(Album Review) “Firepower” by Judas Priest

The long-awaited and highly anticipated release of the the 18th full-length album from Judas Priest comes in the shadow of the sad discovery regarding Glenn Tipton‘s health condition. The good news is that “Firepower” is a very successful attempt by the Metal Legends to revisit their past glory with a modern sound.

The band unleashes a searing and blazing attack from the first notes and the title track along with “Lightning Strike” constitute a jaw-dropping 1-2 to start the album, firing on all cylinders. “Evil Never Dies” is a thrashy character that would fit nicely somewhere inside the New Jersey thrashers’ discography. “Necromancer”, “Spectre” and “Traitors Gate” are metal anthems with face-smashing guitars and possessed vocals. “Never The Heroes” and “No Surrender” have this 1980s vibe that used to fill up arenas. On the same note, the piano introduction, titled “Guardians”, leads to the epic “Rising From Ruins” which has the best chorus on the album.

Firepower, a record that proves Halford and company are still in form so late in their respective careers.  Most tracks are short, between three to five minutes in lengths, with thick and hooky riffs and flashy solos, and with a very solid rhythm section that gives that extra thickness.

What makes this album stand out from the rest of the pack though, is Rob’s vocals.  Rob’s vocals have made Judas Priest historically individualistic and special throughout all the years Judas Priest has been a band.  In Firepower, Halford is using his midrange vocals more often, even though we hear him wail and scream, there is a nice range of vocals throughout the album.  Halford is in his late 60’s and he can still out-perform kids young enough to be his grandchildren.

Firepower is a major step in songwriting quality from their last album, there isn’t really a filler on this album.  This is the best that Judas Priest has sounded since Painkiller.  Moreover, this is the best that they have written and performed since their 1990’s masterpiece.  The only flaw is that the album may feel a little bloated towards the end, had it been trimmed to ten or eleven songs, this album would’ve been a banger through and through.  Firepower is simple yet profound, and that’s exactly what makes it one of Judas Priest’s best albums in year in this 8 out of 10 star rating.  Check out the track listing below.

  1.  Firepower
  2.  Lightning Strike
  3.  Evil Never Dies
  4.  Never The Heroes
  5.  Necromancer
  6.  Children Of The Sun
  7.  Guardians
  8.  Rising From Ruins
  9.  Flame Thrower
  10.  Spectre
  11.  Traitors Gate
  12.  No Surrender
  13.  Lone Wolf
  14.  Sea Of Red

Judas Priest will be touring this summer in Europe before returning to North America for a co-headlining tour with Deep Purple.  Check out tour dates below!

Thursday, June 7th- Rockfest in Hyvinkaa, Finland (w/Children Of Bodom, Lost Society, Sonata Arctica, Klamydia, Millencolin)

Saturday, June 9th- Sweden Rock Festival in Norje, Sweden (w/Primordial, Crashdiet, Misery Loves Company)

Sunday, June 10th- Royal Arena in Copenhagen, Denmark (w/Megadeth)

Tuesday, June 12th- Pilsen Homemonitoring Arena in Pilsen, Czech Republic

Wednesday, June 13th- Spodek in Katowice, Poland (w/Megadeth)

Friday, June 15th- With Full Force in Grafenhainichen, Germany (w/8kids, Hatebreed, Cradle Of Filth, Madball, Toxpack, and Tankard)

Sunday, June 17th- Firenze Rocks in Florence, Italy (w/Tremonti Project)

Tuesday, June 19th- Sick Arena/Messe in Freiburg, Germany

Wednesday, June 20th- Zelt Festival in Mannheim, Germany

Friday, June 22nd- Hellfest in Clisson, France (w/Rise Against, Meshuggah, Cainan Dawn, Sons Of Apollo, Satyricon, A Perfect Circle, Suffocation, Joan Jett & The Blackhearts, TesseracT, Therion, Napalm Death, and Converge)

