Sound — 7
For over 30 years, Judas Priest have crafted some of the most important albums of the Heavy metal timeframe. After taking a few years out from their last album, the often criticised but solid Angel of retribution, Priest return with something a bit different. Nostradamus is Judas priest's much coveted concept album. It deals with the life and prophecies of a man who was often persecuted for his visions and beliefs. This is a bold step for Judas priest, musically, it is a departure. Keyboards are prominent in the mix, with Priest shaking off their old style and trying a new symphonic approach. Considering it's a double album, I was a bit worried as to how much filler there would be. I was so excited to finally get my copy in the post. How awesome is this going to be, I thought. Judas Priest making a concept album about a very interesting idea. In fact, I think I screamed like a little girl when I came in from work to find the lovely brown package, waiting for me. Excited is not the word. Now that I've listened to this album at least 10 times back to back, I can safely say I was right to be worried about the length.
Lyrics — 7
23 tracks is a hell of a number, I wonder what Priest were trying to do with this. Had this Double CD been cut down into a single album, I probably would be much happier. I absolutely despise most of the interludes and intros on this album. There are some rare moments of clarity during these but for the most part they are completely unnecessary. The intro track to Visions is an exception to this. it's probably one of my favourite points of the album actually. But that is a diamond swimming in a sea of crap. Lyrically, strangely enough, this album is probably one of the strongest Performances Priest have ever done (hence the 7 score for this section). Sure, there is a bit of repetition but it remains inspired in places and descriptive as well. Halford commits a strong vocal performance although it is disappointing in places. My one gripe is the lack of Halford's patented screams and high vocals. Vocals are mostly in the mid range. The guy is old though so I let him away with that. But it is a small gripe nonetheless.
Overall Impression — 6
Standout tracks include Prophecy (The chorus makes me laugh), Persecution with its raging vocal delivery, War, Visions and its intro and the title track. Conquest and the future of mankind are sort of okay. That is 7 tracks. 7 out of 23 that hold my attention. You may know where this review is heading. I'm disappointed by the gods of metal. Nostradamus is overindulgent, bloated and the majority of it is mundane. Can I also say that there seems to be very little in the way of awesome musicianship on this record? Travis seems to be bored most of the time, Ian Hill is Ian Hill, and Glenn and KK seem to be lacking on this record. Most of the tracks are mid paced, plodding towards some anti climax with rubbish uninspired riffs. The guitar solos are just not there. And when they are, they are wasted on crappy tracks like Awakening. I hear shades of Painkiller in places, and tones of stuff like British steel. But it's not enough. What I'm trying to say is this, Some parts of the album are awesome but the majority is diluted turd. I've been listening to Defenders of the faith and Painkiller religiously these past few weeks (the best records Priest have ever done). I know Priest are trying to do something different with this but I hope they get back on track. Angel of retribution wasn't a bad record (despite what many would say) and I'd like to see them regress to that state of writing. It was more like the old albums. I get what Priest were trying to accomplish with this but goddamnit, I'm indifferent to most of this album. And it pains me to say so.