Sound — 9
Well, let's say you're a kid in 8th grade, angry at the world of preppy a-holes encroaching upon your self-esteem and the emo kids and their My Chemical Romance shirts, and you reach out in a CD store and pick up this gem and it blows your mind! Yes, folks of Ultimate-Guitar, Judas Priest may be old, but they are still good-perhaps even better now than back in the day. Like the old red wine in your cellar, they are only getting better as they age. Only a few months after reuniting with original singer Rob Halford, Judas Priest released this underappreciated CD, but those wise in the metal community picked up on it and the diamond in the rough it really is. The sound is straight-up heavy metal (you couldn't expect anything less from the Priest) but the album touches every base. From the mournful power of the 13 minute-plus long Loch Ness to the epic ballad of Angel to the radio-friendly Revolution and finally, to the screamingly blinding Demonizer, this will indeed keep you on the edge of your seat. You can thrash along to Judas Rising, Hellrider, Deal With The Devil, Revolution Wheels of Fire, and, of course, Demonizer with the devil horns straking the air. Chill out to Angel, Loch Ness, and Worth Fighting For (and Eulogy, the most pointless piece of work here). The twin guitarists scream up into the stratosphere and down into the lowest cellars with their amazing and powerful twin solos. After all, they've had some experience in this (the original duo? one would think so.). Drumming, however, is where the music really breaks out. Without Scott Travis and his screaming double bass lines in Hellrider and Demonizer, this knock-down sound would not be possible. Not headbanging to these two amazing examples of power is another thing that is not humanly possible. Eulogy is my only complaint-a sort of funeral dirge that manages to just waste space. No instruments except for Halford and a few notes on a piano. No thanks.
Lyrics — 10
Halford has always been able to chill your spine with his intense, high-pitched (but always clean) vocals, but it's now like a load of ice dropped down the back of your shirt. He wails like a crazed banshee (in a good way, of course) at the end of Demonizer. His mid-and lower-range singing, like compatriot Bruce Dickinson of Iron Maiden, has matured with age and he sounds much more powerful low down than ever before. Singing beside, the lyrics are great themselves. Deal With The Devil speaks about Priest's early days. Loch Ness is pretty self-explanatory but the lyrics themselves are quite descriptive and brooding. The lyrics, unlike Priest's rather shallow 80's music, are quite deep, often introspective, and more metal than ever before. They are still quite Judas Priest.
Overall Impression — 10
Again, oldies but goodies. Priest are simply at their best in this powerful tour de force of old-school metal mixed in with the new school. Hellrider, Judas Rising, Angel, Demonizer, Deal With The Devil, and Loch Ness are (seven) songs that really jump out at you when listening to this masterpiece. There is simply no more to say about this. Go out and buy it. And tell the demons who underrated this to get out! Like old red wine, Priest are just getting better. I hope Nostradamus (their concept album) is half this good.