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Judas Priest - Nostradamus (CD)

Judas Priest
by Dimitris Kontogeorgakos at 14 June 2008, 9:48 PM

I was extremely curious and anxious to listen to the new JUDAS PRIEST album because it is the band's maiden attempt to produce a concept one. It's common knowledge that the British band was never good on writing lyrics (actually has written some really silly ones) and so this project seemed to hide many dangers. Adding to that, is the fact that their second Halford era with Angel Of Retribution was nothing really special.
Without playing with your anticipation I can say that this album is a hell of a concept one! The guys are in their best and support excellently Michel de Nostredame story by creating an album that can be in the best Metal concepts lists without any doubt.
I have to say that the Nostradamus song pre-release was so misleading! I mean the Ram It Down intro and the fast tempo Painkiller main riff made most of us to think that the band decided to just reproduce itself. Now I can tell you with great relief that we were totally wrong on this. So, let me prove/extend my saying…
The songs come without pauses giving the impression that it is just a very long song. Actually, this is exactly what a concept album means and this is one of the elements of JUDAS PRIEST's success with this one. I find it impossible to just listen to one track because I will ruin the entire atmosphere. The band has extensively used keyboards and orchestrations creating pompous compositions that fit excellently to Rob's compelling performance (see the Epic Exiled for example). I know this will sound sacrilegious but I have to say that Rob has given here his best vocal lines ever! His theatrical voice is follows dramatically the lyrics and atmosphere of each song. He also proves that he still can reach the high pitches at ease with significant power and feeling.
The twin guitars bear the trademark JUDAS PRIEST sound that lies between Ram It Down and Painkiller era. The album is characterized by mid tempo songs with a genuine Epic feeling that sometimes has to do with BLACK SABBATH. Just listen to Sands Of Time or Alone and try not to get shivers down your spine. The sound production is also flawless blending the keyboards and orchestrations to the staccato guitars, the compact drum work and the haunting vocals. Actually, the keyboards come also from the Ram It Down days with songs like the homonymous or Blood Red Skies.
Glenn Tipton and K.K. Downing apart from their trademark twin guitar riffs have created some almost shredding solos that literally blew my mind off like in Persecution, Visions or in the eight minutes of Future Of Mankind that gloriously closes this album!
I don't want to write a really long review because I will just ruin the pleasure of listening to this album that is already in my best albums of the year list. I have already pre-ordered my triple vinyl/two CD version of this album and if you can believe I am anxious to get it. Actually, I have not felt like this for many years and for this adds one more point to my rating. I believe that nowadays due to all the downloading pestilence, the bands have stop working hard on albums (you know the bands I am talking about) to focus on making money through DVDs and live concerts. I hope that JUDAS PRIEST will sometime honor their creation by playing live the entire album because after all this is the point of making a concept!

5 Star Rating

Dawn of Creation
The Four Horsemen
Sands of Time
Pestilence And Plague
Lost Love
Shadows In the Flame
New Beginnings
Calm Before the Storm
Future Of Mankind
Rob Halford - Vocals
Glenn Tipton - Guitar
K.K. Downing - Guitar
Ian Hill - Bass Guitar
Scott Travis - Drums
Record Label: Epic Records


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