Judas Priest

Rating: See below

Reviewed by: The whole staff, March '05
Label:
Sony BGM
Style: Heavy Metal

Angel Of Retribution

Judas Priest is back with one of the most anticipated metal releases of the year. "Angel Of Retribution" is the titel of this brand new album from one of the most important Heavy Metal bands ever.

The sound of Priest, 2005? - It's pure Judas Priest in the raw, Classic Priest mixed in with the new Priest. This new album is better than "Rocka Rolla", "Stained Class" and "Point of entry", but doesn't reach the heights of "British Steel", "Screaming For Vengeance", Painkiller" and my my personal favourite "Defenders Of The Faith", in my opinion.

I could write a very long and very, very boring review of every single track on this release and the split between Halford and the rest of the band... and then again about the reunion... but I'm sure you all know every single little fact!
On to the music: We are treated with 10 tracks and most of them are very good. Take a listen to "Judas Rising", "Deal With The Devil", "Demonizer", "Wheels Of Fire", and "Hellrider". Very typical Priest! Just think "Hell Patrol" and "Riding On The Wind" and I'm sure, that you know, what I mean!
The biggest surprise here is the last track "Lochness", which is the longest song Judas Priest have every recorded with its mighty 13 minutes. It contains a great and very melodic chorus and Black Sabbath-esque riffs. Great track.
Last... we have 3 mediocre tracks as well. "Eulogy", "Angel", a boring ballad, in my book. And "Revolution", I'm not very fond of this track. But some will like it, I guess. The PRIEST is back ... and that can't be a bad thing or ... ?

Recommended tracks: "Judas Rising", "Deal With The Devil", "Demonizer", "Wheels Of Fire", "Hellrider" and "Lochness".

Peter Laursen
Rating: 80/100


"The Priest is back" - And they are back with a vengeance ... from the opening seconds until the last song fades out, this album pretty much sums up what Judas Priest is all about, starting off with "Judas Rising" the best song they've written since the "Painkiller" album and it's an excellent opener, not just on the album - it would also be a cool opener live. Next up is almost as expected a mid-tempo banger: "Deal With The Devil", not as cool as "The Ripper" or "Jawbreaker", but still a very good song. "Revolution" follows and this has to be the weakest song on the album and is somehow hard to get into ...

"Worth Fighting For" is a nice metal hymn, that just makes you want to rock. "Demonizer" captures the emotions from "Painkiller" and is an awesome thrash song. "Wheels Of Fire" is another great song you just want to scream along to ...
"Angel" is wonderful ballad, the coolest they recorded in a very long time - I know a lot of people hate this song and find it very boring, I just feel it a nice contrast to the next song "Hellrider" - perhaps the fastest song they've ever written and a excellent speed-grenade.

"Eulogy" might be a small 3 minutes song or a very long intro to the last song on the album, standing alone it's a ballad with Rob's great vocals supported just by piano and guitars ... and it leads us into the last song on the album - "Lochness" - the song-idea dates back to the 70's, when they toured England, driving aound in a small van, where they one evening parked near the Lock Ness lake, and yes the song is about the Nessie (and it's intentionally, that the song title is spelled in one word). The song it self represents the biggest challenge for Priest ever - with it's almost 14 minutes it's also the longest song they've ever written, and I would call it an excellent doom epos with a cool middlepart. A song of epic porportions and my favorite on the album.

The magic missing in Judas Priest, when Ripper Owens was their "guest" vocalist - not that he is a bad vocalist, I actually believe he's technical a much better singer than Rob Halford. And it's not like Rob was able to capture the same magic, that made Judas Priest such a great band with his Two, Fight or solo-discs. But this somehow feels right - the songs are all very strong, the best stuff they've written since the "Painkiller" album, and the album belongs very close the top of Priest album ... maybe not quite as excellent as "Painkiller", "British Steel" or "Defenders Of The Faith", but it's pretty damn close!

And I love how they have incorporated old song titles into the lyric, not originally, but still a cool idea ...

Roy Z has done a excellent job producing this awesome album, that surely marks the comeback of the year. I can't stop listening to this album, and is so pleased, that it actually lives up to my huge expectations .... PRIEST PRIEST PRIEST!

This comeback album is head and shoulder above Iron Maiden's "Brave New World", that marked the return of Bruce, and it shows, that Judas Priest now more than 35 years after it all began, they are still able to write outstanding songs and that they are still a force to be reckoned with in metal.

Recommended tracks: "Judas Rising", "Angel", "Hellrider" and "Lochness"

Kenn Jensen
Rating: 91/100


The Priest is back. And not only that - the Priest has returned as a copy band paying homage to itself! 

I'll be the first to admit that this album has wonderful oldschool metal moments that echo of classic albums like "Defenders Of The Faith", "Ram It Down" and "Painkiller", but I'm not sure that the Priest will succeed if they have a mission of conquering new followers. There's nothing new here, and this probably comes down to the fact that noone expected any surprises from the grand old men of metal. In fact, and correct me if I'm off my rockers here, we all feared surprises a lá "Demolition", we dreaded that the Priest wouldn't really be the Priest now that Halford is finally back. And I'm certain that the band knew this when they sat down and wrote this album.

