal band…..”
Genre: NWOBHWM / Heavy Metal
Current Band Lineup:
Glenn Tipton (g)
Rob Halfornd (v)
Ian Hill (b)
Scott Travis (d)
Richie Faulkner (g)
1. Diamonds And Rust (1977) – chosen by Joe Elliott (Def Leppard)
2. Dissident Aggressor (1977) – chosen by Steve Vai
3. Exciter (1978) – chosen by Accept
4. Beyond The Realms Of Death (1978) – chosen by Lars Ulrich (Metallica)
5. Delivering The Goods (1979) – chosen by Kerry King (Slayer)
6. The Green Manalishi (with the Two-Pronged Crown) (1979) – chosen by David Coverdale (Whitesnake) & Randy Blythe (Lamb of God)
7. The Ripper (1979) – chosen by Ozzy Osbourne
8. Victim Of Changes (1979) – chosen by James Hetfield (Metallica)
9. Breaking The Law (1980) – chosen by Lemmy (Motorhead)
10. Rapid Fire (1980) – chosen by Vinnie Paul (Pantera & Hell Yeah)
11. Grinder (1980) – chosen by Zakk Wylde (Black Label Society)
12. Living After Midnight (1980) – chosen by Alice Cooper & Geezer Butler (Black Sabbath)
13. Screaming For Vengeance (1982) – chosen by Slash (Guns n Roses)
14. You’ve Got Another Thing Coming (1982) – chosen by Klaus Meine (Scorpions) & Corey Taylor (Slipknot)
15. The Sentinel (1984) – chosen by Chris Jericho
16. Turbo Lover (1986) – chosen by Jonathan Davis (Korn)
17. Painkiller (1990) – chosen by Joe Satriani
Hardrock Haven rating: n/a
by Justin Gaines
New York heavy metal heroes The Rods are back from the grave with the aptly-titled Vengeance (as in “back with a”), their first album in 25 years. The too often overlooked band had a lot to do with developing the American heavy metal sound in the early ‘80s, but has been largely absent from the scene since 1986’s Heavier Than Thou. Now the band is back – with its original lineup of David “Rock” Feinstein, Carl Canedy and Gary Bordonaro – and as Vengeance immediately proves, they’re as strong as ever.
Vengeance is an album that’s instantly recognizable as a Rods record. It’s heavy, in your face, biker metal with just enough melody to keep it accessible. Half Motorhead and half Judas Priest, The Rods stick to the basics and do it well. It’s wall-to-wall chugging riffs and heavy rhythms, plus shout-along choruses about rocking, fighting and living fast, preferably on a motorcycle. And if it’s not always easy to believe these old guys are really living the lifestyle portrayed in “Raise Some Hell” and “Ride Free or Die,” well, that’s easy to forgive since the songs are so damned metal and so much fun. This is the kind of metal that anyone raised on Motorhead, Saxon, Judas Priest and the like will immediately find familiar, and in an era with increasingly isolated sub-genres of metal, it’s good to hear an album that only requires a one-word classifier: METAL.
Vengeance is also (perhaps most) noteworthy for one song in particular. “The Code” features the talents of the late, great Ronnie James Dio, who is Feinstein’s cousin and former Elf bandmate. This is Dio’s last recorded vocal performance, and it’s a really good song at that. A heavy, speedy number, “The Code” is perfect for Dio’s voice, but as good as it is, it’s bittersweet knowing that this is the final time we’ll hear that voice on a new recording.
If you’re already a Rods fan, then you already know Vengeance is a must-have album from a band whose return was long overdue. Serious Dio fans will want to pick it up for “The Code” alone, though the rest of the album ought to satisfy them as well. Beyond that, anyone with an ear for old school heavy metal that hits hard and is rough around the edges owes it to themselves to check out what The Rods are all about. Turn it up and bang your head; The Rods are back!
Genre: Heavy Metal
David Feinstein (g) (v)
Gary Bordonaro (b) (v)
Carl Canedy (d) (v)
1. Raise Some Hell
2. I Just Wanna Rock
3. Rebels Highway
4. Ride Free or Die
5. The Code*
6. Livin’ Outside the Law
7. Let It Ripp
8. Fight Fire With Fire
10. Runnin’ Wild
Label: Niji Entertainment
Hardrock Haven rating: 8.25/10
by John Kindred
Studio album No. 10 for Gamma Ray lends very little originality when comes to its title, To The Metal. Although, being the band’s 10th studio album in 21 years, does say something about the band’s longevity and fan base. Band founder, Kai Hansen, continues to write, record and tour. Performing a genre of music that he helped shape into what is known today as Power Metal. Together, with his band mates, Dirk Schlächter (b), Henjo Richter (g) and Daniel Zimmermann (d), Gamma Ray continue to forge ahead delivering their brand of Metal.
To The Metal is a simplified expression to whatever Metal God or Gods the band bows their heads to. Their new album pays tribute with 10 songs that are part traditional Heavy Metal, Thrash Metal and Power Metal. The music also displays the band’s own Metal influences.
