Tag Archives: judas priest

“The Essential Judas Priest” by Judas Priest

Artist: Judas Priest
Title: “Essential Judas Priest”
Label: Columbia Records
Release Date: 4/11/2006
Style: Heavy Metal
Rating: 9/10

The market has really seen a flood of Judas Priest product on the shelves since the reunion of Rob Halford to the bands lineup. We have seen a career spanning boxed set, three DVD’s and a new studio album so was it any surprise when we find a more affordable “Essential” or Anthology being released? If you have been following the band for any number of years and own most of the above as well as their individual remastered back catalog then there is no need for you to purchase this CD. However, if you just want a solid selection of Priest greats for the car, summer house or the office then this is a must have. The two CD collection spans the entire Judas Priest catalog but interesting enough totally bypasses any music recorded by Tim “Ripper” Owens. Perhaps it was due to their being on a different record label or perhaps the band wants you to forget about this music and only focus on the classic lineup. There are a number of good tracks left off the release such as “Desert Plains”, “Solar Angels” and “Evening Star” but I am a long time Judas Priest fan and to me there are more rocking tracks than there are lacking ones. For the most part the selected numbers are “essentials” and cream of the crop as far as the band is concerned.
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“British Steel” (remaster) by Judas Priest

Artist: Judas Priest
Title: “British Steel” (remaster)
Label: Sony Music
Release Date: 5/29/2001
Genre: Heavy Metal
Rating: 8/10

British Steel would follow the incredibly powerful live release of “Unleashed In The East” and cement Priests place in Metal as a powerful force of music. The core members would remain the same but the drum chair would prove to be revolving once again as the album would introduce Dave Holland on drums (he would replace Les Binks). This decision was one of those musical mysteries because the level of technique the two had between them was vastly different. Binks had a proven level of superb double bass drumming across the last few recordings while Holland seemed to be more simplistic and straightforward. As a result the drumming of Priest would become a little less complex focusing more on the impact of the vocals and the guitars. Still, despite any of this The Priest had an absolute winner with this record due to the instantly accessible tracks of “Living After Midnight” and “Breaking The Law”. The two songs became responsible for millions of air guitarists around the world and I defy you to play them and not find yourself reaching for your own invisible axe. The album would also give us “Metal Gods”, a title that Halford would take for himself going forward in the first person. He would be forever referred to now as “The Metal God” and there are not many who will argue this title with him. Fast numbers like “Rapid Fire” and pounding “Grinder” would show the world that Priest had not gone commercial and would still deliver the Metal as needed while “United” became a number just begging for the audience at large to sing along. The production level of the remaster is great and to sweeten it up they tossed in a couple of extra tracks. However, the couple of tracks in this case would be a live version of “Grinder” which is all right as well as a disposable studio track called “Red, White and Blue” (this was an outtake from the “Turbo” recording sessions).
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“Live Vengeance ‘82” by Judas Priest

Artist: Judas Priest
Title: “Live Vengeance ‘82”
Label: Columbia Legacy Music
Release Date: 4/4/2006
Genre: Heavy Metal
Rating: 8/10

Judas Priest is screaming for vengeance once again with the release of this vintage concert performance from 1982. Originally presented on VHS cassette, this concert was unseen for decades until the release of the “Metalogy” boxed set where it was included as a bonus DVD with the first editions. The reunited and touring Judas Priest of 2004 made a lot of this type of product seeing release once again which is a great thing for the fans. This concert itself was quite enjoyable and shows a very sparse set with only the banner of the album cover as a backdrop while Priest just play their hearts out. The camera work is limited to close-ups and far away shots but it finds a very in-prime Judas Priest performing a great set from their new album of the time which was “Screaming For Vengeance” in Memphis, TN. This album would be a lot heavier than its predecessor “British Steel” and find the band once again on top of the Heavy Metal Mountain. Since this album was being showcased an ample amount of the set list would revolve around its content from “Electric Eye” to the mega-hit “You’ve Got Another Thing Comin’”. The younger fans of Priest will enjoy this as almost a historical film and be shocked to find out that this same video received ample rotation on MTV Networks in the long years ago. Headbanger’s Ball was not even an idea yet, but at the time the showing of Rock and Metal on the video channel was commonplace. Seeing a full concert such as this was cool, but nothing unexpected of them. Surrounding the killer new songs is a healthy amount of Judas Priest classics as well such as “Living After Midnight” and “Breaking The Law” and even older material like “Sinner” and “Diamonds And Rust”. The lineup was Halford, Tiptop, Downing, Hill and Holland. The one thing this reminded me of especially was how little I enjoyed the drumming of Holland. His level of play on some of the earlier material of the band just had no kick to it. I am glad the Judas Priest of today finds Scott Travis in the driver’s seat, for he allows them to maintain levels of heaviness and speed that would otherwise be unattainable.
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PiercingMetal’s “Best Of” 2005: Music – Video – Concerts

