Wednesday, October 6, 2010

This one goes to 11.

Halford/ IV- Made of Metal
Judas Priest is a guilty pleasure of mine, and remains one of my all-time favorite bands. I've spent the bulk of my life following the band, so naturally I picked up the new Halford album on the day of release, and you know what? It's really good stuff. Yeah, lyrically it's retarded (the title track is about a UFO), and it treads much of the same musical ground that Priest does, but it's a fun driving down the freeway type album. The guitars sound more like traditional Metal guitars than the Godsmack inspired cheese that comes out of most 'Metal' bands these days. The drums don't sound like cannons, always a plus in my book, and the bass is turned down to the point of being inaudible, which for some reason is appropriate in bands from the mid-'70s and '80s.
I can't understand why Rob Halford has the desire to do a solo project like this, when many of these songs could've just as easily worked on the next Priest album. Undisputed, Fire and Ice, and especially Thunder and Lightning seem tailor made for the band. The latter one especially does. It sounds like a Turbo-era leftover. The Mower is way heavy and one of my favorites, and finds Rob hitting the higher notes just fine. He seemed to hit a rough patch about 5 years ago, but his voice is sounding better these days.
As much as I enjoy the album, the dustjacket/booklet artwork is horrible. Halford has a terrible sense of design for album covers. I guess that album artwork doesn't matter in the iTunes era, but it still does to a format dinosaur like myself.

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