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Halford - Halford IV: Made of Metal

Halford
Halford IV: Made of Metal
by Dimitris Kontogeorgakos at 04 October 2010, 8:10 PM

What can be said about Halford? I believe there is no metalhead out there who does not deeply respect this most important voice and persona in the entire Metal scene. Ok, his departure from JUDAS PRIEST was something shocking but Rob's later musical contributions and live appearances simply wiped all the 'bad' memories away. I had the chance to watch Halford with his band on the 'Ozzfest' stage and I was really stoned by how solid they sounded. The chemistry between the band members is excellent and consequently this pumped my expectations up for the new album especially after the -at least- weak "Winter Songs" release. Anyway, here is the fourth album by the Metal God who has stated: "this is the most personal album in terms of writing and performance".

"Undisputed" is a guitar driven opener that sounds heavy as hell! The galloping rhythm clears the way for the most melodic vocal lines sung by Halford's golden voice. The guitars are amazing and it seems that Metal Mike and Roy Z make a killer duo deeply inspired by the dual MAIDEN harmonies with a twist of "Painkiller" aggression. If you don't mind a short parentheses here, I have to comment on Roy Z's contribution to the Metal scene; this guy has managed to 'resurrect' solo careers with his work on the guitars and behind the console. Just remember his work with Dickinson on "Accident Of Birth" where we all were talking about the impressive return of MAIDEN's singer.

This album sounds really fresh and I dare to say 100% Halford keeping a safe distance from the JUDAS PRIEST works by stepping harder the pedal to the Metal with mind-blowing and catchy riffs. Vocally, Halford continues on the impressive state that the majority of the Metal scene succeeded in identifying in the latest "Nostradamus" album. The Metal God relies on his tremendous experience and 'pushes' his voice to explore new territories. And this works in an impressive way in "Made Of Metal"; the vocal lines bond with the guitar riffs creating a solid sound with such a groovy tempo that you will find yourself humming the song melody after the first CD spins. As the album goes on, things get better and better; like with "Till The Day I Die" where the slide guitar and the Southern breeze/groove sound simply amazing and totally inspired. And then, the distortion comes in taking everything to a higher level claiming the title for the 'best album song'. Rob gets his voice in higher pitches in "Hell Razor" with a "Hell Bent For Leather" feeling until the guitar leads and solo blow your mind once again. Despite that I have to read the album credits I already know that Roy Z has done his magic in the leads having beside him Metal Mike who can deliver his goods to the maximum.

Piano and down tuned clean guitar arpeggios join Halford's expressional performance during the 7 minutes of "Twenty-Five Years". This is an excellent power-ballad like song during which, the young will learn and the old will remember Halford's unique breathing technique that has left a burning mark in every JUDAS PRIEST album and every hit song (see also "Victim Of Changes"). In every song there is a surprise and "The Mower" could not be an exception; the heavy as hell guitars and the ultra high pitched vocals touch the FIGHT days and for this, make this track a hidden gem that overall sounds different from the rest of the tracklist.

There is nothing more to be added here; HALFORD make a difference in their back catalogue delivering an impressive album with compositions one step ahead from the previous ones. There is a lot to digest here and even more to enjoy from the killer hooks to the melodic breaks and the amazing vocals by the Metal God himself. As a side note, I have to add that Halford will return to the North US with Ozzy for some additional live dates that will give a killer time after this gem has reached the stores. This album is definitely made of Metal!

4 Star Rating

Tracklist:
  1. Undisputed
  2. Fire And Ice
  3. Made Of Metal
  4. Speed Of Sound
  5. Like There's No Tomorrow
  6. Till The Day I Die
  7. We Own The Night
  8. Heartless
  9. Hell Razor
  10. Thunder And Lightning
  11. Twenty-Five Years
  12. Matador
  13. I Know We Stand A Chance
  14. The Mower
Lineup:
Rob Halford - Vocals
Metal Mike Chlasciak - Guitars
Roy "Z." Ramirez - Guitars
Mike Davis - Bass
Bobby Jarzombek - Drums
Record Label: Metal God Entertainment
     


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Edited 05 July 2020
 

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