Gamma Ray seems to face criticism from their fans and especially media outlets covering the band’s most recent albums. Quite often, Kai Hansen’s voice is under fire for lacking the quality of some of Metal’s highly regarded singers. And fans have called for Hansen to pass the microphone off to a legitimate contender. Through all the critique, more often then not, his vocals fit the style of the band and the music. He is not going to win the American Idol competition any time soon, even the majority of his peers would lack the ability to win that award alone on stage, without the music or their band behind them.
To The Metal fits the mold of all we know and love about Gamma Ray. Their bombastic approach is loud, energetic and full of bone-crushing rhythms with some of the finest guitar solos of the modern age of Metal. Yeah, the song To The Metal steals much from Judas Priest, but is it theft or a tipping of the hat to their own heroes? After all these years, originality isn’t as important as skill and the ability to write great songs. There are only so many different ways to play power chords.
There is a lot of personality throughout the CD. The closing track “No Need to Cry,” a song written by Dirk Schlächter, is an introspective look at his personal loss of his father. The chorus is uplifting and very powerful. “All You Need to Know” features another Helloween alumnus, Michael Kiske, sharing vocal duties with Hansen. Several songs provide a strong Thrash Metal groove such as “Shine Forever,” “All You Need to Know,” while others lean heavily on traditional metal arrangements like “Mother Angel” and “Chasing Shadows,” while all songs include their Power Metal influences.
To The Metal truly is product of Gamma Ray. It was co-produced by Hansen and Schlächter, who also recorded the album, and let’s not forget the contributions of Henjo Richter and Zimmermann. Both deliver phenomenal guitar solos and keyboard melodies (Richter) and furious, thunderous drumming (Zimmermann). To The Metal is a complete album that awaits head bangers to simply put the CD in their player and hit play. Very metal, To The Metal, is an enjoyable listen, featuring all the elements that make the genre of music special to diehard fans.
Kai Hansen (v)(g)
Henjo Richter (g)(k)
Dirk Schlächter (b)
Dan Zimmermann (d)
2. All You Need To Know
3. Time To Live
4. To The Metal
6. Mother Angel
7. Shine Forever
9. Chasing Shadows
10. No Need To Cry
Hardrock Haven rating: 8/10
by John Kindred
Shredding their skin: By releasing a live album of fan favorites and obscure songs, Judas Priest return with their latest release A Touch of Evil: Live. Captured live during the band’s tours from ’05 and ’08, Martin Walker and Brian Thorene have captured unique performances of one of metal’s most metallic bands of all time. In fact, the term “heavy metal” truly earned its meaning when Priest arrived, decked in black leather, metal-studded belts and wrist bands.
Produced by Tom Allom, who worked with Priest from ‘79’s Unleashed in the East up to their release of Ram It Down in ’88, the live album comprises 11 songs. The metal masters tackle music from ‘09’s metal opera Nostradamus and ‘05’s Angel of Retribution. Priest dug in the vaults and performs music from ‘78’s Stained Glass, ‘82’s Screaming for Vengeance, ‘84’s Defender of the Faith and ‘90’s Painkillers that were ignored on previous live DVD and CD compilations.
How many bands have benefited from the castoffs of the band Racer X? Paul Gilbert formed Mr. Big with Billy Sheehan. Jeff Martin has lent his talent to Jake E. Lee’s Badlands, George Lynch and Leatherwolf. John Alderete and Bruce Bouillet moved on to form The Scream with John Corabi. Scott Travis went on to join one the biggest metal bands of all time, Judas Priest. With that said, the soaring vocal of Halford and the searing guitars of Tipton and Downing would fail considerably flat without the pulsating rhythms of Ian Hill and the prominent drum work of Scott Travis.
Naysayers be damned. This live metal compilation delivers. No longer 20-something, Priest has matured and gelled into a well-oiled metal machine. Travis brings the fire with his double-bass-ferocious skin-bashing, allowing Tipton, Downing and Halford to explode into scorching, if not searing, metal fury.
Those that want to compare the live tracks to the original studio releases should take a long look in the mirror. Don’t judge lest you be judged. Do you truly maintain that youthful appearance of your high school days? Or maybe you’re just a little out of shape? Are you a little winded, or are there bags and dark circles under your eyes? Halford may not be producing the same decibel of piercing screams from early works, but you can’t say that he can no longer sing. C’mon.
Actually, with Travis on drums and the advancement of technology, Judas Priest manages to remake those older songs into new breathing, living monsters. The heavily distorted overtones give the guitars harmonic nuances not found on the original recordings. The guitars have a heaviness that basement guitar heroes can only dream of.
