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“Nostradamus” by Judas Priest

Artist: Judas Priest
Title: “Nostradamus”
Label: Epic Records
Release Date: 6/17/2008
Genre: Heavy Metal
Rating: 4/5

For over thirty years Judas Priest has been delivering the goods for Metal fans around the world and with each album seems to find new and interesting ways to keep their music relevant for an ever changing genre and its listeners. Their last album found the official reunion with lead singer Rob Halford and thus “Angel Of Retribution” was presented to a very hungry audience that had longed for the sound and voice that had been missed together for a number of years. Heavy touring followed the release and it was some time before a new album would come to pass but when the band disclosed the information about it, the Metal realm stood a bit stunned. No, they would not do a cover album, or an acoustic one for that matter and this could have easily been the case since I have to admit that both of these options has been par for the course these days. Instead they would announce that a double disc effort was being planned and that it would be the bands first ever concept album. The subject of the concept would be the enigmatic prophet Michel de Nostredame who history refers to as “Nostradamus”. If you know anything about the historic individual then you will probably immediately realize that such a task in the musical sense would be nothing less than epic in scope and should you be among those who don’t have any idea about him then I suggest that you search a medium like Wikipedia to be brought up to speed before you continue on. The album would simply be titled “Nostradamus” and find Judas Priest presenting their music on a grandiose scale like never before. Holding strong on two complete CD’s of music the album is a tad daunting when it comes to reviewing its subject matter and the melodies that bring it to life because there is so much detail and a hell of a lot of story to absorb and read about. The journey into the past begins with lush orchestrations and Judas Priest has never really used this aspect before so it was interesting to find it being done here. The album also marks the return of the guitar synthesizers that so many of their fans loved on the “Turbo” album. Of course there is nothing “commercial” about “Nostradamus” and these elements are used to some positive effect in terms of setting up the performance and its dramatic mood about the man and the mythical nature of his gifts.
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