Friday 16 March 2018

Album Review: JUDAS PRIEST - Firepower

Judas Priest - Firepower

01. Firepower
02. Lightning Strike
03. Evil Never Dies
04. Never The Heroes
05. Necromancer
06. Children of the Sun
07. Guardians
08. Rising From Ruins
09. Flame Thrower
10. Spectre
11. Traitors Gate
12. No Surrender
13. Lone Wolf
14. Sea Of Red

In my humble opinion, Judas Priest is the greatest Heavy Metal band in the world. They are also one of the most important, having released records over the decades that pushed the boundaries of the genre, both in music and image. They encompass everything that is awesome about Heavy Metal.

Firepower is their 18th studio album, and before listening to it, the artwork alone suggested to me where the band was going with this one. It has similarities to the covers of both Screaming For Vengeance and Painkiller, which are my two favourite Judas Priest albums, so naturally I've been looking forward to this new record immensely.

Firstly, Firepower sounds incredible, mainly due to the involvement of legendary Judas Priest producer Tom Allom, who was responsible for some of the band's finest records, and co-producer Andy Sneap. Andy has breathed new life into the sounds of classic Metal bands such as Saxon and Accept, as well as working with contemporary acts such as Fear Factory and Killswitch Engage. I am particularly happy about this, as the last few Judas Priest albums have not sounded as amazing as they should have, and this time the band has pulled out all of the stops to get the 'dream team' needed to make the album we have all been longing for since the classic Painkiller (which was incidentally produced by the late great Chris Tsangarides who died earlier this year).

Firepower is every bit as awesome as the artwork promised! The opening title track is classic Judas Priest, and is riffing Heavy Metal at its finest. Rob Halford's vocals sound stronger than they have for years. Admittedly, I don't think he can reach the incredibly high screams that he managed in the late 80' anymore, but he comes pretty damn close. Aside from that, he sounds as good as ever, and still retains his place as the greatest Metal vocalist in the entire world.

There are some absolute gems on here including Never The Heroes, Spectre and the wonderfully ludicrous Flame Thrower. The song writing seems to draw influences from every era of the band's legacy, making it all sound wonderfully familiar, yet new and exciting at the same time. The fact is that every song on here is really strong. Two years ago, I honestly thought that Judas Priest were on their way out and weren't capable of delivering an album as good as what Firepower is. I've never been so happy to have been proved wrong.

It's worth mentioning that a few weeks ago, it was revealed that Glenn Tipton has been suffering with Parkinson's disease for the last decade, and he doesn't feel that he's capable of touring anymore, which is completely understandable. Andy Sneap will be playing lead guitar in his place on the forthcoming tour.  The fact that Glenn has been performing live to the standard that he has for the last few years is testimony to his dedication to the band, and his contributions to Firepower are nothing short of phenomenal. Given the adversity he must have faced in the recording process, he deserves the utmost respect, but sadly it can't be taken for granted that he will be well enough to play on another. What the future holds for Judas Priest is currently unknown, but if this record is to be their last, then they will have certainly gone out on a massive high.



  1. We have obviously heard exactly the same album Dan. Like you I was overjoyed when I heard this having been a Priest fan ever since their first album Rocka Rolla (which sounds absolutely NOTHING like this of course !!

  2. Spot on...thanks for the background info \m/


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