Sound: Since his departure from Judas Priest in 1993, Rob Halford had formed two new bands; the groove thrashers Fight and the industrial Two (together with guitarist John 5 of Marilyn Manson fame). These bands, while decent in their own right, were not what fans wanted from Halford. And in 1998, he courageously revealed his homosexuality to the media. Luckily, though, the move only served to rejuvenate Halford and increase the respect of his fans.
In the year 2000, Rob Halford was finally ready to make his long-awaited return to the realm of classic heavy metal. Recruiting a bunch of solid musicians, he formed a new band simply called "Halford". And their debut album "Resurrection" could not have come at a better time; metal was back in fashion, and his former bandmates in Priest were releasing weird and disappointing, "modern" albums. Listening to this album, one might wonder just how important Rob must have been to Priest; Many of their trademarks are here, most notably the strong vocal melodies and choruses. The production is very clear and hard-hitting. The riff department seems somewhat lacking compared to classic "Ken & Glenn", since most of them are standard fodder, but overall "Resurrection" is a refreshing listen. // 7
Lyrics: Many of the lyrics seem to revolve around Rob's personal life. Rob had been through a rough couple of years before this album was released, struggling not only with his artistic identity but also with the pain of not yet having "come clean", so to speak. This does not mean that "Resurrection" is a negative album, however; to the contrary, Rob displays both optimism and a lust to reclaim what he once had, of wanting to become the "Metal God" once again. "Silent Screams", the title track and "Made In Hell" are some great examples of this theme.
At this point, Rob's voice was still 100% intact, thus he still sounded pretty much like on the legendary "Painkiller". And he doesn't overdo anything, either; he could have screamed his way through every song just to prove his worth, but he didn't. Most of his vocals are of the "rough" kind he has developed in later years, and when he does let off a banshee scream, it's all the more effective. // 9
Overall Impression: 12 years after its release, I can listen to this album without the sheer bliss Halford fans found themselves in when he returned to heavy metal. And from a more neutral perspective, I can't really say that this is such a fantastic CD after all. Sure, it's unbelievably solid, but to the price of being predictable and even boring near the end. The faster songs in particular sound pretty much alike. And the quartet of musicians supporting Halford just seem to be doing their chores, no more no less; far from the imaginative riffs and duels of Glenn Tipton and K.K. Downing.
But a solid album is a solid album, and if you're a Priest fan you're absolutely certain to get something out of this album. "Silent Screams" starts out as a beautiful ballad, but turns into a sinister rocker which climaxes in a multitracked scream from Halford. "Resurrection" and "Made In Hell" is a lethal one-two punch to begin the album, and countless Halford shows. "Slow Down" has a great chorus and bridge, and "Cyberworld" is classic Rob Halford science fiction in the vein of "Electric Eye".
Overall, "Resurrection" is a safe bet for any fan of old Judas Priest or good old classic metal in general. However, it is not nearly the best album this band ever put out; Its successor, "Crucible", is an absolute masterpiece, albeit much more modern-sounding. // 7