Sunday, June 24th- Graspop Metal Meeting in Dessel, Belgium (w/Ozzy Osbourne, Tyr, Body Count, TesseracT, Modern Life Is War, Meshuggah, Lacuna Coil, Mantar, Skindred, Ego Kill Talent, Blessthefall, Bullet For My Valentine, and Vandenburg’s Moonkings)

Tuesday, June 26th- Samsung Hall in Zurich, Switzerland (w/Megadeth)

Thursday, June 28th- Sala Cubec in Bilbao, Spain

Sunday, June 30th- Download Festival Caja Magica in Madrid, Spain

Monday, July 2nd- Altice Arena in Lisbon, Portugal

Thursday, July 5th- Rock Fest in Barcelona, Spain

Thursday, July 19th- Rockwave Festival in Athens, Greece

Saturday, July 21st- Hills of Rock Festival in Plovdiv, Bulgaria (w/Cold-Snap)

Sunday, July 22nd- Romexpo in Bucharest, Romania (w/Battle Beast)

Tuesday, July 24th- Budapest Arena in Budapest, Hungary

Thursday, July 26th- Metal Days Festival in Tolmin, Slovenia (w/Obituary)

Saturday, July 28th- Stadthalle in Vienna, Austria (w/Battle Beast and Accept)

Tuesday, July 31st- Zenith, die Kulturehalle in Munchen, Germany

Thursday, August 2nd- Wacken Festival in Wacken, Germany

Monday, August 6th- 013 in Tilburg, Netherlands

Wednesday, August 8th- Westfalenhalle in Dortmund, Germany

Friday, August 10th- Bloodstock Festival in Catton, United Kingdom

North American Tour Dates with Deep Purple:

Tuesday, August 21st- Riverbend Music Center in Cincinnati, Ohio

Wednesday, August 22nd- Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre in Chicago, Illinois

Friday, August 24th- Michigan Lottery Amphitheatre at Freedom Hill in Detroit, Michigan

Saturday, August 25th- Soaring Eagle Casino & Resort in Mount Pleasant, Michigan

Monday, August 27th- First Ontario Centre in Hamilton, Canada

Wednesday, August 29th- Bell Centre in Montreal, Canada

Thursday, August 30th- Videotron Arena in Quebec City, Canada

Saturday, September 1st- Northwell Health at Jones Beach Theatre in Wantagh, New York

Sunday, September 2nd- Bethel Woods Center for the Arts in Bethel, New York

Wednesday, September 5th- Darien Lake Performing Arts Center in Darien Center, New York

Thursday, September 6th- PNC Bank Arts Center in Holmdel, New Jersey

Saturday, September 8th- Veterans United Home Loans Amphitheater in Virginia Beach, Virginia

Monday, September 9th- Bb&T Pavilion in Camden, New Jersey

Tuesday, September 11th- PNC Music Pavilion in Charlotte, North Carolina

Wednesday, September 12th- Dailey’s Place in Jacksonville, Florida

Friday, September 14th- Verizon Amphitheatre in Atlanta, Georgia

Sunday, September 16th- Mississippi Coast Coliseum in Biloxi, Mississippi

Tuesday, September 18th- Starlight Theatre in Kansas City, Missouri

Thursday, September 20th- Treasure Island Resort & Casino in Welch, Minnesota

Friday, September 21st- Harrah’s Casino in Council Bluffs, Iowa

Sunday, September 23rd- Pepsi Center Arena in Denver, Colorado

Wednesday, September 26th- Sleep Train Amphitheatre in Chula Vista, California

Thursday, September 27th- Five Point Amphitheatre in Irvine, California

Saturday, September 29th- Shoreline Amphitheatre in Mountain View, California

Sunday, September 30th- Toyota Amphitheatre in Wheatland, California

For tickets and further information on any of the shows listed above, click here!

Fans can find Judas Priest at the following locations:

www.facebook.com/OfficialJudasPriest

www.JudasPriest.com

 

 

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