Having only launched PiercingMetal.com in April, this list is not a super long one. However, it does feature some of the releases that we found most favorable along with the shows that we enjoyed the most. Maybe you agree with us on some so please take a look.

Logo - The Best Of

The Best CD’s of 2005:
Mercenary “11 Dreams” (Century Media Records): One of the finest mixes of Metal genre to come out of Century Media records this year

Soilwork “Stabbing The Drama” (Nuclear Blast Records): This CD made a fan out of me, and is likely to do the same for you.

H.I.M. “Dark Light” (Sire Records): First official US Release and mixes elements of their previous work to a fine blend. Try this melodic gothic act out and you will not regret it.

Judas Priest “Angel Of Retribution” (Epic Records): Reunion, simple as that, they show why they are Metal Gods to this very day.

Iron Maiden “Death On the Road” (Columbia Records): The 40th live album from Iron Maiden shows up their last try and is quite enjoyable.

Korpiklaani “Voice of Wilderness” (Napalm Records): Ever hear Folk Metal? You will be a changed person when you do.

Leaves Eyes “Vinland Saga” (Napalm Records): Atmospheric Gothic Metal and this CD take you to another world.

Journey “Generations” (Independent): Anyone who stopped supporting Journey because of Steve Perry leaving is an idiot because Steve Augeri rocks. This is one of the best Rock records of the year.
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“Rising In The East” by Judas Priest

Artist: Judas Priest
Title: “Rising In The East”
Label: Rhino Music
Release Date: 11/15/2005
Genre: Heavy Metal
Rating: 8.5/10

If you were a smart Metal head then you made sure that you caught one of the performances done by Judas Priest when they toured earlier this year. The band was supporting their newest epic entitled “Angel Of Retribution” and had partnered up with both Queensryche and Anthrax on various legs of this tour. Truly this was a high mark on music as both of these events (album and tour) were very anticipated since Priest had reunited with singer Rob Halford. The band gave us a teaser set when they were one of the main bands on the 2004 Ozzfest Stage. If you ask anyone who attended that festival you will probably find them agreeing that the reunited Judas Priest was perhaps the best part of the show. Filmed at the legendary Budokan theatre this DVD Film captures the entire 2 hour show and not one track seems to have been cut. In America, we did not have all of these songs and perhaps this was due to venue restrictions. With this film we now have the chance to enjoy the songs we did not get to see. Overall the quality of the video and sound are superb and done in such a manner that you feel as if you were front stage while the band performed. I enjoyed reliving this as I had attended a couple of the appearances and I truly felt that the whole show was a major highlight with little room for disappointment. The music of Judas Priest is something that I have enjoyed since I was about 16 and watching this DVD clearly helps to affirm their status as Legends or “Metal Gods”. The band is the “Painkiller” lineup with Halford, Downing, Tipton, Hill and Travis. 1980’s drummer Dave Holland had not returned and thankfully so when you consider his replacement is Scott Travis. He is a superb drummer who brings a new life to the radio “hits” that the band had as well as performing admirably on the classic tracks like “Exciter” and “Beyond The Realms Of Death”.
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