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Thobbe Englund - Hail to the Priest

Thobbe Englund
Hail to the Priest
by "Metal Mark" Garcia at 12 July 2019, 8:04 AM

There are bands that start as a solo project from a musician to spend some time playing something that on the main work they can’t. But in some moment, these solo projects can become the main band due to the facts that aren’t the same. In the case of the Swedish guitarist/vocalist Thobbe Englund, he played with SABATON for four years, and in under his own name, is releasing his fifth album, “Hail to the Priest”.

To be extremely honest, this album is a tribute to JUDAS PRIEST (see the album’s name), one of his personal musical influences. The songs cover a great part of JUDAS PRIEST known classics (and two from FIGHT), but evading those hits that were already recorded on tributes (one more version of “Breaking the Law” and “You’ve Got Another Thing Coming” would be really boring due the countless times bands recorded it) and are being played in a form that is modern and in a personal vision of Thobbe, but respecting the features of such old Metal classics. Yes, it’s a good album, indeed. On the production, all seems alright. The musical instruments are with very good instrumental tunes (in the simple way possible), and the sound quality bounds together the needed clarity with the aggressiveness and weight of a Metal album, especially because it’s a tribute to the Metal Gods.

To be honest, songs as “The Sentinel”, “The Ripper” and “Hell Bent for Leather” are those that no JUDAS PRIEST fan must be introduced to, but to hear “Reckless” (from “Turbo”), “Desert Plains” (from “Point of Entry”), and “Blood Red Skies” and “I’m a Rocker” (from “Ram It Down”) from albums that are seen by many as weak, is a surprise, because these version gave them a new life and weight. And even a song from “Jugulator” is presented, the oppressive “Burn in Hell” (these words are due the rejection of the fanatic fans of Rob Halford that were complaining, crying for his return to the band during his absence). But the versions for “Immortal Sin” and “Into the Pit” of FIGHT are great as well.

It’s very good album of Thobbe, and really honors the legacy of JUDAS PRIEST, being honest to the core.

Originality: 6
Songwriting: 10
Memorability: 8
Production: 8

4 Star Rating

1. The Sentinel
2. The Ripper
3. Reckless
4. Immortal Sin
5. Hell Bent for Leather
6. Burn in Hell
7. Blood Red Skies
8. Desert Plains
9. Between the Hammer and the Anvil
10. Into the Pit
11. Before the Dawn
12. I’m a Rocker
Thobbe Englund - Guitars, Vocals
Roland Westbom - Bass
Elon Andersson - Keyboards
Johan Grandin - Drums
Record Label: Metalville


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