Sound — 9
Judas Priest have released umpteen live albums. So why A Touch of Evil Live and why now? Well, for starters, for all intents and purposes, Rob Halford's return to the band is more recent than it seems. But more importantly, this live release features deeper album cuts that are also fan favorites which were previously unreleased as live cuts on CD! So that's what's new and exciting about A Touch of Evil Live. Any self-respecting Priest diehard will want this for his or her collection; but we're going to go as far as saying that it's essential for the most loyal and dedicated Priest fans, especially those who stuck with the band in the post-Halford, Ripper Owens years! Casual fans might be looking for Living After Midnight or You've Got Another Thing Coming, but they're not here. The most mainstream song here is Painkiller, which closes out the disc, and it sounds f--king awesome! Halford hits every note, spot on. If you've not had the pleasure of seeing the band in support of last year's Nostradamus concept album, the live renditions of Death and Prophecy might compel you to get off your ass and check out those songs live, since they'll be sprinkled among the classics and the hits. That said, this is an album for the truest of Priest fans and while the set list is carefully selected for those fans, the album puts you in the moment of a Priest. Show.
Lyrics — 9
It's Rob Halford. It's the siren. The soaring voice. The Metal God. Need we say more? Really? Halford may be pushing 60 but he is not going gently into senior citizendom! He's literally kicking and screaming his way through old age and he's not lost a step. His voice still slays, every show, every time. While nitpickers may not agree, we don't care. Halford still has it. He's still the Metal God. A Touch of Evil Live only serves to further prove this indisputable fact.
Overall Impression — 8
Judas Priest remain consummate metal professionals who, despite their age, are still deftly playing a younger man's style of music. Clearly, age is just a number and is not affecting the skill or the mindset of the almighty Priest. Kudos to Priest for digging into their extensive catalogue and choosing album cuts for A Touch of Evil Live. The songs were recorded during the bands world tours in 2005 and 2008 and the result are live cuts that pluck you from your living room (or wherever you are listening to this release) and plunk you smack dab in the middle of the arena! Judas Rising, Riding on the Wind and Between the Hammer and the Anvil make us fall in love with metal all over again. Long live Priest. Long live Metal!