Highlights include Angels of Retribution, opening song “Judas Rising,” which also opens A Touch of Evil: Live. Both songs from Nostradamus “Death” and “Prophecy” fit well within Priest’s catalog of music and sound magnificent in the live setting. Who doesn’t love “A Touch of Evil?” Man, what a great song! This dark overtone and heavy rhythmic pulse is alive with power. If you had never heard the album closer, in the song “Painkiller,” you would never place emphasis on the ability of Halford to deliver his trade mark screams. There have been negative comments about this song and the vocals. His gutsy, almost raspy vocal is perfect on this classic track.
Tom Allom has done a fairly decent job of maintaining the continuity of A Touch of Evil: Live. The compilation is a collection of songs recorded at different periods of time. As such each track closes with a fade out. But this doesn’t lessen the impact of the overall presentation as the power and energy of the music remain strong and forceful.
It is easy to be critical of a live album. Especially when comparing the effort to the original studio recordings. A Touch of Evil: Live is as perfect a live CD as you can get. The musicianship, overall mix and production set a high standard for other artists to strive for.
Label: Epic Records
Rob Halford – lead vocals
Glenn Tipton – guitars, backing vocals
K. K. Downing – guitars, backing vocals
Ian Hill – bass guitar, backing vocals
Scott Travis – drums, percussion
01. Judas Rising (from the album Angel of Retribution)
02. Hellrider (from the album Angel of Retribution)
03. Between The Hammer & The Anvil (from the album Defenders of the Faith)
04. Riding On The Wind (from the album Screaming for Vengeance)
05. Death (from the album Nostradamus)
06. Beyond The Realms Of Death (from the album Stained Glass)
07. Dissident Aggressor (from the album Sin After Sin)
08. A Touch Of Evil (from the album Painkillers)
09. Eat Me Alive (from the album Defenders of the Faith)
10. Prophecy (from the album Nostradamus)
11. Painkiller (from the album Painkillers)
HRH Rating: 9/10
July 7, 2009 with Whitesnake at Comcast Center in Mansfield, Ma.
by Deb Rao
Judas Priest is celebrating the 30th Anniversary of their 1980 hit album British Steel and performing the album in its entirety. The British Steel Tour featuring Judas Priest and Whitesnake with opening act Pop Evil rolled into the Comcast Center in Mansfield, Mass. on July 7.
Judas Priest is one of the first British bands that spearheaded the British Invasion into the U.S. As the curtain donning steel factories and the logo The British Steel Tour fell to the stage, die-hard Judas Priest fans were on their feet in anticipation of the Metal Gods that once ruled the charts in the 1980′s. Judas Priest hit the stage at 9:30 P.M. performing a 90 – minute set that did not disappoint. The band sounded tight and at the top of their game.
Rob Halford was in great shape dressed in black leather and sunglasses, as he spun circles around the stage, unleashing his powerful vocals to such hits as “Breaking The Law,” and “Living After Midnight.” The green laser show was spectacular and the lighting was very bright and illuminating.
Guitarist Glen Tipton and K.K. Downing shredded out the classic hits with a vengeance. I last saw Judas Priest last summer with Heaven and Hell at the Mohegan and tonight’s performance seemed more exhilarating. Maybe it was the aura of being at an outdoors arena Priest show, but you could tell the band was really into performing “British Steel” live. Halford was very active onstage and gave a stellar performance.
Highlights of the set were “The Ripper” and “Victim Of Changes” and the new song “Prophecy.” Judas Priest ended the night with “You Got Another Thing Coming”.
Judas Priest Set List:
Breaking The Law
You Don’t Have To Be Old To Be Wise
Living After Midnight
Rock Hard Ride Free
Victim Of Changes
Diamonds And Rust
You’ve Got Another Thing Comin’
Opening act Whitesnake hit the stage at 8 P.M. performing a 60 – minute set of all of their classic hits. Although the cast of characters has changed since the heyday of the band Reb Beach and Doug Aldrich held down the fort with their amazing guitar duos.
Opening with “Bad Boys,” Whitesnake took the metal crowd down memory lane performing all of the MTV hits. The bluesy vocals of David Coverdale sounded good, as the band launched into “Fool For Your Lovin”, and “Slow And Easy.”
Singer David Coverdale remarked, “Here we are in Massachusetts on this lovely night. Thank God the rain stopped.” Actually the only disappointment tonight was the weather factor that kept many fans away as flood warnings were posted earlier due to severe thunderstorms that embraced the area.
Do you remember when guitar solos ruled the ’80s? Well, tonight in Mansfield, guitarists Reb Beach and Doug Aldrich wowed the crowd with their dueling guitar mastery before the song “Crying In The Rain”. Also the band has New England roots, as Providence native bassist Uriah Duffy performed with the band.
Highlight of the Whitesnake set was the singalong to “Here I Go Again” and “In The Still Of The Night”.
Fool For Your Lovin’
Love Ain’t No Stranger
Slow And Easy
Lay Down Your Love
Guitar solos from Reb Beach and Doug Aldrich
Crying In The Rain
Is This Love
Give Me All Your Love
Here I Go Again
Still Of The Night