“Live In London” by Judas Priest

Artist: Judas Priest
Title: “Live In London”
Label: SPV Records
Release Date: 7/23/2002
Genre: Heavy Metal
Rating: 7/10

In 1997 when Judas Priest found themselves without a lead singer and discovered Tim “Ripper” Owens the band again had a reason to continue. In Owens was a excellent vocalist who was not only able to keep up with the classic material Rob Halford had done, but also was able to propel the band into newer heavy adventures on the material he recorded. With Owens at the helm Judas Priest released two studio albums in “Jugulator” and “Demolition” and one live effort “’98 Live – Meltdown”. This DVD release is a document to one of the shows on the Demolition tour. Filmed in 2001 at The Brixton Academy in London the show is full of Judas Priest classics as well as a significant amount of material from the albums Tim worked on. The band sounds tight as you could expect after so many years in the business with blistering guitar work from K.K. and Glen, and rock solid drumming of Scott Travis all held together by Ian Hill. This “new” version of Judas Priest was met with some discontent as the Halford purists refused to support it and that was a shame. Halford had left the band and there was no other choice. It was either replace him or break up and there was no reason the world should be deprived of the Priest music simply because the singer refuses to continue with them. The long time fan in me was actually impressed with the level of quality that Owens brought to the table. He is following in big shoes but proves he has the stuff to be one of the best singers in Metal going forward.

I enjoyed the performance overall but would have preferred that the DVD be filmed from the “’98 Live” album as it had more of the classic numbers that had not been a part of the Judas Priest set for some years. With that release the band had to prove to fans that they could move on and forward. I liked Owens’ take on quite a few of these songs but of course still missed Halford. The DVD comes with some decent bonus features consisting of interviews and behind the scenes footage from sound check to backstage. Owens even explains his “origin story” on how he came to join the band. This DVD is good for those who are able to keep an open mind on the band existing without the help of Halford. Musically it is good in content and visually it was shot very well. If you are one of those people who stopped supporting the band when Rob left then this piece is not for you.

Song Listing:
1. Metal Gods
2. Touch Of Evil
3. Blood Stained
4. Victim Of Changes
5. One On One
6. Running Wild
7. Ripper
8. Diamonds & Rust
9. Feed On Me
10. Burn In Hell
11. Hell Is Home
12. Breaking The Law
13. Desert Plains
14. Turbo Lover
15. Painkiller
16. Electric Eye
17. United
18. Living After Midnight
19. Hell Bent For Leather

Official Web site: www.JudasPriest.com

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