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Album Reviews : Judas Priest – A Touch of Evil: Live

By on July 27, 2009

judastouchofevilIt’s been sometime since Judas Priest released a live album. Their last live album, “Live in London” which was released in 2003, was a significant hallmark for the band, as it incorporated the efforts of previous lead singer Tim “Ripper” Owens, before Rob Halford reunited with the band in 2005.

Judas Priest’s latest live offering, “A Touch of Evil – Live” is the first live album with Rob Halford at the helm in almost 22 years. The albums material was recorded over a 3 year period, through 2005 to 2008, which also includes recordings from their recent ‘Nostradamus’ world tour.

With any Judas Priest live album you can expect three big characteristics. Firstly, amazing production. Second, an amazing performance, and third, a solid setlist from start to finish. Sadly though, only two of these characteristics are present on ‘A Touch of Evil – Live’.

Production wise, the album is fantastic. Nice big sound, crystal clear vocals and exceptional editing. This is mainly due to Tom Allom joining the ranks to produce the album, along with Judas Priest. Tom Allom has been apart of Judas Priest‘s career since the early 80’s, producing most of the bands well known releases. I was very impressed with the sheer sound of the album.

Performances are top notch, as always. Strangely though I’ve heard many people, both fans of Judas Priest and metal fans in general question Rob Halford’s current vocal qualities. If you’re familiar with the band, you’ll know that Rob Halford is considered one of the greatest metal singers in the history of the genre.

His quintessential style has become synonymous with the band, as he can flow from melodic harmonies to high pitch whaling with ease. Recently though I’ve seen him become a little more diverse in his delivery with the addition of more operatic, or theatrical qualities in his vocals. This is mainly due to his efforts on the latest studio album, ‘Nostradamus’.

One track on the new live album which took me by complete surprise was, ‘Painkiller’. Halford introduces the track with a new twist, utilizing somewhat of a black metal rasp in his vocals, while perpetuating drawn out growls and ear shattering screams which just make the song sound bloody amazing. If your one of the many people who were quick to judge his vocals, be sure to check this somewhat new aggressive rendition of the classic track, ‘Painkiller’.

As I have already covered the two great aspects of ‘A Touch of Evil – Live’, its clear that my thoughts of the albums length is questionable. To be honest, this new live album is very, very short. Only clocking in at a mere 58 minutes, and only seems to scratch the surface with a mere selection of great Judas Priest songs.

Many of the bands classics like ‘Breaking The Law’, ‘Metal Gods’, ‘Turbo Lover’ and even ‘You’ve Got Another Thing Coming’ and nowhere to be heard, yet the album still offers some solid tracks with ‘Judas Rising’, ‘ Beyond the Realm of Death’ and my two favorites, ‘Between the Hammer and the Anvil’ and ‘Painkiller’.

Aside from the albums length, I was still bloody amazed and impressed with the new live album. If your a long time Judas Priest fan, like myself, you’ll easily appreciate the album for what its worth. It’s clearly not their most diverse or length driven live album, but still packs a punch in terms of delivery and musicianship. 8/10

Band: Judas Priest
Album: A Touch of Evil: Live
Year: 2009
Genre: Heavy Metal
Label: Sony BMG
Origin: Birmingham, England

www.myspace.com/judaspriest

Tracklisiting:

1. Judas Rising
2. Hellrider
3. Between the Hammer and the Anvil <- Reviewer’s Choice
4. Riding on the Wind
5. Death
6. Beyond the Realms of Death
7. Dissident Agressor
8. A Touch of Evil
9. Eat Me Alive
10. Prophecy
11. Painkiller <- Reviewer’s Choice

About

Anwar is the editor-in-chief of Metal Obsession.net. When Anwar isn't busy promoting tours, interviewing bands and reviewing awesome music, he loves to collect metal vinyl and play video games. Follow Metal Obsession on Twitter and Facebook