Epitaph [DVD] review by Judas Priest

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  • Released: May 28, 2013
  • Sound: 9
  • Content: 8
  • Production Quality: 9
  • Overall Impression: 9
  • Reviewer's score: 8.8 Superb
  • Users' score: 8.4 (21 votes)
Judas Priest: Epitaph [DVD]

Sound — 9
Throughout their entire musical career, Judas Priest's live shows have been a spectacle to which all other heavy metal acts are judged and based upon. Besides the usual visually captivating stage effects, from Rob Halford's motorcycle to crowd-spanning laser lights and pyrotechnics, the renowned band seems to be musically stronger live (as hard to conceive as that may be). Their extended plays, expansive solos, and the occasional wild primal screams all lead to a wild listening as well as visual experience. With "Epitaph," this is no exception, as Judas Priest masterfully tears through a top notch setlist (further elaborated in the "Content" portion of this review). Rob Halford gives a noteworthily and inspiration performance throughout the entire concert. The now sixty-one year old lead singer still not only manages to hit those glass shattering primal screams that many fans have tried (and failed) to match alongside the studio renditions, but with that same strength and surging energy that is undoubtedly difficult to consistently hit night-after-night for four decades. Throughout the entire performance, Rob stays at the top of his game, the only time where he falters being when the band ends the setlist with "Painkiller." But the fact that he still even attempts to do nothing but scream for six minutes at his age is not only a testament to his musical ability, but his passionate desire to deliver exactly what the crowd wants to hear.

Content — 8
With their new live DVD of what was supposed to be their Farewell Tour (to the relief of fans worldwide, it is only their final world tour), you have the band captured purely in their element at London's Hammersmith Apollo Theater, as they tear through a masterful and generous 23-song set list comprised of tracks from all throughout the band's career. Judas Priest make an apparently conscious effort to play at least one song from every one of their studio albums (excluding the Tim Owens era), pulling out such deep tracks as "Never Satisfied" and "Starbreaker" during the set. And of course, you couldn't have a Judas Priest show without the band playing their quintessential metal anthems, including "Painkiller," "Turbo Lover," and "Breaking the Law."

Production Quality — 9
You can have a band that's absolutely on fire. You can have a band like Judas Priest pulling out all of their classic hits and some lesser known deep tracks. But if the production quality is poor, it affects the entire experience. This is how the production quality that comes along with this DVD is similarly standout. As soon as you pop the disc in, you feel as though you're right there in the front row, of course excluding the riled mosh pits that fans are accustomed to finding at a Judas Priest concert. This helps "Epitaph" fare as one of the best new live DVDs out there.

Overall Impression — 9
Judas Priest give their absolute all with the new live DVD, "Epitaph." It shows the entire band continuing to defy the laws of nature and rationality, as they dominate the stage with ever increasing power and passion that any fan will sit back in amazement at. For the fan who's been waiting for Judas Priest to pull out some of their lesser known deep tracks live, then this is a release to go for. For the fan who's been searching for a standout live JP DVD with top notch production qualities, then "Epitaph" comes highly recommended. And for that Judas Priest fan who hasn't had to the opportunity to catch the band live, this is as close as you're going to get to that awe-inspiring experience.

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22 comments sorted by best / new / date

    I went to one of their shows and I was blown away at how I actually for the first time appreciated "Blood red Skies". Richie Faulkner also did an amazing job here, as did the entire band.
    Way Cool JR.
    Blood Red Skies is a fricken great song,everything about it rocks. I don't know how anyone that loves Priest/metal couldn't appreciate it. When Ram It down came out the whole album just simply blew my mind.
    It just sucks how the drums and bass sounded so fake. The songs are awesome.
    Ram It Down was made as I know with a drum machine of some kind despite they still had Holland in the drums. When they played it in my country, I couldn't hold the tears it was a song I long expected to be witnessed live
    priest is my fav metal band of all time. i'm only 24 so i never was able to see them in their prime but i did see them once in 2005 and more recently in 2011. both shows were incredible, especially for halford being in his 60's. i can only imagine how awesome they were back in their heyday
    Sounds just like me. I saw them with Queensryche in '05 and then I saw them again in 2011 with Black Label & Thin Lizzy. Both were amazing shows!
    I couldn't believe how much better the classics, such as 'Starbreaker' sounded with Scott's drumming. Incredible show, but it was a little irritating how Tipton seemed to play in slow motion. He almost threw the band off a few times.
    I love judas priest but there last tour in Australia was pathetic,they charged the earth for tickets then also changed a decent support act to complete unknowns,the sound was terrible,I sure hope the DVD makes up for it!
    it will rob sounds like hes been touched up or maybe did studio overdubs like he has in the past
    Oh please. The story about Unleashed in the East is wide known. Rob had the flu bad, so he had no choice - He claims he did the overdub in one take anyway. There are audience boots (although rare) available from the Unleashed show and he can hardly speak. Also. Live Insurrection consists of, mostly the best live tracks of the tour + some soundcheck songs and a couple of studio songs with audience sounds. There's also a show from London of the same tour out, and it's magnificent. Vocals spot on, all raw show.
    Meh, not impressed. I have seen both Priest and BMTH live, and even BMTH >>>>> live Priest.. Yeah I know, that's how bad the "metal legends" actually are.
    I was there, you can even see my ugly mug grinning away like a twat and it was an epic night. Everyone was on Tip top form... a few very minor mistakes here and there but nothing to worry about. Halford was sounding immense, as in fact the whole band was. A great night, a great show and a great band. Long live Priest!
    I can't deal with new tuning that Priest uses.
    They've used that since about 2004/5 when Rob came back. Plus, it's only half a step down from E, which makes it Eb. Not that big a deal considering Ripper had them tuning way lower than that.
    Concert pitch was D with Ripper, with the occasional odd tuning.