Judas Priest Discography Discussion (part 2 starting page 20)

MrKnickerbocker

clap hands
The Secrets of the Dead take made my day. Such a great song and I’ve never heard anyone who likes it as much as I do before.
Yeah, while writing the review I got the feeling that I probably like very different songs than most people. My guess is your average Priest fan loves the middle of the album and dislikes those epic tracks.
 

Edington

Let's Get Volatile
Must admit I wasn't expecting such a positive review. What do you think of the sound of this album, Knick, in particular the guitar tone?
 

MrKnickerbocker

clap hands
Must admit I wasn't expecting such a positive review. What do you think of the sound of this album, Knick, in particular the guitar tone?
Overall it’s a bid muddled. The whole thing sounds like it may have been mixed by Steve Harris. Not the best, but Priest have had worse.
 

The Dissident

Ancient Mariner
110/365

Painkiller - Judas Priest
Format: CD/Digital

Painkiller - A killer drum intro kicks off the title track, Rob sings unbelievably high, this track is amazing super fast, at times the high vocals get somewhat grating but the track is a masterpiece - 10/10

Hell Patrol - Keeping with the theme of drum heavy intros, the second track has Halford singing in a lower tone than Painkiller, before letting loose a killer scream that is. The slower vocal with the fast paced instruments both works and doesn't at the same time. A really strong track overall -9/10

All Guns Blazing - High pitched singing from Halford introduces the next track, the band comes in soon after. The onslaught from the previous two tracks continues. A strong track just not quite on par with them. - 8.5/10

Leather Rebel - The speed assault continues with track number 4, Leather Rebel kicks off with a speedy riff, the drums sound a little like a drum machine on this track . The drum sound on this track doesn't work for me but the guitar work and Vocals are solid - 8/10

Metal Meltdown - What would be side 1 closes off with a track featuring a guitar solo intro, the band comes in with a fury, Rob is letting loose some incredibly high vocals once again. Slightly weak chorus but strong nonetheless - 8.5/10

Night Crawler - A solid track, all the tracks thus far have been good throughout just few have been outright amazing - 8.5/10

Between The Hammer & The Anvil - Kicking off with a nice intro, the drums sound much less like a machine now. Halford comes in with a killer scream and the song feels more alive in a sense. - 9/10

A Touch Of Evil - Beginning with tolling bells, a nice riff comes in and the band delivers a solid track - 8.5/10

Battle Hymn - A short instrumental piece, don't see the point of it but it isn't bad - 7/10

One Shot At Glory - The final track kicks off quickly, Halford sings quite well. Drums are fairly consistent throughout. Chorus isn't super strong but it is a good song. - 8.5/10

Overall 85%

A very consistent album, not one that I think I'll come back to often but a strong one nonetheless.
 

Mosh

The years just pass like trains
Staff member
Redeemer Of Souls is an interesting one. It's easily the best album since Painkiller, but then again that isn't saying a whole lot. There's a lot of filler, but there's a modern classic Priest album in there if you trimmed the fat a bit. The best songs manage to recapture that classic Priest sound from the late 70s and early 80s. Catchy hooks, anthemic choruses, shredding, and the occasional musical curveball. Nothing groundbreaking, but it shows the band playing to their strengths. That all being said, I have to admit I don't go back to this one much. In fact, this was my first time listening to it since it was new. There are some really good songs on there, but it is very bloated and difficult to sit through. I would rather just stick with the bonus disc or listen to a few songs out of context. The production also leaves a lot to be desired. Very muddy and guitars/vocals are pretty overprocessed at times.

Speaking of the bonus disc, it's awesome! The first three songs wipe the floor with everything on the main album. I really don't understand why they were cut. While the last two songs see a notable drop in quality, I would probably prefer to listen to the bonus disc over the main album.

