CD in the mail. Cool. Great cover artwork. Cool. The letter informs me that the singer was the original singer was a founding member of Judas Priest. Cooooooool! How can this not be good?
Well, if I'd thought a bit harder at first, I would have thought; 'Hang on, he's not the singer in Judas Priest anymore, is he? In fact, he hasn't been the singer in Priest in my lifetime!'
I have no clue what Al Atkins sounded like in 1969, but I hope he sounded better than he does today. What this is is a singer who sounds just about as strained as that guy from Gravedigger, and that, boys and girls, is not a compliment.
And it's too bad, really, because guitarist Paul May clearly has a way of writing classic sounding heavy rock and metal, one fine riff pouring out of his strings after the other. Yeah, he does a Priest or two (right off from the beginning with World At War, actually), but there are also very, very fine heavy metal tunes like Paranoia and the Tony Martin era Sabbathesque Whisper To The Wind. These are really rock solid heavy metal tunes with a fine, classic style riffing. Too bad about the voice and the one rather unfortunate ballady thing called Here Comes The Rain. Seriously terrible stuff.
I'm fortunate enough to be one of the first 1000 people to receive a CD, and therefore I'm also the proud owner of a bonus DVD. This, ladies and gents, is as near a Bad News moment as you get in real life! First, there are the cheap videos that I'm guessing are shot by film and media student. Then there are the 'interview' clips where Paul and Al answer questions put by someone who's perhaps (?) one of themselves talking through a voice coder. It's not a journalist, that's for sure. Anyhoo, it's hard to focus on the answers they provide, simply because of May's hairdo and general mimicking. Atkins? Oh, he's just bald and bearded like, yeah, you guessed it: Rob! Apart from the comic relief, the most interesting thing about the DVD is the interview with Rodney Matthews who did the artwork.
I'd be cautious spending the rest of my pocket money on this one!