My dilemma is that I like this album a lot, and at the same time I miss the experiments that have always characterised Judas Priest. "Angel Of Retribution" contains all that we know as Priest and the two Halford albums, and for that the album deserves a place in the metal annals, but a groundbreaking piece of metal art it isn't.

Recommended tracks: "Judas Rising", "Hellrider" and "Lochness" [sic]

Thomas Nielsen
Rating: 85
/100

PRIEST…..PRIEST……PRIEST

My first encounter with Judas Priest was in 8th grade, I think…..around 1984-85.  I was listening a lot to Accept, Saxon, Iron Maiden and Black Sabbath at the time but then a friend had a tape which he had from one the older pupils….. It was British Steel with Judas Priest. I thought the name Judas Priest sounded a little stupid – but what the hell – let’s give these guys a chance anyway……and I must admit …. I really needed Judas Priest at that time…..So when some friends of mine and myself started a band the same year, we decided to cover ‘Breaking the Law’ and ‘Living after Midnight’. It was a success from the beginning – at a youth club party at the school our band was booked to play some songs and we started out with these, already at that time, Priest classics. From that day everybody at school was walking around the school growling:” …Breaking the law..Breaking the law….” with an evil attitude like they had a face-ache….I don’t say that our band introduced Judas Priest to my school – they were pretty capable of doing that themselves.

The Priest songs was part of our set list for about two years until we created a more progressive outfit and joined up with Finn Zierler (who later formed Twilight, Beyond Twilight etc.) .

I bought some of the Priest back catalogue and especially liked ‘Defenders of the Faith’.

Then came ‘Turbo’….I thought it was, and still is, a great album…maybe my favourite Priest album…

Judas Priest took a beating from fans, the industry and the metal-press for trying to add something new to the genre. I remember Lita Ford, who already at that time was more than out of date, saying something about respecting Priest for trying some of the new technology but it definitely failed to work……

I know that a lot of us didn’t  agree…..

I ‘kept the faith’, so to speak, for the duration of a couple of albums then I lost it for Priest….They started to make some really high speed things and my taste went in other directions..

However, I have always felt that I was in some kind of debt to these guys. So when I suddenly was asked to review their reunion album I felt a rush going through my body ….. a little fear and excitement like I had an exam or something coming up …..am I the right one to do this? - Maybe – maybe not --- You be the judge of that…here goes anyway.

I think, after several years without Judas Priest, ‘the lost son is about to return’. I feel very well listening to them again…..a kind of dejá vu...like when you can suddenly smell your granddad’s cigars though he has been dead nearly twenty years….and remember the cosiness.

This is great rock’n’roll – cut the way only Judas Priest can do it. A balanced mix of slow, fast and really fast stuff. Kept simple like in the early days.

Great melodic passages – and even ballad-like pieces – Not the Pret-a-Portér-Aerosmith-soinan ones you can sing along to the first time you hear it – Not a ballad just written to please the record company but ballads written because the band has something to say. They fortunately give themselves the freedom to use the clichés they invented themselves.

Favourites:

Hmmm, I pretty much like them all though I don’t understand that Lochness – thing…..maybe they should have stopped the album just before that song.

I have to mention these great guitarists who have inspired me a lot from time to time. They certainly still have ‘It’. I remember them saying in an interview that kids from their area in England had three choices in life; The steel industry, professional soccer or Rock’n’Roll. I think a tough life inspires people to fight a little harder for their dreams. That is what places Judas Priest on a higher level than most other rock bands around.

Since I had no luck in making my CD player go backwards, I couldn’t check 100% for hidden messages and stuff – so if there is a hidden message on this new – very vital – Priest album it must be: “It Ain’t over till the fat lady sings.”

Jesper Lysgaard
Rating: 89½/100


Rob Halford is back with Judas Priest, and with him the British Metal pioneers sounds like there has never been a Tim “The Ripper” Owens, or two albums called “Jugulator” & “Demolition”.

“Angel Of Retribution” is an album for the old school Judas Pries fans. It’s obvious that Halford, Downing, Tipton and Co. are still getting the same kick from making music, that they got, when they started more than 30 years ago. Tracks such as the powerful opening opus “Judas Rising” and the fist pumping “Deal Wth The Devil” show everyone how the big boys do it, showcasing Glenn Tipton and K.K. Downing’s blistering twin guitar attack to great rffect.

The thumping, bottom heavy “Revolution” stands a decent chance of catching on as a radio hit along the lines of such 80s anthems as “Love Bites” ad “Turbo Lover”. Halford’s return seems to have re-energized the band.

The limited edition cd comes with a bonus DVD, with a documentary and 7 live tracks from the reunited tour.There is Judas Priest, and there are bands that wish that they were Judas Priest. Job well done.

Recommended tracks: “Judas Rising”, “Deal With The Devil” & “Lochness”

Jørgen Ditlev
Rating: 92/100

Link: www.judaspriest.com