Of course you can't talk about this album without talking about Richie Faulkner. He was really a fantastic addition to the band. He has the stage presence, the looks, and ROS shows that he also has the chops. On a technical level he is far superior to either Tipton or Downing, preference between the three will ultimately come down to taste but I would take him over Downing at least. Priest's two guitar attack wasn't quite as effective as Maiden in large part because the contrast between Downing and Tipton wasn't as notable as that between Smith and Murray. Faulkner comes in sort of like a Smith figure. Not as musically creative, but he comes in with more technical chops and the ability to step out of the pentatonic box when soloing. His riffing is also more intricate, actually akin to what they were writing around the time of Defenders of the Faith (probably Tipton/Downing's peak as guitar players). The only downside to this is that Tipton's playing on this album sometimes comes off as weak in comparison to Faulkner.

Favorite Songs: Halls of Valhalla, Swords of Damacoles, Down In Flames, Hell and Back, Metalizer, Secrets of the Dead, Snakebite, Tears of Blood, Creatures
 

srfc

Ancient Mariner
Haven't listened to it in a long time, I might revisit it in comparison to Firepower. My memories are that it started well and then ran out of steam around 6 or so tracks in.
 

LooseCannon

Yorktown-class aircraft carrier
Staff member
Haven't listened to it in a long time, I might revisit it in comparison to Firepower. My memories are that it started well and then ran out of steam around 6 or so tracks in.
About the same. I'll put it on the to-do list.
 

srfc

Ancient Mariner
Haven't listened to it in a long time, I might revisit it in comparison to Firepower. My memories are that it started well and then ran out of steam around 6 or so tracks in.
Gave it a listen and my memory was correct pretty much. From Hell and Back onwards isn't the mae west bar maybe Crossfire (I think that was the bluesy one, I didn't have the sleeve handy) and Battle Cry. Metalizer was terrible it was like a self-parody of tracks like Demonizer that were already self-parody to begin with.
 

Edington

Let's Get Volatile
I should listen again, too. My memory is that the songs were decent but the band sounded too bored for me to really get into them, excluding HoV of course.
 

srfc

Ancient Mariner
March of the Damned has a bit that sounds exactly like a track from Skunkworks (not sure what track it is as I can never remember what a lot of the skunkworks tracks are called)
 

MrKnickerbocker

clap hands
Firepower (2018)



Firepower - Immediately the production punches you in the face as being light years better than Redeemer of Souls. This song kicks ass from start to finish. It's classic Priest through a modern metal lens. Halford's opening screams, Scott's powerful drumming, those twin guitars riffing and harmonizing...it's all stellar. I adore the chorus and the stomping bridge section. Honestly, I think this song is more fun than Painkiller. It's at least a Top 20 Priest tune and probably the catchiest, most pummeling opener they've ever had. The lyrics seem to condemn the nature of modern warfare, or possibly celebrate heavy metal. 10/10

Lightning Strike -
The power does not stop as Priest slams right into this immediate, swinging barnburner. I get shades of a heavy Maiden or thrashier Sabaton here, but without the flashy gleam that those bands have. Lightning Strike still sounds raw and purely metallic. The riffs are great, the harmonized runs are great, Halford's vocal production is great: another killer tune. The lyrics seem to discuss a man on the edge of a terrible decision, or possibly a man celebrating heavy metal. 10/10

Evil Never Dies
- A much more classic Priest pedal riff appears for the first time and it's a welcome change of pace from the opening one-two punch. The verses are old school while the chorus is modern to the core, and easily the strongest part of the song. Scott's double bass just crushes as Halford recites the hook. The bridge takes us through a bluesy (Glenn?) solo and a dynamic clean section. Heaviness takes hold of the bridge halfway through and it just works so well (they've used this tactic quite a bit on recent albums and it kills every time). Ritchie gets a quick blistering solo before we enter the chorus repeat, which builds up so damn well it gets this song to another 10/10. The lyrics seem to shriek about the everlasting presence of the devil, or possibly the coolness and evilness of heavy metal.

