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Album Reviews : Judas Priest – Firepower

By on March 25, 2018

48 years and 18 albums into their career and the juggernaut that is Judas Priest is still going strong but has not been without its setbacks. The recent departure of guitar player Glen Tipton due to Parkinson’s disease was a blow, to say the least, and one might wonder how much they have left in the tank. But for the moment it’s full steam ahead.

Firepower is 14 tracks long spanning 58 minutes and includes some of their finest moments since their career-defining Painkiller record in 1990. The first track on the record “Firepower” instantly delivers a classic Judas Priest riff along with soaring scream from the man Rob Halford himself. Priest precisely shows why the immortal art of the riff is what heavy metal is built upon and why its followers of this style of music are so rabid and passionate. The classic riffing continues onto the next track “Lightning Strike” which demonstrates a classic Priest song, but with an almost 21st-century relevance to it (something that doesn’t always exist with bands who have been around this long).

The third track on the album “Evil Never Dies” is another classic deliverance of crushing Judas Priest riffage, pounding drums and rip-roaring trademark Halford screams which just like the previous two tracks will leave you wanting more. What has to be pointed with this record is how tight the rhythm guitars and full credit to Richie Faulkner as it sounds like he’s been in the band for many more years than he actually has.

Arguably one of the standout tracks on the album is “Never the Heroes”. This could easily be on a Judas Priest greatest hits album and would not be out of place along with their classic 70’s/80’s tracks. While having a more mid paced feel to it this track could quite quickly become a favourite in the live environment on their upcoming world tour which I’m hoping makes it’s way to Australia. But as Judas Priest probably don’t see themselves as heroes to their many adoring fans over the world they quite obviously are.

The crunching riffs which Judas Priest have been so revered for over the last 40 odd years continue onto “Necromancer” and the rest of the album which holds up incredibly well. Enlisting Andy Sneap to help with the production of Firepower has only made them tighter and kept the band fresh and relevant in the 21st century. The band who coined the term heavy metal are back 4 years after the ever impressive “Redeemer of Souls” and give fans another dose of quality heavy metal magic!

Band: Judas Priest
Album: Firepower
Year: 2018
Genre: Heavy Metal
Label: Epic
Origin: England