Never the Heroes - Some late-80's Priest tropes start to emerge with this nice, anthemic throwback tune. It sounds like a darker, modernized version of a song that could have appeared on Point of Entry or Turbo. Scott's four-on-the-floor approach works and Rob's got a killer vocal hook, especially the final "at war" that hangs over the main riff. It's a catchy tune with a nice performance, but not a top tier track. The lyrics seem to lament the plight of a soldier cast aside in war, or possibly tell the story of a ragtag group of outsiders who find their army in the legions of heavy metal. 8/10

Necromancer -
The opening riff is one of the slinkiest, coolest Priest riffs in recent memory. Travis and Hill fill in perfectly before a gigantic keyboard layer adds a ton of atmospheric depth. The verses are stellar, the chorus less so, but the rest of the music makes up for the relatively average chorus. I love the immediate, Maiden-like kick into the uptempo bridge and the awesome guitar solo duel that follows (even if it's pretty clear that Ritchie can run circles around Glenn at this stage in the game). Rumors abound that Andy Sneap may have tinkered with some vocals, riffs, and lyrics and I can definitely hear that. The sharpness of the lyrics so far on this album just seems a tad beyond what we've heard from Rob and Glenn over the last ten years. The lyrics seem to discuss an evil magician raising bodies from the dead for a nefarious purpose, or possibly a veteran band returning from the "dead" to be the guiding light of heavy metal. 9/10

Children of the Sun -
We've got a groove here, but not much. It's a pretty by-the-numbers Priest tune. I'm reminded of something from the latter era Dio albums: BPM just slightly faster than doom metal territory, big gaps in the vocal melody, a moderately sing-a-long chorus. Come to think of it, I'd probably like this song better with Dio's vocals adding that extra weight and grit. It's a fine background track, but I could see this being filler. The lyrics seem to mourn for the death of innocence, or possibly the shrinking fanbase for JUDAS PRIEST HEAVY METAL. 7/10

Guardians/Rising from Ruins -
This entire song is absolutely gorgeous. Sweeping, melodic, heavy, powerful, beautiful: it's perfect. A top five Priest tune if ever there was one. I love the eerily haunting intro and the main riffs and harmonies. Ritchie's opening solo is pure fire, especially as it culminates in an elevated groove...only to drop down for a clean, quieter verse. And what a fucking verse it is! Rob's melody and timing here is superb, potentially my favorite Priest verse of all time. We are treated to one of the hookiest, most anthemic and uplifting choruses in the entire catalogue and it's nothing short of joyous. I love the layered clean guitar that throbs throughout the third verse. The main guitar solos and harmonies are sublime. When we get a break to recall the intro in half-time, it is then that I know we have possibly heard the best that Priest can be. Rising From Ruins is a masterpiece. The lyrics seem to describe the ability of mankind to overcome even the darkest of times, or possibly the heights that one can achieve whilst wielding the holy grail of heavy metal. 10/10

Flame Thrower
- Well, I guess there had to be one bad song. Nothing about this track works for me. The riffs are pedestrian, the lyrics are boring, the music reminds me of the worst of 80s Priest while some of the vocal melodies recall the Ripper era. The chorus is actually off-putting. This track should have easily been cut from the album. The lyrics seem to shout the dangers of playing with fire, or possibly giving a blowjob while listening to heavy metal. 3/10

Spectre -
I love the serpentine riffing and groove of this song. The dynamics are top notch, none better than the complete sonic vacuum that follows the chorus. Every time I listen to this song I adore the chorus more and more. "Trapped inside the miiiiiiiiiii-iiiind of the spectre" is just so catchy. We transition from snaking riffs to a spider riff just in time for Rob to do a mild Dave Mustaine impression. The lameness is gagging, but I love it. Ritchie and Glenn hit a killer harmony right before a blistering solo and then return for another, much creepier harmony before we hit the final chorus. This one started as an 8/10 the first time I heard it, but after many listens has grown to another 10/10. The lyrics seem to spin a tale of a deadly, ghostlike killer, or possibly the hulking, secretive nature of the true believers of heavy metal.

Traitors Gate - The intro is nice and the main riff swings away like a ship lumbering towards a village that just begs to be pillaged. I really love the back-and-forth between the vocals and the instruments during the first half of the chorus, I'll bet that kills at a show. The music is so driving and pummeling throughout that I think it feels a little more interesting than it actually is. None of the riffs are particularly catchy, even if the overall piece is solid. There's also something about Rob's placement of that final "traitors gate" in each chorus that sounds awkward. Why couldn't he carry the words over the first pause? It just sounds odd. It's a really good song, but not perfect. The lyrics seem to tell the tale of a Ned Stark martyr type trapped in Beckett's Hallowed Be Thy Name, or possibly what happens to those who betray the beliefs and practices of trve heavy metal. 9/10

No Surrender -
Here's that arena-ready song we've been waiting for! There's not much to be said, it's just perfectly classic Priest. The riffs are good and have silky leads underneath them, the start-stop verses work wonders, the chorus is a giant wiggly ear worm, the bridge comes out of nowhere, the solos are subtle and smooth; it's a slick as hell tune that even has a brief beat-the-drum-and-sing-along section. Nice job, Priest. It's awesome to know that at this stage in the game they can still write killer thrashy metal tunes and killer pop metal tunes. The lyrics seem to extoll the virtues of doing whatever you believe is right despite the consequences, especially if what you believe in is heavy metal. 10/10

Lone Wolf -
A little taste of the blues is certainly welcome, even if the album is getting a little long. I like this callback to their earlier, bluesier years, even if the production and melodic choices sound like something that would have been much better suited to Metallica's Load or ReLoad. For the second time on this album I'd rather hear someone else singing (Hetfield). It's nice to have some pure blues shredding and we even get an unexpected guitar harmony. I bet I give this song a higher mark than most Priest fans, but I'm a sucker for a blues groove. The lyrics seem to praise the strong leaders who forge their own path, or possibly discuss a bad ass wolf that somehow learns English and sings heavy metal. 8/10

Sea of Red -
Ending with a ballad is a strange choice for a record that has primarily been all about kicking ass and taking names. The acoustics sound gorgeous and I think the song is powerful, but I wish this and Rising from Ruins had switched places in the tracklist. It would have given the listener a break in the middle of the album and provided the best closer in their career. Regardless, Rob sounds great here and I think the melodies are quite catchy. The latter half does get truly epic with a slamming riff, choir-patched keyboards, and a big arena rock solo section. I like it. The lyrics seem to strive for the remembrance of those we have lost along the way, but only if those people came from the flock of heavy metal. 8/10

Album rating - 8.7/10


Judas Priest deliver an album that far exceeds expectations with Firepower. It defies age and logic that they could put out something this good, this well-crafted and tightly-performed, this late in their career. If you dropped Children of the Sun and Flame Thrower this album would easily eclipse the quality of Painkiller. As it stands, Firepower is a contender for my favorite Priest record of all time.
 

Night Prowler

Customer Deathcycle Manager
Staff member
I just don't understand how you guys all like Firepower which is generic af but hate Nostradamus. SMH
 

Mosh

The years just pass like trains
Staff member
Listened to Firepower for the second time. Way better than I remembered. Great production, great songs, very in your face and catchy. Sounds like a classic 80s Priest album with some modern elements/shred worked in.
 

mckindog

Living for Sanctuary from the law
Staff member
Firepower and Lightning Strikes are the most obvious examples of the good-but-not-original criticism, moreso because of the fact they open the album. Hookier and better-produced for sure, but how different are they from the one-two of Dragonaut and Redeemer that opened the previous album? Eights.
 
Last edited:

mckindog

Living for Sanctuary from the law
Staff member
I agree that Flamethrower and Children of the Sun are the weakest tracks. To me they are on par with each other, not terrible, probably both 6s. The former is a Ram It Down-era throwback in terms of composition, while the latter is plodding and lacking in dynamics.
 
Top